WWW Wednesdays is a bookish meme originating with “Should Be Reading.”
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions:
- What are you currently reading?
Right now I’m reading Finn (by Jon Clinch.) I had read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (both by Mark Twain) earlier this year because I really couldn’t remember if I had read either Classic before and, I wanted the backstories to this take on Huckleberry Finn’s father. [In a small digression here, when I went to the library, I was extremely annoyed to discover that I couldn’t find “Tom Sawyer” on the stacks. Then I realized I was looking under “S” :-/] To his credit, Jon Clinch did not seek to emulate Twain’s writing style, instead weaving detail-rich scenes with beautifully descriptive phrases; but fair warning, neither is this a humorous satire. It is a dark novel with graphic and haunting moods.
- What did you recently finish reading?
I finished By Nightfall (by Michael Cunningham) last week. It’s very much a lit-fic novel: an exploration of character more than an action-driven plot. As I mentioned before, it’s very much about the interior conflict of a white, upper-middle class guy in NYC who questions his sexuality when his brother-in-law arrives for a stay in his home. This precipitates something of a mid-life crises which, really, when all is said and done, really isn’t that interesting. Maybe there are guys who think this is pretty dramatic stuff; but um, no.
- What do you think you’ll read next?
Next on the stack is The Improper Life of Bezillia Grove (By Susan Gregg Gilmore.) I met S.G.G. at The Books on the Nightstand Reading Retreat in 2011 and as she inscribed in my copy of the book, it was like meeting a “new old friend.” Why did I mention tis first? Because from talking with her, I’m expecting a story that lies very close to my own family’s IRL history (and thereby resonating with me,) told with a bit of humour without being “quirky.” We shall see…
I’ll also be reading the next two chapters of In the Garden of Beasts (by Erik Larson.) It’s okay, interesting in that it is the story of Hitler’s Germany in 1933 – told through the focal lens of America’s first Ambassador to Nazi Germany, William Dodd and, his daughter, Martha; but after having worked on The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (by Grover Gardner) in its entirety last year, I’m not surprised by anything I’m reading.
I also be reading the next chapter of A Distant Mirror (by Barbara Tuchman,) a non-fiction history of England and France in the fourteenth century. I like it well enough; but it’s a shame that, being told from a secular humanist point of view, B.T. doesn’t seem to give credence to religious motivations. There is, instead a certain contempt for the religious aspect which skews the work.