What I'm Currently Reading: Snowed Under by Books

Posted: July 10, 2006 in Current Reading

Joy of joys, returning to the library on a Monday morning and finding some of my interlibrary loan books have arrived! Today’s haul included:

The Female of the Species: Tales of Mystery and Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates

Classic Crimes (NYRB Classic) by William Roughead

The Whistling Seasonn by Ivan Doig

I admire JC Oates tremendously, though she has a great capacity for frightening the bejesus out of me. If you haven’t read her I’d ask for a recommendation before plunging into her works, for the simple reason she can be brutal. She wrote one book about a canniabalistic serial killer (Jeffrey Dahmer was her “inspiration” for lack of a better term), and I had a very hard time getting through that. Like Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, the writing’s masterful but the subject matter is as grotesque as you’re probably imagining, and then some.

She writes in a variety of genres, though, in case such dark fiction isn’t your preference. There are her young adult novels, her gothic romances (more literary than a Harlequin, I assure you!), her short stories (many of these are frightening, as well) and her incredible output of non-fiction/essays, etc.

If you haven’t noticed, she’s everywhere.

I respect Oates partly because of her incredibly prolific output, but mostly because she has such diverse talents and can seemingly write equally well in any genre. However, she did once publicly rip apart a book edited by someone I know and respect in, of all places, the New York Review of Books. Hardly gets more embarrassing than that, or more public, but thankfully he’s enough of a veteran to take it all with a grain of salt. I really think I was more bent out of shape than he was.

There was also a film waiting for me this morning, The Story of the Weeping Camel. This one was recommended very highly in another library’s newsletter.

This from Amazon:

Plot Synopsis: Springtime in the Gobi Desert, South Mongolia. A family of nomadic shepherds assists the births of their camel herd. One of the camels has an excruciatingly difficult delivery but, with help from the family, out comes a rare white colt. Despite the efforts of the shepherds, the mother rejects the newborn, refusing it her milk and her motherly love. When any hope for the little one seems to have vanished, the nomads send their two young boys on a journey through the desert, to a a backwater town in search of a musician who is their only hope for saving the colt’s life.

Sounds like a great one to watch with the kids.

Ding dong!

The UPS man (who resembles Richard Gere VERY strongly, apropos of nothing) has just brought me a new review book from Simon & Schuster, Disobedience by Naomi Alderman. It’s a finalist for the Orange Prize. Or it was, as I’m 99.9 % sure this year’s Orange Prize has already been awarded.

I am, once again, snowed under by books. You may not be surprised to know I consider that a good thing!

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