First up in the reject category, Stephen King's Lisey's Story. As a teenager I was addicted to this man's books and kept them on the bookshelf with my well-worn Bantam and Signet classics. I wanted to read his latest partly because the cover really caught my eye, and the size of it made it look like a potentially satisfying book to really fall into. But after getting about 50 pp. in I realized I had no idea what on earth was going on, and that seemed enough of a time investment to me. Sorry, Stephen, it's not you, it's me.
Tossed aside with greater force is Sena Jeter Naslund's Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette. I got irritated with this one pretty much immediately. The prose glows purple, and I knew it was a bad sign when I was subjected to the image of a very young Marie Antoinette contemplating her nipples and waxing dramatic about her toenail being the last part of her body to touch silk from Austria. Spare me the melodrama, please.
A book I'm planning to restart is Heidi Julavits's The Uses of Enchantment. I think I just got a bad start with it, as I was reading it in the car (not while I was driving, I rush to assure you) and there were lots of shiny objects distracting me. The prose is a cut above the other two I gave up on, and the story is compelling. I think I'll try this one again and see how I do with it.
Finally, the books I'm actively reading currently:
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (re-read several times over)
King Dork by Frank Portman (watch out for this one; it's amazingly fresh and powerful)
Katherine by Anya Seton (yes, technically a romance, but one packed full with authentic historical detail, including lots of info about a young Geoffrey Chaucer)
Despite fighting a reading malaise, I think I'm having a decent reading week after all.
- Lisa Guidarini - Bluestalking Reader
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