Wednesday, September 16, 2009

BBAW: What Are You Currently Reading?

As usual, I am a little late in jumping on the band wagon, but this week is Book Blogger Appreciation Week. You can join in the festivities and discover all kinds of new blogs over at the Book Blogger Appreciation Week website. While all the nominating and voting has already been done, there are still ways to participate, like with this meme. Several reading-related questions were asked, and readers had the option of picking one to answer. My choice:

What are you currently reading?

Well...lots of stuff. The book I am most currently reading is The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. I'm not a big sci-fi fan, but I've heard lots of good things about this book, and I really enjoyed Russell's A Thread of Grace, a very non-science-fiction WWII story. So far, I am not disappointed. Right now, I am about half-way through, and I am dreading finding out what happens because this is one of those books that lets you know right up front that Things Did Not Go Well, and already I love the people involved and I so want things to go well for them, but I know that they don't, and it is heartbreaking.

I am also about half-way through The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs. The title pretty much sums it up-A.J. Jacobs is attempting to follow ALL the rules in the Bible, not just the ones we all know and love like the ten commandments, but even the more obscure ones like attaching tassels to ones clothing and not wearing clothing of mixed fibers. There are lots of other non-clothing related rules, but I just can't conjure any of them up at the moment. I am enjoying this quite a bit-it's funny and educational and it's giving me a lot to think about.

Those are the only two books that I am "really" reading right now. I have a few others that I have started but abandoned along the way and may or may not get back to.

I started reading People of the Book: a Novel by Geraldine Brooks a couple months ago on my Kindle, and I would like to get back to it, I just haven't yet. This is another author whose previous work, Year of Wonders, I really enjoyed.

I just can't get into American Gods by Neil Gaiman even though I only have about 80 pages left to go (out of 588). It's been so long since I started reading this, that I don't know if I would have any idea what was going on if I went back to it anyway. I like the idea-the ancient gods, the old gods and demons of folklore and legend, vs. the new gods of technology and wealth and power-but I just can't get into how it's playing out. I know Gaiman has a huge fan following, and that many people consider American Gods his greatest work, and I guess that's part of the reason that I am so reluctant to abandon it-I want to be one of the cool kids! My husband also really liked this book, which is why I picked it up in the first place. I guess this way I can always say, "Well, I'm not sure I liked it as much as you did, but, you know, I haven't finished it yet-I'm probably missing a lot of stuff that happened at the end." :)

An African in Greenland by Tete-Michel Kpomassie was a book club pick a couple months back, and I sort of abandoned it only because our book club hasn't had a chance to get back together to discuss it, and I know the person who picked it didn't even finish it. It's a true story about an African boy who decides he wants to go to Greenland and so he does. While some of the facts are interesting, there are a lot of things that I would have liked to have seen more follow-through on, cultural differences that are brought up but then never examined, for example.

Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stuart. This one isn't so much a sit-down-and-read-it-all-at-once book, so I don't feel too bad about this one. It is, however, a beautiful little book that I would actually recommend buying rather than borrowing. Some books just feel nice in your hands and make you feel a little bit decadent for sitting down and reading them, and this is one of those books. I ordered my signed copy directly from Amy's bookstore, Eureka Books, and you can too!

The Forgery of Venus: a Novel by Michael Gruber-This is another Kindle read that I started and haven't quite picked back up. I'm undecided on this one. I think it is going to be a lot of self-imposed work in the sense that I am only about one chapter in and already jumping online to research the paintings and artists that the author writes about because these are not topics that I am familiar with, and I suspect that I will enjoy the book a lot more if I know what the heck is being discussed. I think I would probably enjoy the book without the research, but I'm sure I would miss a lot as well.

Even though we were only supposed to answer one question, I think I also covered, "Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?" LOL-What do you think? ;)


Heather J. said...

THE SPARROW is a great book but I think the follow up to it, THE CHILDREN OF GOD, is even better. I'm reading THREAD OF GRACE right now and it is fantastic.

PEOPLE OF THE BOOK is another fantastic book - I listened to the audio version and when it ended I wanted to start it all over again.

Dreamybee said...

The Sparrow is tearing me up! it's so bittersweet, seeing all the amazing wondrous things that take place with the knowledge of how it all ends. Russell sure knows how to manipulate her reader's emotions.

POTB-I know! I think your review was the one that finally pushed me over the edge to start reading it. I think part of my problem is that I want the actual book, not the e-book version.

Heather J. said...

Would you want to listen to the audio version of POTB? (I can't remember if you are an audio book fan or not ...) If so, I'd be happy to mail my CDs to you to borrow - they are SO GOOD.

Dreamybee said...

I'm not in the car on a regular enough basis to make it worth it-that would really be the only time I would be inclined to listen to them. Thank you so much for offering though!

Jeanne said...

I loved the Sparrow, but felt the opposite way from Heather J--I found the sequel slightly disappointing.