May Reading – The Month Ahead

I’m always interested in hearing what my friends are reading (this is why Goodreads.com is favorited in my browser). Maybe you are the same way? Here’s what I think I’ll be working on in May:

First, a few ‘required’ reads, including a re-read of Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Slapstick, for the monthly meeting of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Book Club. The club has covered all of his novels already and this will be the first “repeat” since I began participating. I think this was only the third Vonnegut novel I had read at the time of my initial reading, and – now that I’ve learned so much more of this author and his works – I’m really looking forward to revisiting it.

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(above: the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library’s replica of Kurt Vonnegut’s study)

One of the reading groups at Bookmama’s Bookstore in Irvington is meeting on the 29th to discuss the second half of the Tolstoy Classic, Anna Karenina. I attended the first meeting, but have kind of left the daunting novel lie fallow for a few weeks. I need to pick it up again and see what happens to Anna, Vronsky, Constantin, & Kitty. When I finish this book, a serious gap (one of very many, I’m afraid) in my cultural literacy will finally be filled. I wouldn’t mind seeing the movie adaptation with Keira Knightley in the title role either…

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My Great Books Foundation discussion group is meeting on the 21st to discuss the famous Lawrence Sargent Hall story, “The Ledge.” It is also my turn to lead the discussion, so I plan to thoroughly read this one and be prepared.

(below: Lawrence Sargent Hall, author of “The Ledge”)

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I’ve also been reading Veronica Roth’s novel, Divergent, and may even wrap that one up this weekend. I’m liking it so far, but I admittedly have a thing for dystopic fiction. This one kind of feels like Harry Potter meets Hunger Games meets Brave New World. I know a few of my fellow bloggers were disappointed in the sequel, but enough of them also liked this one to cause me to take the plunge.  Oh, and it’s set in a post-apocalyptic(?) Chicago too (don’t you recognize Lake Michigan on the cover?), so as a midwesterner that’s a plus.

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What else? Oh, yeah, I hope to start reading The Shift Omnibus by Hugh Howey. It’s the anticipated prequel to the addictive “Wool” omnibus, which I tore through last month and have been recommending around to anyone who dares ask me. Someday I’ll post about “Wool” – if I can get my act together and write something decent.

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There are four Saturdays in May, so that means I’ll read four stories for my annual “Deal Me In” short story project. Which stories I read, however, will be determined by the luck of the draw, which is part of what makes this annual project so fun for me. That, and my line-up of fifty-two stories this year is perhaps my strongest yet. AND It’s not too early to starting thinking about coming up with YOUR OWN list of fifty-two stories for 2014 and join in the fun. Fellow blogger Dale at Mirror With Clouds is also doing the short story “Deal Me In” project with me this year.

Well, that’s about it for me (even though I will likely read a few random and unanticipated stuff too, as always). What about YOU, though? What will you be reading in May? I’d love to hear about your reading plans…

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It’s a nice day for a book club meeting… let’s have two!

At lunchtime, I’m heading downtown to the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library for their book club’s meeting on the book, Slapstick.

Then, as this is the fourth Thursday of the month, my main book club (see link at left) is meeting to discuss The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

Looking forward to both and will hope to share some feedback on these two books on this blog later.

Hi ho.

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“Progress” Report

I finished my eighth “Civil War Book” of the year yesterday morning. I’ll post more about it later, but Killer Angels by Michael Shaara was quite good – blend of fiction and facts that tells the tale of the Battle of Gettysburg. My only concern is that, further down the road, I may have trouble distinguishing fact from fiction when remembering things about this battle (i.e. “did Lee really say that, or was that just a line from Killer Angels?, etc.).

I almost feel like I’ve spent the past few days in southeastern Pennsylvania, though, and some things from this book even invaded my dreams. I can’t say that I’m surprised it was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

What’s up next? Well, I’ve already read my book club’s August book (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) earlier this year and, though I’ll review it before my meeting, I won’t need to spend too much time on it. I’m on schedule for my P:CW reading, so I pretty much have the rest of August to “read whatever I want.” I may re-read Shakespeare’s The Tempest and participate in Allie’s read-along, as I think I have a few things I’d like to write about that play and my history with it. And, I feel like I may go on a kick of reading Kurt Vonnegut. I mentioned Slapstick in an earlier post, but I also bought Sirens of Titan yesterday, which I’ve always wanted to read, and I downloaded Breakfast of Champions to my nook last week. One good thing about Vonnegut’s books is that they’re generally shorter than most that I read, so why not knock out two or three of them by the end of the month?

What about you? Have you read any Vonnegut? Do you have any recommendations?

Well, sadly, my morning at the coffee shop is ending and I guess I’d better report to work on time. (damn rat race…) >