Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What I'm Reading

Currently Reading

Boston and the Civil War / Barbara Berenson – my talented friend Barbara has followed up her successful Walking Tours of Civil War Boston with a book that reveals to Revolutionary War-obsessed fans that Boston was actually the hub of a second revolution that ended slavery.  My mother has a friend who is a descendant of William Lloyd Garrison so I was always aware of the role of the abolitionists – this provides a close look at those "dedicated to ending slavery and honoring the promise of liberty made in the Declaration of Independence."
Divergent / Veronica Roth – although tired of dystopian novels and unable to get into this in print form, I was curious enough to try it on CD a year later, and am now enjoying it (although why do heroines have to get beat up so frequently in this type of novel?).

Country of Broken Stone / Nancy Bond  - Next week I am heading to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to visit Fort Louisbourg, the setting of Bond’s Another Shore, which shows what a big fan I am of this talented Massachusetts author.  Somehow I had been unaware of this book, set near Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, about a girl dealing with a new stepmother and stepsiblings.  Bond is gifted at making historical places seem magical.

In preparation for the Starz adaptation, I reread Outlander / Diana Gabaldon, which is just as amazing as when I first snagged an ARC on my last day at Bantam Doubleday Dell in 1991 (and after numerous previous rereads).  Of course, that meant I had to reread Dragonfly in Amber (despite all the library books waiting for me), and I just reclaimed my copy of Voyager (book 3) from my mother.  Here is a link to the forthcoming miniseries - I have put away my usual skepticism because it really appears to be a good and respectful production. The production company has really chosen actors who look the part, even if Jamie's hair isn't as red as I expected.

Just Finished

The Eyre Affair / Jasper Fforde – a belated thank you to Sessalee Hensley who gave me a copy of this book when it was brand new.  Somehow I got distracted; perhaps I found the beginning slow or maybe I was in the middle of law school exams.  However, once it got going I was completely captivated.  I would describe it as the Phantom Tollbooth for grownups, and what higher compliment could there be?

We Were Liars / E. Lockhart – which I liked but did not love.   Intriguing but ultimately too much prolonged melancholy and the ending seemed abrupt.  I didn't like the characters and maybe I just don’t care for unreliable narrators.   I prefer her Ruby books and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau but admire her for trying something new.

I’ve Got You Under My Skin / Mary Higgins Clark – predictable but this was a good book to listen to on CD during a stressful week because it was extremely repetitive (you would think she was writing a Dickensian serial) and undemanding.  However, the characters were mostly unlikeable and the killer unconvincing.  Not one of her best.

(Outlander image copyright to Starz)

1 comment:

JaneGS said...

Boston and the Civil War looks excellent--you're right, despite my recent reading about abolition, I think of Boston in relation to the Rev War but not the Civil War, but Boston played a big role in the Civil War.

Both Nancy Bond books look so interesting. I like both settings, especially Hadrian's Wall.

I am so excited for Outlander on STARZ--I reread book 1 in anticipation, but didn't think I needed to tackle Dragonfly for a reread yet. I just started her latest book. Just love this series so much!

I was charmed by The Eyre Affair by never felt compelled to read any of the other books by Fforde. Too many other books to read, I suppose.