Literary Life: June in Review

Around the Web:
I have written a questionnaire post for Book Bloggers International – you can see it here.

Currently Reading:
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Unfinished:
The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian – I just couldn’t muster the will to continue reading it.

Read:

dbdiInferno (Robert Langdon, #4) by Dan Brown
“‘Historically’ – I use inverted commas as one can never be too careful when using that term in the context of Brown – was once again rather fascinating, and I would love to allocate some time to learn about the works of art he bases his fiction on. This is all that kept me really interested; Brown had wonderful pace in Angels and Demons that I found he lost in The Lost Symbol. Brown has clawed a little of it back here in Inferno, but it is in no way as gripping as the first two Langdon adventures.”

pamPure by Andrew Miller
I am not sure what I was expecting with Pure, I had put off reading it for a while wondering what about digging up a cemetery I could find interesting. However, I found myself pulled into the Historical Paris, wanting to discover more about the Church being torn down, and how it’s presence seemed to send everyone mad.

“Deep in the heart of Paris, its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing, tainting the very breath of those who live nearby. Into their midst comes Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a young, provincial engineer charged by the king with demolishing it. At first Baratte sees this as a chance to clear the burden of history, a fitting task for a modern man of reason. But before long, he begins to suspect that the destruction of the cemetery might be a prelude to his own”Synopsis from GoodReads

wdWishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
“Hello and welcome to Carrie’s voice mail. Due to recent electroconvulsive therapy, please pay close attention to the following options. Leave your name, number, and a brief history as to how Carrie knows you, and she’ll get back to you if this jogs what’s left of her memory. Thank you for calling and have a great day.”

tbbThe Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
“This where Strout excels, in her depiction of human relationships and motivations. Jim, the elder Burgess brother, appears to hate his younger brother Bob; he resents him and rather than deal with his resentment he chooses to aggressive chips away at Bob. While they clearly love each other, Jim finds Bob weak; a projection of Jim’s own inadequacies, Jim sees everything he hates in himself in Bob. It is as if Jim is baffled that Bob is loved so effortlessly even after what he did, it takes Jim a lot of work to be loved and he resents that. Bob, conversely, over compensates for a crime he may or may not have committed as a child; taking both Jim and Susan’s abuse as penance – every failure Bob has he treats as recompense.”

wtnWitness the Night by Kishwar Desai
Powerful enough to give me nightmares, this is a chilling tale of murder, culture and repression. This book really doesn’t hold any punches; the ending sent shivers up my spine.

“In a small town in the heart of India, a young girl is found tied to a bed inside a townhouse where thirteen people lie dead. The girl is alive, but she has been beaten and abused. She is held in the local prison, awaiting interrogation for the murders she is believed by the local people to have committed. Visiting social worker Simran attempts to break through the girl’s mute trance to find out what happened that terrible night. As she uncovers more and more, Simran realises that she is caught in the middle of a terrifying reality, where the unwanted female offspring of families are routinely disposed of.”Synopsis from GoodReads

June was a rather marvellous month for reading, even if I had become a little stagnant the last week. Stargate SG-1 has once again consumed my life; It is very strange re-watching episodes ten years after first viewing them – I am discovering subtleties previously missed.

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3 Comments on "Literary Life: June in Review"

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Charlie
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I went through a phase of watching Stargate, I think it was that version, and remember it being hard not to want to keep watching. I have to agree, it does look a great month of reading for you. I’m intrigued by the Desai, never heard of it before, but from what you’ve said I’ll wait for your review or read about it on GoodReads first.

Learning about the artwork sounds a good idea, no matter that you’ve finished the book you’ll likely appreciate it more for knowing.

Andrew Blackman
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Nice selection of books! I had a good reading month too – it was nice to have time for reading again after investing so much time in the move to Crete. Haven’t kept up-to-date with writing reviews at all, though – the usual massive backlog!

BookerTalk
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Like the sound of the Kishwar Desai one. Thanks for spotlighting this one