What I’ve been reading…

I know, it has been a while.  Work, life and a broken laptop.  What else can I say.   I did manage to get through the TBR Double Dog Dare and read 24 books, not quite as many as I had hoped.  Once again, James has inspired me to continue plowing through the piles of unread books I have sitting on shelves and stacked in corners.

I am getting ready for another camping trip with the children and another season of hanging out at the beach, introducing folks to the rich diversity of animals that live in Puget Sound.  I’m not sure what the summer will bring.

As for what I have been reading:

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow WilsonAlif_

Grove Press, New York, 2012

Borrowed from my public library.

A surprising combination of middle-eastern fantasy and cyberpunk.  The story takes place in an unnamed country whose government is turning into an ultra-high level security state.  Internet activists are finding ways to expose corruption and abuse.  The backlash is all too familiar. Alif, a talented hacker, find himself running from state security and dealing with creatures he cannot believe exist.

Filled with djinn, demons and a land only accessible by magic,  layered with high-tech and folklore, this was a fun read.

The Antagonist by Lynn Coadycoady

Knopf, New York, 2013

Borrowed from my library.

I’ve read Lynn Coady before and was impressed.  When this novel was short-listed for the 2011 Scotiabank Giller prize and I learned it was being published in the US, I put it on my hold list at the library.

The Antagonist is “quirky” and only an author with Coady’s skill and daring can pull this kind of thing off.  When Gordon Rankin, known as Rank, picks up a novel written by Adam, an old college friend and discovers it seems to be a thinly veiled fiction about his life he grows irate.  In a series of emails, he rants at Adam and, through those rants,  slowly unburies his own memories and untwists his own story.  Again, as in her collection of short stories, Coady creates a rough, crude and intimidating character that I couldn’t help liking.  I love how this women writes.  The Antagonist will be in my top ten books of 2013.

I’ve also just finished Home by Toni Morrison and Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran.  That one has me anxiously awaiting the second book in this mystery series, Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway, due out in June.

Enough for now.  What have you read lately that really grabbed you?

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18 Comments

Filed under Bookish, Books, Short Reviews, Thoughts

18 responses to “What I’ve been reading…

  1. I’ve been hearing good things about Alif the Unseen. It seems quite intriguing!

  2. You have me interested in The Antogonist. Thanks for the shout out, too. :-)

  3. The Antagonist certainly was a great read, and worthy of the recommendation. I haven’t read Alif the Unseen yet, but I’m also hearing a lot of good things about it. I might just have to take another look… :)

  4. 24 books may not be a lot to you, but you did great! :-) I really need to read Alif the Unseen.

  5. I agree The Antagonist sounds great! And I too love James’ Double Dog Dare. Even after it is over and done, I still try to live that way. So many great books on my shelves!

  6. The Antagonist keeps on slightly tempting me (with its cover) and slightly not tempting me (because I don’t like a mean protagonist). It’s these decisions that make reading choices a constant challenge. :p

    • Jenny, Lynn Coady has a way of making her mean protagonists almost lovable (or at least understandable) in the end. Quite a feat, which is why I really enjoy her writing.

  7. Both books look intriguing. I’ve heard of the first but not the second but would like to read both. My TBR Double Dare wasn’t too bad although I think I only read about 10 books – at least it’s a start, right?

  8. really grabbed me oh the first translation by Patricio Pron into english due out later this year ,all the best stu

  9. Alif sounds like a lot of fun, And as for The Antagonist, I have had every intention of picking that one up for ages — I’ve read some of Coady’s other work and she is great. Glad to hear that you found this one lived up to her skill!

    Lately, I’ve found Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life quite enthralling, and also Ruth Ozeki’s Tale for the Time Being, which I almost gave up on but persevered and ended up loving it.

    • I’ve got Life After Life on my hold list at the library but have yet to read Ozeki, and I wish I could find more of Lynn Coady’s work here in the US!

  10. Lu

    I just picked up Alif the Unseen, too!

  11. LOVE the quirky. WIll tbr the Antagonists right now.

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