WWW Wednesday 2-12-14

WWW Wednesday. This meme is from shouldbereading.

 

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

• What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading two books.  The first is a pair of erotica novellas, written by the friend of a friend and published through Xlibris.  Alas, I have nothing positive to say about these novellas — the characters are flat, the writing is poor, the plot (such as it is) is trite, and the erotic content is tame and uninteresting.  I know that this author writes in a vacuum; she does not work with critique partners, and she doesn’t participate in groups related to erotica or romance writing.  The novellas, unwittingly, are an argument for authors to find and/or build communities before they pay large amounts to see their books published.  Sigh.

My other reading is more to my taste – Kate Quinn’s historic novel, The Serpent and the Pearl.  Set in Italy, when the Borgias ruled, this historical novel is everything my other read isn’t.  It has great characters, described in fascinating ways, as they move through a complex plot with believable emotion.  (If you can’t tell, I’m loving this book!)

• What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished reading David Ebershoff’s The 19th Wife, a book which left me deeply conflicted.  I read it over a ridiculously long time period (almost four weeks), in part because I was fitting it in between two writing retreats and a lot of other busy-ness.  The book itself skips back and forth between the nineteenth and the twenty-first century.  I found some of those jumps hard to follow (a problem likely exacerbated by my electronic reading device, which presented all the passages in the same font.)

Ebershoff has created some interesting characters, and he explores a fascinating cult (a splinter sect of polygamists who long-ago separated from the Mormon Church.)  He creates some interesting parallels between his past-tense story and his present-tense one.

Ultimately, though, I was frustrated by the rapid resolution of the modern story.  At the same time, I thought the historic story dragged on for too long.  Part of my frustration was based on not knowing how much of the past story was made up and how much was real.  (I recently saw an elegant solution to this problem, in Mary Doria Russell’s Doc, where she created a list at the front of the book, italicizing the names of characters she made up.  I’d love for more authors to adopt this convention when they write historical fiction!)

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I have Joyce Carol Oates’s The Accursed sitting on my to-be-read shelf.  It’s long, meaty, and gothic — should keep me busy for a while!  🙂

What about you? What are you reading, have you been reading, wanting to read next?

 

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WWW Wednesday 2-12-14 — 8 Comments

  1. Pingback: WWW Wednesday | Mindy Klasky, Author

  2. You’ve convinced me to read The Serpent and the Pearl. Sounds yummy.

    I haven’t read Joyce Carol Oates in so many decades. I can’t remember liking her. But it was so long ago, who knows?

    • She’s written so many books, often with very divergent tones… This one is set at my alma mater, and it appealed to me for the Gothic horror… We’ll see!

  3. Read:
    Wrede On Writing by Patricia C. Wrede
    Astro City Vol. 1: Life in the Big City by Kurt Busiek
    Reading:
    The Hive: The Story of the Honeybee and Us by Bee Wilson
    To read:
    Not sure. not sure at all. Maybe:
    Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War by Richard Ellis Preston Jr.

  4. I’m re-reading the Memory Sorrow Thorne series by Tad Williams. All 12 (!) parts of them, since the Swedish publisher decided to split each book in three parts. I’m reading the third part, and so far I really like them.