Welp, I (almost) finished up my whole last batch of books – all but Her Honor, which I’m taking my sweet time with. Reading about Rosalie Wahl and the First Wave Minnesotan Feminists makes me feel like a wounded Superman flying into outer space to be rejuvenated by the sun: magnificent and astonishing to behold, awesome and terrible to experience. I’m going to savor that. (Individual reviews for The Butterfly Mosque are here and here, and for Oryx and Crake here.)
I also finished that book about Lizzie Borden, and don’t plan to review it separately. All I’ll say about it here is that it was interesting, longer than it needed to be, that some sort of monster from the sea was the reason for the Borden murders, and Lizzie was a lesbian. Somewhat surprisingly for a monster story, it turned out to be my preferred bedtime reading (owing, in no small part, I’m sure, to the fact that I had it on my Kindle, so I could read with the light off and not disturb Husband).
I’m not very far in, and already completely hooked. Kim’s writing is open and direct, but leaves me feeling slightly off-center in a way I can’t quite figure out. Kim is a native of Seoul, and came to the United States in her early teens. At first I thought the off-kilter feeling might be due to the subtle strangenesses that are peculiar to the writing and speaking of a fluent, but non-native, speaker. But that’s not it; Kim’s English is flawless, effortless, and fully Americanized. No, I think it might just be the subject matter itself. North Korea is so strange, so foreign to someone like me, safely ensconced in my middle-class American life, that everything about it seems half-impossible. I’m so fascinated, that I’ll probably end up leapfrogging from this to other books about North Korea and China – I’ve got Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, and The People’s Republic of Amnesia, Tiananmen Revisited already on my Kindle, ready to go.
What else should I add to my current reading pile? I’ve got two non-fiction books, here, and I’d like to add some imagination to the mix. I’ve been on a sci-fi/fantasy kick for a little while, so something different might be nice. I’ve got a copy of Villette that’s been sitting, unread, on my shelf for a shameful number of years. Or, what about kicking off a children’s/young adult series? I could go back and re-read the books of my childhood that made me into a Reader (the Little House books, Nancy Drew, Caddie Woodlawn, The Giver, Bridge to Terabithia, The Phantom Tollbooth), and finally pick up the ones I haven’t gotten to, yet. *Ahem, Harry Potter.* (In my defense, JK Rowling makes it way more difficult to buy these fuckers than it needs to be. You have to go to a whole separate website, and set up an account, which, really, is a bridge too far, IMHO.)
What’s on your docket, dear readers?