It’s very hot here. Well, not hot really, humid. It’s day 6 of this weather and I am ready for it to end. But you didn’t come here to listen to me complain (or did you?). Reading is the only activity that doesn’t cause me to sweat, except when I turn pages. I’ve trained one of the cats to do that for me. I am in the middle of Pretty Birds by NPR personality Scott Simon. It’s the story of Irena, a teenager in Sarajevo, who is forced to flee her home with her parents when the war breaks out (one of many spare, but brutal passages in this book). Eventually, she is recruited by Tedic to become a sniper. This book is nothing what I expected, which is a good thing. It’s like when you read about the Holocaust in WWII. You expect darkness and misery and suffering. But those that live through it are probably want nothing more than moments of lightness and they will take those moments when they can. So we see many scenes of laughter with Irena and her parents. And the absurdity of the situation, which even she realizes. I am eager to see where Simon is going to take this book.
I also finished The Scar by China Mieville. Writing a decent review of this book would take much work, as the book is very involved. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed it almost as much as Perdido Street Station. Both books are amazing. And I don’t think you need to be a sci-fi enthusiast to enjoy them.
The next question is what to read next? Rupert Thomson’s The Insult is next. But I have some great choices after that. I just read Carrie’s post about The Historian, and even though I have a copy sitting next to me, I am not sure if I want to read it now. A copy of Sarah Hall’s Booker nominated The Electric Michelangelo just crossed my desk as well. Or The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell. And there is Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost. Too much to choose from (I have more), but I know there are much worse problems.