In January, I started my own personal Westward Ho! reading project, for which I read two books (but only blogged on one; I’ll get there!). I don’t have anything on the immediate agenda for this, only in the abstract future—the next couple of months. I am going to be reading Lions of the West with Aarti, but that’s not going to start until at least March.
Yesterday I started the book for my February book club meeting, Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh. I’ve been taking a bit of a break from book club for the past two months. It’s not that I grew tired of it, it’s just…well, the last two meetings went on for two and a half hours. I mean, I enjoy talking about books, but that is a long time to discuss one book. The discussion is great for about an hour and then it gets too detailed, like people are grasping for straws for something to discuss, and it’s the same couple of people who just keep talking. It is possible to over-discuss a book. Anyway, I just needed a breather and now I’ve had one, so I’m excited for next week’s meeting! The book, by the way, is “eh” so far (I’m 100 pages in). Like every book I’ve read for this book club, I probably won’t love it but I will enjoy the discussion of it.
I started Jonathan Raban’s essay collection, Driving Home, last week, and it is a chunkster. I took a break from it for a bit to start my book club book, but it’s a library book so I plan on finishing it in the next two weeks. (The only time I’m able to start a new book in the middle of another one like this is if it’s essays or short stories!) So far, some of the essays are interesting and some are boring. I thought it would be more of a travelogue, but a lot of his essays are just analyzing other authors’ works and have little to do with American travel. It’s not really what I expected from the book as a whole.
I got some fabulous books from ALA Midwinter, including:
- Marzi, a new graphic novel that the girl at the Random House booth generously let me take
- Maggie Now, a Betty Smith novel I’d never heard of, thanks to the HarpeCollins booth
- Come In and Cover Me, the new Gin Phillips (I loved The Well and the Mine) thanks to Penguin’s $5 all-you-can-hold sale
- The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam (I have Old Filth but haven’t read it yet!)