Friday, August 20, 2010

Reading Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna

for the First Friday Book Club. So far, I'm loving this book. The style is quite different to any other Kingsolver I've read before, but I love the immediate voice of the central character, his early relationship to his mother, and now, his relationship with Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. There's an interesting negative review of it here.

At the moment I don't at all agree with this review - but at the moment, Harrison is simply too young a narrator not to be simply an accidental observer, so I'll rest my judgment. It does, however, point to a good book club question. I'm quite excited about the book club. I haven't belonged to one for years and that one seemed to be more about vying for the best catering, as opposed to reading the books. Not that I regard catering as being unimportant. I'm planning a Mexican fusion supper for the inaugural meeting of the First Friday Book Club - and rather hoping the idea of matching the supper with an aspect of the book will stick...

Actually the Orange prize short list would make for very interesting reading - I adored Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall - another hugely ambitious novel - I'd say the scope was greater than Kingsolver's. Wolf Hall is a simply splendid book. I was so relieved when I heard Mantel was working on a sequel. Lorrie Moore has been a long-time favourite of mine, and her novel, A Gate at the Stairs, is another must-read, featuring a typically Moore central character - that strong, despairing, very contemporary voice. The other three shortlisted were: Rose Alison, The Very Thought of You, Attica Locke, Black Water Rising, and Monica Roffey, The White Woman on the Green Bicycle. They seem to span a diversity of styles and content, including one thriller and a romance, as well as the two historical novels of Kingsolver and Mantel.

Also reading Jane Smiley's Thirteen Ways to Look at a Novel - and, as synchronicity sometimes allows, dropped into our very own local secondhand bookshop yesterday and picked up her book on Charles Dickens - which just makes me want to re-read all of Dickens's work.

However, for now, The Big Bang Theory and some knitting calls me.

I've decided that all this reading in bed calls for a knitted bed jacket.

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