up to the minute reading

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013
rare bird

What a weirdly underwater day. I don't know what the deal is - maybe just mid-winter malaise.

to counteract, a list!

Books I just finished or am just finishing: 

Are You My Mother? - Alison Bechdel: I feel like I should have liked this more than I did. The art is amazing - as good as anything I've seen from her (Fun Home), but I only connected intermittently to the story. This book is about her relationship with her mother and is very meta (a book that's largely about writing the book and how hard it is to write the book and why won't her mother report back on the book and what does her therapist think of the book) and features a lot of heavy duty capital A Analysis.  I can see how it resonates for many, but it wasn't a Love It book for me. The art is really good, though.  (4/5 stars)

Winning the Wallflower - Eloisa James: I've read and enjoyed another Eloisa James book, so when I saw this novella for free on Amazon, I jumped at it. I've been reading it in the middle of the night on my ipod when the cats are having late night cat insanity. She's a good writer but I think the novella form is not for me, at least as far as romances are concerned. There's just not enough time. I should say novellas about a couple I've already read a novel about would be fine - it's just this so few pages with relative strangers to accomplish so much - it was a little wham bam for my delicate middle of the night cat insanity minder sensibilities. (and not just wham bam but wham bam I love you I want you you're beautiful let's get married have children and thwart the expectations of your parents and my odious cousin the duke - in less than 100 pages.)  I will certainly read more of her full length novels, but this was too much and too little all at once. (2/5 stars)

My Journey to Lhasa - Alexandra David-Neel: first of all - check her out - she had ADVENTURES and lived to be 101. This book is concerned with a trip she took with her adopted (adult) son into Tibet in the 1920s. Westerners were not allowed, western women certainly not allowed, so she disguised herself as a Tibetan pilgrim and snuck in. She spoke a lot of languages, thought quickly on her feet, and had an extreme tolerance for hunger and altitude. I'm about 60 pages from the end and she just thwarted some robbers. (!!!) It reminds me of the Odyssey in a lot of ways - they travel and have adventure after adventure (some of them very similar) before finally arriving at their destination of Lhasa. I had a little trouble slipping into the book at the beginning, most of which I chalk up to not being used to her cadences - but now that I'm acclimated it's easy going. Now to finish off the last little bit! This was for book group and everyone liked it. (4/5 stars)

next up: Hamlet (I was having Shakespeare FEVER and decided to start back into it with the play I'm most familiar with - a friend is reading at the same time, so we're having a mini read-along. Although I don't think either of us is past Act 1 yet.)
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