Wednesday, August 12, 2009

currently reading

I am just back from a ten-day vacation. Three days later, I’m really more jetlagged than I thought I would be, but I plan to soldier on because there are too many books on my TBR pile not to keep going. Plus, it’s August now, and do you know what that means? The publishing stork will begin dropping Fall ’09 new titles imminently. Here’s what I’m reading now:

~ The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (John le Carre)
As I was winnowing down books to bring on this trip, John strongly encouraged my to include Spy. He’d just listened to an unabridged audio, enjoying it so much that he’s currently on a major le Carre spree. “Besides,” he said—and I quote—“You’ll finish it on the plane.” Thus motivated, I read about half of Spy on the long flight from Chicago to Stockholm (seven hours). Perhaps I could have finished the book, it’s certainly riveting enough but it’s far from a page turner. In fact, the thing I like so much about Spy is that the plot is intricate and the characters are complex. I’m getting bogged down by all the flipping between chapters that I have to do to make sure I fully grasp what’s happening. And, I’m not disappointed—this modern classic is truly not what I expected. In a nutshell, the plot follows British agent Alec Leamas, who is called into service for one more assignment, all of which is drawn from le Carre’s career in international espionage.

~ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (J.K. Rowling)
It is such a treat to do my first re-read of Harry Potter, especially since I am reading aloud to the most captive imaginable audience—my children! I read HP on our trip while laying over between flights and while on the three-hour ferry ride from Visby back to Stockholm and while waiting in restaurants for food to be delivered. I think Sorcerer's Stone is my favorite of the seven books. In my opinion, it’s hard to beat the experience of meeting Harry, Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, Dumbledore, Snape, the Dursleys, and others. The rich world of Hogwarts is, well, magical—the houses, Quidditch, Diagon Alley, to name a few. Plus, the first book particularly is less bloated than books 4-7. Seriously, Rowling could have used an editor. I’m excited to on the Harry Potter journey with my boys!

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