The Luminaries By: Eleanor Catton Format/Source: eBook; my copy
It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky.
Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bus, The Luminaries is a brilliantly constructed, fiendishly clever ghost story and a gripping page-turner. It is a thrilling achievement for someone still in her mid-twenties, and will confirm for critics and readers that Eleanor Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament.
At long last I got around to picking this book up 😛 I had initially picked it up after reading that it had won the Man Booker prize but then it languished on my TBR pile for quite a while–and understandably so, the book is some 800 pages long, you need to carve out some time to read this book 😛
Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).
Books I am currently reading: Still reading The Complete Father Brown Stories but I’ve also started reading the Dylan Thomas Omnibus and re-reading Jonathan Saran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated at placement. I also may or may not have started reading N.K. Jemisin’s The Killing Moon 😉
I’ve been so busy and trying to get through other books (not to mention nominee titles from other years) that I totally forgot that the Man Booker Prize longlist for 2015 was released last week! Interesting list this year; surprise, surprise I actually read a book from the list, Laila Lalami’s The Moor’s Account (review). As always I don’t think I’m going to get around to any of the other titles before the shortlist is announced but I’m guessing Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life is worth checking out? (lots of people were reading this book earlier this year)
Another fun quiz I came across from my Twitter feed: Which Romantic Poet Are You? I got Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whom I never read any poetry from (so far the only Romantic poets I’ve read are Keats, Shelley…oh, and a bit of Byron. So I got Coleridge left from the quartet, yes?)
I found out about this site from IGGPPC: Chanrio.com. I plan on posting my Chanrio somewhere on the blog shortly (maybe later today?)
Oh my gosh, it’s been so hot these last few weeks -_-; I’m so ready for it to be winter again.
The Pan Am Games are over and done with here–I sadly missed the football and rugby events but caught the tail-end of the competitions on the television–and now there’s talk of us putting a bit for the 2024 Summer Olympics. I don’t know how I feel about this -_-; I’m also still sore that because of the Pan Am we didn’t get to host any of the Women’s World Cup matches =/ (let alone any chances of us hosting the Men’s)
I don’t know if you guys know this, but I’m pretty big on instrumental/classical music: Ludovico Einaudi, Max Ritcher, Fabrizio Paterlini, Olafur Arnalds, etc. I recently bought Peter Gregson’s album Lights in the Sky and I am absolutely in love with it:
And that’s about it for me! How was everyone’s July? Hope everyone is having a good week 🙂
Last Orders By: Graham Swift Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
Four men once close to Jack Dodds, a London butcher, meet to carry out his peculiar last wish: to have his ashes scattered into the sea. For reasons best known to herself, Jack’s widow, Amy, declines to join them. On the surface the tale of a simple if increasingly bizarre day’s outing, Last Orders is Graham Swift’s most poignant exploration of the complexity and courage of ordinary lives.
You know my perchance for trying to read Man Booker prize nominees and winners when I have a chance 😉 I’ve long been eyeing this book, partly because I keep hearing it in passing (as well as seeing the author’s books whenever I’m in the bookstore). I recently got my hands on the Picador 40th anniversary edition.
The Little Stranger By: Sarah Waters Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to see a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the once grand house is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its garden choked with weeds. All around, the world is changing, and the family is struggling to adjust to a society with new values and rules.
Roddie Ayres, who returned from World War II physically and emotionally wounded, is desperate to keep the house and what remains of the estate together for the sake of his mother and his sister, Caroline. Mrs. Ayres is doing her best to hold on to the gracious habits of a gentler era and Caroline seems cheerfully prepared to continue doing the work a team of servants once handled, even if it means having little chance for a life of her own beyond Hundreds.
But as Dr. Faraday becomes increasingly entwined in the Ayreses’ lives, signs of a more disturbing nature start to emerge, both within the family and in Hundreds Hall itself. And Faraday begins to wonder if they are all threatened by something more sinister than a dying way of life, something that could subsume them completely.
I read this book around the time it was long- and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize but for some reason never got around to writing my thoughts on it; I’m not sure if this was because I was not book blogging yet or because I wasn’t book blogging regularly at this point. In any case, it made the perfect candidate for a re-read this year 😉 This book is part of the A Year in Re-Reading: a 2014 Reading Challenge that I am participating in.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves By: Karen Joy Fowler Format/Source: Mass bound paperback; my purchase
Rosemary’s young, just at college, and she’s decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we’re not going to tell you too much either: you’ll have to find out for yourselves what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone – vanished from her life.
There’s something unique about Rosemary’s sister, Fern. So now she’s telling her story; a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice.
It’s funny, clever, intimate, honest, analytical and swirling with ideas that will come back to bite you. We hope you enjoy it, and if, when you’re telling a friend about it, you do decide to spill the beans about Fern, don’t feel bad. It’s pretty hard to resist.
I picked up a copy of this book shortly after I heard that it had been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014. I’ve always so behind when it comes to books long- and shortlisted so this is my small attempt of trying to be in the current for this year. By the time this review is posted, the shortlist for this year’s prize should be out and at the time that I’m typing this review out, I’m curious to know if it makes the list.