Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October: what I read last, what I'm reading now, what I'll read next




Today I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy's monthly "Twitterature" post to share what I've been reading.

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I just finished Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  I read her novel Purple Hibiscus this summer and absolutely loved it.  Half of a Yellow Sun takes a wider perspective, following three characters caught up in Biafra's fight for independence from Nigeria in the 60's:  Ugwu, a teenage servant; his master's lover, Olanna; and Richard, an Englishman in love with Olanna's twin sister Kainene.  It's a very good book, slow at first and then increasingly intense and suspenseful.  Yet I found it so heavily peopled with minor characters that it was hard to remember and care about them all; and I found myself wishing the story would just stay with the sisters because their relationship was so interesting and moving.  Still, Adichie is a great writer.  (I just found out this book has been made into a movie, though I'd be a bit reluctant to watch it because the book is quite violent in places.)

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I'm now reading Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple; a friend recommended this after her book club did it.  It's about Bernadette (an eccentric agoraphobic), her husband Elgin (an eccentric Microsoft employee), and their brilliant daughter Bee.  I've only started this book and it sure is quirky so far -- but I was hooked when I read this passage that warmed my Canadian heart:

"One of the reasons I don't like leaving the house is because I might find myself face-to-face with a Canadian.  Seattle is crawling with them.  You probably think, U.S./Canada, they're interchangeable because they're both filled with English-speaking, morbidly obese white people.  Well, ... you couldn't be more mistaken.

Americans are pushy, obnoxious, neurotic, crass ... Canadians are none of that.  The way you might fear a cow sitting down in the middle of the street during rush hour, that's how I fear Canadians.  To Canadians, everyone is equal....  No wonder the only Canadians anyone's ever heard of are the ones who've gotten the hell out.  Anyone with talent who stayed would be flattened under an avalanche of equality.  The thing Canadians don't understand is that some people are extraordinary and should be treated as such."


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Next I plan to read our book study group's November choice:  Joseph Boyden's Three Day Road, a novel about two young Cree men who become snipers in World War I.


What have YOU been reading?

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14 comments:

  1. I love how different passages jump out at different people--and your highlighted passage above makes me giggle. LOVE.

    Several twitterature players are reading Where'd You Go, Bernadette this month. I wish I'd known when I was reading it that the author was a writer for Arrested Development! I thought it was an okay read but wasn't completely in love with it, but I would have enjoyed looking for hints of the Bluths in its pages.

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    1. I have to admit I haven't watched Arrested Development but I've heard it's really quirky, so that makes sense. I'm curious to see where the book's headed.

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  2. I really enjoyed Where'd You Go, Bernadette. I loved Bee so much, and I had both high envy and a little bit of disgust for Bernadette and Elgin. Either way, they were definitely memorable characters.

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    1. Yeah, Bee seems very sane. I wonder where she got that! :-)

      Thanks for stopping in today!

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  3. You're right about Bernadette being quirky...it's not a typical book I read but I ended up liking it!

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    1. Good -- I'm forging ahead on curiosity at least! It sure is different. Thanks for commenting.

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  4. Oh, I LOVED Half of a Yellow Sun!!! So, you liked Purple Hibiscus more? I haven't read that one yet.

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    1. Yeah, I think Purple Hibiscus is exceptional. Perhaps my expectations for Yellow Sun were higher than they would have been if I hadn't read PH first. She's a great writer, though, as I said.

      Thanks for stopping by & commenting!

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  5. Thanks for the suggestion Three Day Road. It sounds like a book my husband would like. I've also heard good things about Where'd You Go Bernadette, although I haven't yet read it. Looks like it's going on the ever growing to-read list.

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    1. Yes, thanks to Twitterature my list never seems to get any shorter!

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. It's so refreshing to see that you loved Adichie's work! I'm Nigerian and swelled with pride as I read her work. She's a great writer. I LOVE purple Hibiscus.
    Great to link up with you!

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    1. Thanks, Ibukun! I'd be proud too if I were you. :-) Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. This is the second mention I've seen for Where'd You Go, Bernadette! Adding it to my list now :)

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    1. It's odd, that's for sure! I'm not sure what to expect when I turn the page!

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