Wednesday, October 27, 2021

WWW Wednesday – October 27

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?
What a collaboration!  I am currently reading or should I say listening to State of Terror by Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny, which I am greatly enjoying as I drive back and forth to work. It’s about a Secretary of State dealing with a terrorist situation. It’s less than 6 miles to my office but it usually takes 40 minutes to get there so entertainment is key. One sign of a good audio book is when you don’t want to get out of your car!

In addition, I am reading How to Be Brave by Daisy May Johnson, a lively boarding school story based on many classics of the genre. It reads a little like Eva Ibbotson - but more arch.
I recently finished Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro for my Book Group. This started out well with two robots in a store window longing to be chosen, purchased, and brought home. It reminded me of some of Rumer Godden’s doll books. The first half of the book was interesting as Klara, a very sentient machine, became acquainted with and devoted to Josie, her owner. Although it was very readable and I was curious to know what would happen, I felt the second half of the book dragged as Klara tried to negotiate with the sun. It just stopped making sense to me and the characters all grew apart, so I wasn’t thrilled with the dénouement. Some of my friends objected to a science fiction theme but it just seemed like ordinary fiction about a somewhat different but recognizable society to me.
For next month, I suggested my Book Group read A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier and they agreed. Some of my friends do not like historical fiction as much as I do! I know this is shocking. Carrie says it is because some of the books I chose used stilted language. I suppose that might have been true of The Scapegoat by Daphne DuMaurier (I would say mannered, not stilted - and we had a great discussion that night) but I certainly don’t think it was true of Dawn’s Early Light by Elswyth Thane (trying to think what else I selected in recent years). Anyway, fortunately, there was a very positive NPR review, plus everyone remembered liking Girl with a Pearl Earring (I recall my grandmother also really enjoyed that book).  Chevalier is clearly a kindred spirit: she loved Anne of Green Gables as a child, also Joan Aiken, Susan Cooper, and Lloyd Alexander (oddly, three authors I met).
What else should I read next? I have quite an assortment of library books hoping for attention, including The Love-Child by Edith Olivier (who recommended this?) and The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies (Helen at She Reads Novels got me interested in her books).  I also have a paper to write that is due on November 7th.


Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Oh, yay, I have State of Terror and hope to read it soon.

I'm curious about The Love Child.

Thanks for visiting my blog, and enjoy your week.

LyzzyBee said...

Ooh, I have The Love Child to read at the weekend as I have a review copy from the British Library Women Writers people! I just finished Toufah by Toufah Jallow, the moving story of the young woman who started the African equivalent of the #MeToo movement, and am reading a Jane Linfoot romance I'll finish today. Then I have two more novels to get in before nonfiction November starts!

Laura said...

Both of the last two titles look interesting to me. Thanks for sharing them. And thanks for coming by and checking out my Wednesday post.

Adira said...

Gah! I loved Eva Ibbotson's books as a kid! Which Witch?, Island of the Aunts, and The Secret of Platform 13 were some of my favorites.

I never got around to reading The Girl With the Pearl Earring after I saw the movie. However, I've now added it and Hilary Clinton and Louis Penny's books to my TBR List.

Here is my WWW Wednesday post:

I hope you enjoy the rest week!

CLM said...

Liz, maybe you mentioned The Love Child and that is why I requested it from the library. Perhaps I will read it this weekend too.

I don't think Jane Linfoot has been published in the US but I have seen the titles and they sound perfect for reading on a cold, rainy night, which is what I seem to have this entire week.

Lex @ Lexlingua said...

A lot of people are talking about State of Terror, the author duo's appeal is so powerful. As for stilted/ mannered language, I'm all for it -- historicals are my preferred brand of literature. I've watched the movie for Girl with a Pearl Earring, and if it's anything like the book, then I already like Chevalier. Plus, the "kindred spirit" angle. :)

JaneGS said...

I like just about everything by Tracy Chevalier--her stories are all so different from each other. I did really like A Single Thread--hope your group does as well. For the record, I loved The Scapegoat, so I am not a good judge of what you book club will like :)

CLM said...

I really liked the Scapegoat too and I thought my book group had one of our best discussions about it. One of the people who disliked it had a really bad edition with typos and I think that affected her feelings about the book, which is silly

Diana said...

It was very interesting to read your review of Klara and the Sun and I agree that the second half of the book is somewhat disappointing. You said that it reminded you of Rumer Godden's doll stories - that is the author I wanted to read for ages now, are there really striking similarities between the two?

CLM said...

Not really, Diana. The beginning is set up like many doll stories where the dolls are portrayed as sentient and longing for children to purchase them, and that is primarily what reminded me of Rumer Godden, as well as the affectionate relationship between Klara and her owner. However, I do recommend Godden but be aware that her work is extremely varied. Miss Happiness and Miss Flower is my favorite, I think.