On the Book Shelf ♥ 3.07.10

Photo by bee hives

As winter wraps up its chilly reign over the Northern Hemisphere, I’m trying to cross off as many books as possible that are on my To Read List. I haven’t read as much as I’ve wanted to since this past fall — what a horrible bookworm, eh? — and the same can be said about story-writing. Ever since my first short story submission back in December, I’ve been taking a unexpectedly long hiatus from writing. I said I would start again after the holidays; but I just got lazy, choosing instead to brush up on my forensic anthropology à la Bones, and to pick up sketching and painting with watercolors, which I haven’t done in months and months.

I don’t regret taking that time off. As strange as it may sound, Bones taught me a little something about human communication and relationships that I have since been able to apply to my own relationships with others. Sketching and painting allowed me to exercise my creative muscles differently, and it provided me with a balance to my text-heavy diet. All in all, it was a good respite. But now that I have two submission opportunities lined up in the next two months, I need to return to my reading and writing regimen.

Below are some books that I haven’t yet gotten the chance to read this season. Hopefully, I’ll have them under my belt by springtime.

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
While caring for an old school friend at the brink of his epithetic “completion” as a doner, thirty-one year-old Kathy H. looks back at her days as a student at Hailsham, an isolated boarding school set in the countryside of a dystopian Britain. Through her recollections, Kathy reveals the school’s startling secret and its tragic, long-reaching grip on the destinies of the students who attended.

The Swan Thieves, Elizabeth Kostova
The orderly life of psychiatrist Dr. Andrew Marlow is turned upside down with the arrival of his newest patient, artist Robert Oliver, who was caught attempting a brutal attack on a painting in the National Gallery of Art. When entrusted to Marlow’s care, Oliver refuses to speak on the matter, and shortly refuses to speak at all. The only clues that Marlow has are the packet of old letters in Oliver’s possession, and a mysterious woman whom Oliver obsessively sketches over and over again. Determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, Marlow delves into the artist’s personal history. Through interviews with the women in Oliver’s life, and the contents of the old letters, Marlow slowly pieces together the artist’s past, and discovers a link to a scandal at the heart of French Impressionism.

Reader — How about you? What have you been reading, or plan on reading?

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6 thoughts on “On the Book Shelf ♥ 3.07.10”

  1. I know I’m several months late, but I’ve read several good books recently.

    Timeline by Michael Crichton is what comes to mind first. My sweetie recommended it sometime ago, and I only got around to checking it out from the library in May. It’s set in a version of our world where quantum technology led to time travel of a sort, and a group of historians get trapped in the middle ages and have to get home. It took a bit to get into it, but once I got past the bad physics, it was interesting. I don’t normally read Crichton, so it was nice to step out of my literary comfort zone.

    I’ve also been on a sci-fi kick recently, and have been getting into Ursula LeGuin. She’s much more approachable in terms of time travel.

    Swan Theives sounds very interesting.

    1. Timeline! My math teacher (of all people) at CHS read bits of that book every day for a few minutes before he would start on instruction. Or was that Jurassic Park…? Actually, maybe both. Haha. Anyway, I’ll add that to my list of books to read. Thank you for the recommendation!

      I’ve heard of Ursula LeGuin! Can you recommend any books as a starter? All I know is Earthsea, which I’ve heard is amazing.

      Sounds promising, doesn’t it? I still have yet to read it, but I’m kind of worried because I’ve read so many negative reviews on the book.

      1. I started with A Fisherman of the Inland Sea, because it was a short story book, and I needed something not so deep to read during lulls during the Summer Reading Program. I wanted to start with the first Earthsea, but the Rancho Library didn’t have it. I’m a fan of short stories for testing new authors anyways.

        For a book like that, I would be worried too. If you can get it at the library, I’d say go for it, since you’re not out anything unless your library charges for holds. And if you don’t like it, you can take it back and just get something better.

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