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Simon Says: Give Me Five

Five books really. I steal this meme from Danielle, which was created by Simon. Do check out the comment area of his post, too, and see what everyone else is also reading.

1. The book I’m currently reading:

I just started reading William Trevor’s Death in Summer. It’s an arduous read despite the slim volume. It’s the kind of book that requires your total, undivided attention because every character relapses in stream of consciousness. The result is a back-lit reality so mottled between vague and sharp memories. This is my first William Trevor novel and I’m overwhelmed (not necessarily in a bad way) by the style. It’s literary fiction that begs wrestling with.

2. The last book I finished:

As reviewed yesterday, The Painter of Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein. This is the kind of novel that just sounds so captivating. A girl sold to a brothel grows up to be a top prostitute. Remaining insufferable, a government officer comes to buy her freedom out of the brothel. He sponsors her painting lesson abroad. She later on becomes one of the first female post-Impressionist painter from China, even though the outrageous subject matter, that is, nudity, of her works didn’t find favor in the eyes of the Communists, which has settled on social realism.

3. The next book I want to read:

Union Atlantic by Adam Haslett is shortlisted for Best Gay Fiction in Lambda Literary Award this year. The winner will be announced in New York City on May 26. Haslett read an excerpt from the novel at the finalist reading sponsored by San Francisco Public Library. I’ve had this book up on my Current Read column but have yet to start it because I got sidetracked by the Chinese Literature Challenge.

4. The last book I bought:

I couldn’t resist Parents Behaving Badly by Scott Gummer when I saw it at the bookstore. Consider I normally don’t buy brand new hardcovers. At the heart of the story are the universal experiences and themes of family and community, as Ben and Jili struggle to connect with their technology-addicted children and grapple with issues of marital fidelity—both at home and in the hotbed of sexual tension that is the Little League park. So right on. Whenever I see kids throwing tantrum or going out of control, over half the time I’m not surprised they behave they do—just look at the parents.

5. The last book I was given:

Seeing how profusely I have enjoyed Wallace Stegner’s
Crossing to Safety
, and that I have yet to find a copy, a friend has given me Angle of Repose. The 1972 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel is about a wheelchair-using historian, Lyman Ward, who has lost connection with his son and living family and decides to write about his frontier-era grandparents. I’m excited to have received a copy but I am not ready to read it, consider all the stellar reviews I have read. I want to save it for a special occasion.

6 Responses

  1. Nice post title 😉
    William Trevor has hovered around the peripheries of my reading consciousness for a long time, but never quite enough for me to buy or read any…

  2. Great list. I’m working on the Goon Squad, right now, that was, indeed, also the last book I bought. Fun stuff.

    • Goon Squad doesn’t get enough attention from me right now, since I’ve got two books that go to work with me. I’ll have to change that this weekend.

  3. Angle of Repose is very good, but Crossing to Safety is still my favorite Stegner novel. Love this meme…

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