Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday Malarkey

Recent arrivals (top to bottom - all purchased, except for Bagel in Love):

  • The Virago Book of Christmas, ed. by Michelle Lovric
  • Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  • The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna
  • The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
  • Bagel in Love by Wing and Dardik - from Sterling Children's Books for review

The Virago Book of Christmas is a book I returned to purchase when the local shop that went out of business (gone, now) marked things down further. They had it marked as a "new" book, although it's out of print, so I opted not to buy it when the discount was minimal. It was still there when they bumped up the discount in the last few days, though, so I grabbed it. The Kurt Vonnegut books were purchased after I read his speeches, last week. I've read 4 or 5 Vonnegut books and always planned to read more. Reading his speeches was a nice reminder of how much I appreciate his writing. Don Quixote (this version translated by Edith Grossman) is a book I've attempted to read 3 times and failed. I bought this particular version when Ryan of Wordsmithonia and I decided to buddy read it, starting in February. I thought it would be easier if we used the same version, so we can refer to specific pages if we want to. I'll talk about that more, as we get closer, but anyone who wants to join in is welcome to read along with us.

The Hired Man was a total whim. I don't even know what I was thinking. It sounds good, though. I think I looked up an older book when someone mentioned a newer book by the author. Weird. I need to work on those buying whims (suppressing them down to nothing would be good). And, I bought The Opposite of Loneliness after seeing someone mention it on Facebook and reading about it. The author was described as a prodigy, although her work was published posthumously, gathered by her family and published after her death. I'm always curious what people consider prodigious.

Books finished since last Malarkey:

  • A Nest for Celeste by Henry Cole
  • Another Quest for Celeste by Henry Cole
  • Bagel in Love by Wing and Dardik
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  • The Wife Between Us by Hendricks and Pekkanen

I ended up enjoying A Nest for Celeste (which, you may recall, I found a bit too filled with violent images, at first) so I decided to continue on with its sequel, Another Quest for Celeste. I thought both were interesting for the historical perspective and the illustrations are beautiful. Flowers for Algernon was another one I started out not enjoying. It ended up being a 5-star read, in the end. Just a brilliant book. Yes, it's sad at times, but it's also deeply moving. And, The Wife Between Us . . . sigh. I guess I should avoid the most hyped books, unless they overwhelmingly appeal to me. I liked it but didn't love it. I had mixed feelings about most everything I read but I'll go into the details when I review them.

Posts since last Malarkey:

Currently reading:

  • Artemis by Andy Weir 
  • The Radium Girls by Kate Moore 

Kiddo loaned me his copy of Artemis (a Christmas gift) and, in fear of having it yanked back, I started on it immediately. So far, it's a fun read but not as enthralling as The Martian. I've been working on The Radium Girls for several weeks, now, and I didn't see any posts in the discussion group for which I bought the ebook (ebook!), so I think I'll try to blast my way through the latter half, this week, and move on to another nonfiction read. It's such a sad story. Imagine getting a job that paid well, thinking you were living the life, and then finding out that not only were you going to die because of that job, but also that the company was covering it up and allowing more people to die. Anything to fatten the bottom line.

In other news:

Now, I really, really want to see the movies based on Flowers for Algernon. I saw the first movie, Charly, when I was young and it was because of that memory that I originally bought the book (probably a decade ago - I'm almost positive I bought it at our former salvage store, long since closed). Obviously, the movie was memorable but it's been too long to remember it at all, now.

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  1. I haven’t read any Vonnegut yet. One day I will. I also have Flowers For Algernon on my list.

    1. I adore Vonnegut. Somewhere, I have a book with three of his novels in it and that was my introduction to him, many years back, I think - actually, I'm not sure if I read Slaughterhouse Five before or after those three, but anyway . . . love him.

      Save Flowers for Algernon for a time when you're feeling emotionally strong because the first part is really upsetting. It gets easier, even though you eventually realize something really awful is going to happen. I was impressed. It's really a brilliant novel. I thought I was going to hate it and ended up feeling like I just finished a new favorite classic.

  2. Flowers for Algernon is my favourite! I am so glad you liked it as I told you on Facebook. :)

    1. I'm glad you told me how much you loved it. I knew I was going to finish it, but there was definitely a point that my interest started to sag and your enthusiasm about it helped.


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