Sunday, November 23, 2008

Reading when it is cold out there!

There are many hours in the day when it is cold outside. A quick run outside is sometimes the only fresh air that I get, thanks to Gaia who doesn't have a choice to stay in. Those moments are precious because I get to assess the temperature (passing by the thermometer) and reinforce that inside the house is the place to be at the moment. ahahah. There are plenty of things to do when you have a three stories house, always something to clean, to eat (!), a tea to brew, sewing, beading, paying bills etc. Once things are under control reading is a natural choice. So I have been catching up with some books that didn't appear on my sideline category "What I am reading right now". Years ago I had started "The Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri. She is a master storyteller. Not realizing that it was a book of short stories I starting with the first "chapter" and loved it. Then the second.... wait a minute something was wrong.... the second "chapter" had nothing to do with the first one and.... oh I get it!!! they were stories standing on their own.... (I know I can be dense) Anyway I got really angry because I wanted to know the rest of the first story. It was too short. So many things unresolved. In few pages I was hooked, I cared and loved and felt and cried for those characters so I felt let down. Eventually I read more of it after that and loved every stories. First I am passionate about India and Ms Lahiri seems to know the essence of India, the joy and the sorrow. Also a lot of them have a real ending some finality about them that things have been resolved. She is very clever about mixing situations and characters and adding the charm and wisdom necessary to make you think and change how you see things yourself. Every one of the story is strong and makes you reevaluate your views on human behavior. This read was long due. I have read "The Namesake" making sure that it was a "real" novel this time..ahahha. I purchased her new book of short stories "Unaccustomed Earth". I am looking forward to travel through the visions of this fabulous author once more.

I have also read the first book of a mystery series by Jacqueline Winspear, "Maisie Dobbs". Ms Dobbs is a detective living between WWI and WWII in London. Lots of British lingo. Very well constructed and informative about that time in history. Some flashback to set the characters in perspective. I am hooked. I got "Birds of a Feather" the second in the series. I am finishing also a very short book "A Month in the Country" by J L Carr. Also very British. I didn't get some idioms but it is so entertaining. Really fun plot and can't wait to get back to it.

Billy Collins has written a new book of poems that I am waiting patiently to come from Amazon. I keep in my car Margaret Atwood's "Moral Disorders and other stories". Another book of shorts. This is a great one because those stories are all about the same character during different time of her life. I like more and more short stories because you don't have to read the book all at once. It is like sipping wine or even sipping tequila. Margaret Atwood is so acidic at times that she could give you a heartburn if read in one "shot". I do love her twisted stories.

I am off to California for a week and I am taking with me "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I love her first page... that is how far I have gone since two months that I posted it it as my current read... What is that all about? I am a bit scared of the story, that might have something to do with it.
On my PTR (pile to read) I have:
Proust was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer
Blindness by Jose Saramago
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
So may the winter be long and cold.... just kidding!!!

6 comments:

BooksPlease said...

Well would you believe I had the same reaction to The Interpreter of Dreams - I didn't realise it was a book of short stories. I was disappointed and because it was a library book I took it back unread as I had many other books I wanted to read! I'm sorry now.

Maisie Dobbs is a favourite and anything by Margaret Atwood is great - I'm not a great fan of short stories but hers are excellent (Jane Gardam's are good too).

I loved the first part of The Shadow of the Wind but found the latter half less riveting.

Your PTR pile (like it) looks as though it'll keep you going for a while!

roxanestoner said...

Oh thank you Margaret for your post. I am going to look into Jane Gardam. It is new to me. The Shadow of the Wind has been recommended to me by at least three people so I am giving it a try but the synopsis scares me a little bit. We shall see. I will keep you "posted". No pun intended.
I hope that you give The Interpreter of Maladies another try. One of my favorite is the last one.

Anonymous said...

Hi Roxane,
Have a great trip to California and wonderful warm weather. Thanks for the books you gave me to take on my trip to Denver, they are a perfect escape from lifes realities. I also like the PTR idea.
Take care.
Linda

roxanestoner said...

Thank you Linda. Hope that your Thanksgiving was nice in Portland. Got to a Yoga class yesterday morning. Nice stretches to release the stress. Talk to you soon.
Glad your are enjoying the books.

Lionheart said...

This photo of Gia makes miss everyone.
Happy Holidays to all.

Rick C

roxanestoner said...

Thank you Rick. We miss you too. Enjoy the Holidays yourself.