Last week was spent with me trying to be more organized, which worked out pretty well (as you can tell from the more frequent updates of the workout playlists on IntheGym.net - and a return to running). Over the weekend though, I had grand plans to read a few books during our weekend trip to Harvard (see Weekend Road Tripping Reads) - but that didn't work out quite so well.
The Outlaw Album, Daniel Woodrell. Desperation, both material and psychological, motivate the characters in these stories. A husband cruelly avenges the murder of his wife's pet; an injured rapist is cared for by a young girl, until she reaches her breaking point; a disturbed veteran of Iraq is murdered for his erratic behavior; an outsider's house is set on fire by an angry neighbor.
There are only 12 short stories in this book, and although they are fictional, they ring true. My favorite stories were Night Stand, about a veteran who wakes up one night to find someone standing over his bed, naked; and Florianne, about how a man is coping after the abduction of his daughter. The only stories I didn't quite get into were Black Step, about a veteran who has basically checked out of making big decisions in life; and The Horse in Our History, which brings to the forefront different peoples recollections about a man's grandfather who was killed (or committed suicide) in the 1960s. Most memorable line: Luck is a goddess, but if you bet on her she will desert you faster than a Frenchman! (p. 110, story: Woe to Live On) - ain't that the truth!
Zone One, Colson Whitehead - (almost finished and it was really good - I can see why it's on quite a few "Best Books of 2011" lists).
In this wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel, a pandemic has devastated the planet. The plague has sorted humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead.
Next Up - choices, choices - which one should I read next?
Imaginary Girls, Nova Ren Suma. Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby. But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await.
The Magicians, Lev Grossman. Quentin Coldwater is a senior in high school, and a certifiable genius, but he's still secretly obsessed with a series of fantasy novels he read as a kid, about a magical land called Fillory. Everything changes when Quentin finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York.
- What are you looking forward to reading this week?
- via Book Journey's What are you reading meme.