Home » Book Stuff » What I’m Reading 9-21-13

What I’m Reading 9-21-13

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It is the first real rain of the season today, and if you’re anything like me, dear reader, then the only way you can think to spend a rainy Saturday is by curling up on the couch with a cup of hot coffee in your hand, a napping dog at your feet, and a good book in your lap. Or two good books…or four…being decisive has never been one of my strong suits. 

I’m having a bit of trouble deciding what book I should devote my time to now that I’ve (finally) finished George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, so, for the time being, I’m going to dabble in four that I’ve been wanting to read for weeks (or years, in V for Vendetta’s case) now. The first, which I mentioned in my last What I’m Reading post back in August, is Adam Johnson’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Orphan Master’s Son. More and more people I’ve talked to have read this book, and all of them have had nothing but positive things to say about it, so I figure it’s time for me to jump on that bandwagon as well. If nothing else, it’ll be a fascinating example of a work that’s written by someone who’s writing off of research rather than personal experience (seeing as, you know, Americans don’t actually know all that much about what life in North Korea is like). And Adam Johnson is just across the Bay at Stanford, so I’ve got to support my Bay Area writers!

Another book everyone’s been raving to me about is the one I picked up last weekend, Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad. Another Pulitzer Prize winner, this one from 2011, this book has been turning heads and wracking up awards ever since it came out back in 2010. I’ve only read the first ten pages, and already I’m in love with Egan’s style. With dialogue exchanges like “‘You’re happy,’ Alex said. ‘I’m always happy,’ Sasha said. ‘Sometimes I just forget'” popping up as early as page six, how can I not be excited about this book? (Not going to lie, it helps that one of the characters is named Alex, too. Team Alex, represent!)

Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s graphic novel classic V for Vendetta is something that I’ve been meaning to read ever since I saw the movie—which I absolutely loved—in theaters back in 2005. I am a fan of graphic novels and have read the heavy hitters like Watchmen and Maus and Persepolis, but for whatever reason I’ve just never gotten around to V for Vendetta. So, when my friend showed me his copy and suggested that I read it after I finished up with the Game of Thrones books, I immediately leapt at the opportunity. That was about a month ago, though, so I should probably get cracking on this one first so that I can get it back to him…in addition to being indecisive, I’m not always the best at returning borrowed books either…

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Finally, that little blur at the bottom of the title picture is the ebook I’m reading now (I’ve temporarily given up on In Cold Blood. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t get through that book!), Chapel of Carnal Love by Susan Starr Richards. I bought this one about a month back off of Amazon for $5.50 when I was in the middle of the Game of Thrones books at the recommendation of my parents, because it’s set in King Arthur times and features strong, slightly unconventional female characters (which are my favorite type of female characters). It also happens to be written by my dad’s former writing professor and friend, so I’m extra excited to check it out and maybe (if she’ll let me) interview the writer about it!

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6 thoughts on “What I’m Reading 9-21-13

  1. Dear Bewildered 20something writer,

    I can’t find your name anywhere or your email address, so I suppose I’ll just write you here. Are you trying to get a novel published or are you already writing one? If so, would you ever consider exchanging chapters? I have a lot to learn a lot from you.

    – Thomas

    • I am currently trying (key word, trying haha) to write a novel. I wrote roughly a third of it for my Master’s thesis, so I’m trying to crank out the last of it during November for NaNoWriMo.

      My pages are nowhere near ready to see the light of day yet (mostly because the majority of them are still in my head rather than on paper 😛 ) but I’d be super down to take a look at anything you wanted to send me! I’m currently a reader for two of my writing friends on a regular basis, and have a lot of overall experience checking out manuscripts in all stages from doing peer reading, classroom/workshop reading, and manuscript vetting for a literary management agency and a development (ie movie production) company 🙂

      The turnaround time migghhttt be a little bit slower than usual just because I’m in full blown NaNoWriMo prep this month and then will be doing NaNoWriMo next month. That said, depending on the length I could take a look and probably get comments and overall thoughts back to you within a week or two.

      • Ah, hello Alex! Wow, thank you so much for the offer. Can send you the first few chapters immediately if you give me an email? Thanks so much for the help. I feel like I stumbled on the jackpot of all bloggers!

      • Sure! My email is alexharveygurr@gmail.com. I’m working on tomorrow and Thursday’s blog posts right now, but I’ll look at the manuscript when I wrap up later tonight and give you a guestimate of when I can get you comments back by then 🙂

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