Lots of restless reading this week, resulting in an above-average number of books being tossed aside with great force. Part of it is a personal general malaise, so keep that in mind if you find the list somewhat shocking. I can't guarantee I'd feel differently about any of these books when my mood is better, but I'm keeping the door open on that idea.
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