Thursday, February 7, 2013

February 2013 Reading List

Things have been a bit slow for me recently when it comes to reading. I'm working on a book that I’m not loving, so it’s taking me longer than expected. But now I’m almost done and looking forward to reading something good next!

I rarely plan my reading lists in advance – usually I just pick up whatever is most convenient/finds its way to me/is recommended and lent by a friend. So here is a very tentative upcoming reading list, based off of recent recommendations.

I’m open to suggestions, so have you read anything good recently?

February 2013 Reading List

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger  –

  • February Book Club book. AND by the author who wrote The Time Traveler's Wife!
  • Julia and Valentina Poole are twenty-year-old sisters with an intense attachment to each other. One morning the mailman delivers a thick envelope to their house in the suburbs of Chicago. Their English aunt Elspeth Noblin has died of cancer and left them her London apartment. There are two conditions for this inheritance: that they live in the flat for a year before they sell it and that their parents not enter it. Julia and Valentina are twins. So were the girls’ aunt Elspeth and their mother, Edie.
  • The girls move to Elspeth’s flat, which borders the vast Highgate Cemetery, where Christina Rossetti, George Eliot, Stella Gibbons, and other luminaries are buried. Julia and Valentina become involved with their living neighbors: Martin, a composer of crossword puzzles who suffers from crippling OCD, and Robert, Elspeth’s elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. They also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including—perhaps—their aunt. (more)

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin – 

  • Strongly recommended by a) my officemate, and b) the world. I’m pretty excited about this one…I have a feeling it’ll only take a couple days to read.

  • Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that…comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy…Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.
  • Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance...Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones. (more)

The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli – 

  • A unique and sweeping debut novel of an American female combat photographer in the Vietnam War, as she captures the wrenching chaos and finds herself torn between the love of two men. 
  • Tatjana Soli paints a searing portrait of an American woman’s struggle and triumph in Vietnam, a stirring canvas contrasting the wrenching horror of war and the treacherous narcotic of obsession with the redemptive power of love. Readers will be transfixed by this stunning novel of passion, duty and ambition among the ruins of war. (more)

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple – 

  • This was my January Book Club book that I failed to read in time. SpeedyKate says it’s really good and has a copy, so I’m going to read it eventually.
  • Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.
  • Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
  • To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world. (more)