What Are You Reading, RIP Edition

What Are You Reading RIPThis past week saw the launch of the latest reading challenge from Carl at Stainless Steep Droppings: the Readers Imbibing Peril autumn reading experience.  This one focuses on the darker side of books, like mysteries, gothic and horror.  Read my launch post here.

I expect my reading to get a bit more shadowy in coming weeks…though not so much just yet, because I have to get some of my shadowy reads from the library still!

Right now I’m midway through The Professor by Charlotte Bronte–because it’s Charlotte Bronte and I madly love Jane Eyre.  So far, I’m not quite sure if I like The Professor, but I like reading it…if that makes any sense!  There’s just something about how Bronte puts words together, and I can’t explain it beyond that.  I’m also reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.  It’s a little heavy on the science but is still very readable and has really interesting insights, particularly about how society tends to favor the extrovert ideal…which may not be the right fit for all of us who like curling up alone with books!

Next up I plan to reread the wonderful, amazing, incredible The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, to be followed by its sequel, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There.  This, of course, is to prepare for the release of Book Three next month: The Girl Who Soared Above Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two.  I LOVE those titles!!  I’m counting these books for RIP too, with a creepy autumn scene in the first and lots of shadows in the second.

If it arrives soon enough from my library, I think I’ll read Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame in between the two Fairyland books.  I’ve been wanting to read it ever since I went to Notre Dame to see Quasi’s gargoyles–and even more since reading Les Miserables.  It’s another good one for RIP too, and for my goal to read more long and intimidating books!

A Hidden Magic by Vivian Vande Velde (new) and The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (reread) are a couple I have on my shelf that I’ve been meaning to get to–and which ought to keep me busy if I finish the others while still waiting on the rest on my library’s hold list.

Speaking of which–I’m up to #44 in line for The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.  I was #125 when I joined the list, and it’s since grown to 266…not that I’m keeping track or anything.

So much for me!  Visit Book Journey for other What Are You Reading posts.  And…what are you reading?

What Are You Reading, Mostly Montgomery Edition

What Are You Reading - MontgomeryRegular readers know that I’m kind of a fan of L. M. Montgomery.  So it may surprise you that I haven’t read her Emily of New Moon trilogy since I was sixteen!  I’ve reread plenty of others, but it’s been a long time for that one.  So this week I am deep into correcting that oversight.  I’m almost done with the first book, and plan to go right along into Emily Climbs and Emily’s Quest.

I find it fascinating to read these after reading Montgomery’s journals, as there are a number of incidents in Emily’s life lifted directly from Montgomery’s own life.  I also find it fascinating that long books always give me qualms, yet I can contemplate reading three books directly in a row, 900 pages total, without batting an eye.  Although since it’s a reread, I do know what I’m getting into too…

After Emily, I plan to jump to another reread and read The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, another favorite I haven’t visited in too long.

Meanwhile at the library, I’m #75 in the hold list for Neil Gaiman’s new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which is not bad considering I got in line at #125, and there’s currently a hold list of 237.  I’m also planning to continue my series reading, and have on hold Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier, and The Passion of the Purple Plumeria by Lauren Willig, the next book in the Pink Carnation series, which releases on Tuesday.

So much for my reading plans!  Visit Book Journey for other What Are You Reading posts.  And…what are you reading?

What Are You Reading, History Edition

What Are You Reading - HistoryI didn’t plan it, but lately my reading has been revolving around history.  And, oddly enough, not historical fiction!  I’m midway through Winston and Clementine, a collection of letters between Winston Churchill and his wife, Clemmie.  They’re just adorable, and are an amazing blend of huge world events, domestic concerns, and romance.  One letter might feature lunch with the Prime Minister, questions about household bills, and cute nicknames!

I’m also researching for my Phantom of the Opera retelling.  I finished Eccentricity and the Cultural Imagination in 19th Century Paris, which was remarkably helpful.  I skimmed parts, but other parts were fascinating, and on the whole it gave me good insights and some shocking historical details.  I found out they were still exhibiting people in freak shows and “anthropological exhibits” in Paris into the 1930s!

I’ve read about half of Nights in the Big City for research purposes as well, and it has been less helpful.  It’s too theoretical, discussing philosophies when I really just want to know what the night was like for people in the late 1800s.  For example, in the chapter on unaccompanied women, there’s long discussion about the societal and moral codes that influence women, how they were perceived and what archetypes were involved, etc., etc., when all I really want to know is whether a woman would have felt alarmed walking unaccompanied through Paris at night in 1880.  (I think the answer is yes, but there was lots of rhetoric to wade through to determine that.)

I’m enjoying Winston and Clementine, but I’m finding it hard to stick with them for 650 pages straight.  I took a break after World War I to read The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex (excellent!) and plan to break again just before World War II.  I want to read Gryphon’s Eyrie by Andre Norton and A. C. Crispin, to finish out that trilogy.

So much for what I’m reading!  Visit Book Journey for more posts.  And…what are you reading? 🙂

What Are You Reading?

itsmondayIt’s been a couple of weeks since my last What Are You Reading post, so it looks like time to check in again…

My last post mentioned the pile of series -books I was planning to read, and which I am happy to say I finished up this week.  Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card means finishing the Ender Quartet, The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig got me up to date on the Pink Carnation series, and after finishing Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier, I just have one book left in the Sevenwaters series too.  Progress!

Coming up next, I decided to read a couple of very light books, after all the denser ones I’ve been reading lately (meaning: Tolkien).  I decided to do a reread of a fun time travel book, The Secret of the Ruby Ring by Yvonne MacGrory, and The Ogre Downstairs by Diana Wynne Jones is one I’ve somehow never got around to (despite loving her books!)

What Are You ReadingNot at all on the lighter side, I also have Eccentricity and the Cultural Imagination in 19th Century Paris by Miranda Gill, and Nights in the Big City: Paris, London, Berlin, 1840-1930 by Joachim Schlor.  Both are research for my next novel, a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera.  Seeing as I’m writing about a masked man who lives under an Opera House in 1880s Paris, it is a source of wonder to me that there’s actually a book about the cultural attitude towards eccentricity, in that city, at that time.  I have no idea yet if it will actually have anything useful, but I’m fascinated by the prospect!

And the last big thick book, somehow strangely on the lighter side, is a book of letters between Winston Churchill and his wife, Clementine.  I started reading it a few years ago and absolutely loved it (who knew Winston Churchill could be cute and romantic and adorable?) but somehow got sidetracked and never finished.  So I’m resolved to pick that up again too.

So much for my plans!  What are you reading this week?

What Are You Reading?

itsmondayI’m moving into a new phase of reading, so it’s the perfect time for another What Are You Reading post?  And by “new phase,” I mean “not centered around Lord of the Rings!”  I finished reading Return of the King, so after two months of all my other books orbiting Tolkien’s big challenges, I’m back to more open territory.

My immediate plans are to continue on with a number of series I’m midway through.  That means Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card (Ender series), The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig (Pink Carnation series), Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier (Sevenwaters series) and Gryphon in Glory by Andre Norton (…I don’t think the series has a name).  That’s a lot of series reading, but I’m close to the end on all of these, and eager to tie things up!

No picture of a book stack this time, because most of these books are still on their way from the library.  No matter–in the meantime, I’m reading Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings by Mary Rubio, an enormous biography of my favorite author.  It’s crazy-detailed, and is giving me all the cultural context and alternate-sides-to-the-story that Montgomery’s journals (which are lovely) don’t include.

Once I finish off a few more series, then I’m thinking I’ll get to the very long To Be Read list that has rather got away from me in the last several months…

What are you reading this week?