Wednesday, November 10, 2021

WWW Wednesday – November 10, 2021

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?
I am currently reading The Secret River by Kate Grenville (2006), a historical novel set in the early 19th century about an Englishman transported to New South Wales with his family. She describes the harsh poverty they experienced in London, the way he and his wife survive challenges and cope with their new lives, and his burning desire to become a landowner – at the expense of others. I’ve been meaning to read this book for years and am glad I finally got it from the library.

I just finished reading Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent (2014). This was a hard book to like because it starts with a man beating his wife, then tells his story in flashbacks from all the people in his life. I disliked it at the beginning, then became interested in spite of myself, but it wasn’t a mystery so much as it was a psychological exploration of a bad seed. Although primarily set in Ireland, it did not have any sense of place except when describing a rural part of France where several of the characters spend a summer.
Another book I just finished was The Young Mrs. Meigs by Elizabeth Corbett (1931), about a widow turning 80 whose family is trying to bully her into giving up her independence and moving in with one of them.  I think the point of the story is that she outwits them and stays in the apartment but I got irritated by her promoting the elopement of her granddaughter to a young man she barely knows instead of encouraging her to attend college. When I read that Corbett went to the University of Wisconsin and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa herself, I disapproved even more. There were some amusing moments but many of them depended on my understanding the rules of bridge. Scott at Furrowed Middlebrow said that some D.E. Stevenson fans enjoy this author but I don’t think I would go out of my way to read another.  I am curious to know if Captive Reader liked this more than I did.

I loved State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Rodham Clinton, but am unsure if I can review it without giving too much away.
Next, I am looking forward to Set Me Free by Ann Clare LeZotte (2021), as I loved her first book, Show Me a Sign about a deaf preteen on Martha’s Vineyard and I just began Dangerous by Degrees: Women at Oxford and the Somerville College Novelists by Susan Leonardi (1989) which I have owned a long time but only dipped into. I did notice that it doesn’t even mention Constance Savery who attended Somerville but wrote children’s novels so did not apparently merit notice.


Cath said...

I read The Secret River some years ago and liked it a lot. I don't read that many books centred around Australia and feel a bit remiss about that as I'm sure there's loads of excellent Aussie lit out there.

Look forward to your thoughts on Dangerous Degrees. I feel sure I've heard of that book before but am not sure how or where.

Adrian said...

What are you currently reading?

Jonathan Frantzen's 'Crossroads'. I have slipped into it easier that I imagined. I'm warming to the characters, like the setting and it's at that lovely moment where it's difficult to put down

What did you recently finish reading?

'Say nothing' a work of narrative non fiction about the troubles in the north of Ireland. I live and was brought up in the north during the conflict but I was impressed with how Radden Keefe stitches the whole thing together, whilst forensically investigating the murder of Jean McConville.

What do you think you’ll read next?
To paradise, by Hanya Yanagihara. I haven't read A little life, but have heard a diverse range of opinions about it. It looks like a biggie and will take me through Christmas.

TracyK said...

The Secret River sounds very good, I will have to seek it out.

Glad to hear that you liked State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am sure I will read it someday, but I have several of the Armand Gamache series to read on my shelves.

CLM said...

I have not read the most recent Three Pines book, Tracy, so it is possible there is one small spoiler. I own it but was thinking of saving it for Christmas Day. Otherwise, I think State of Terror can be read independently.

State of Terror has been on the NYT Bestseller list for a month so maybe it will lead new readers to Penny. The Madness of Crowds sold well but not as well. Surprisingly (to me, at least) The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave has been a bestseller for months. I thought it was good but not that good!