What am I Reading Lately?

Posted: October 18, 2007 in Current Reading

Wow, what a loaded question. I’m reading an awful lot of articles for school, plus of course a text book on the subject of information (who knew one word could require an entire textbook?).

For my LIS450 course, I’m currently reading Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, the story of a Hmong family’s struggle to care for their young daughter in a culture that’s entirely alien to them. It’s also about healthcare in this country, and the challenges and prejudices that come along with trying to help families with limited, or no, knowledge of English. That’s quite an education in itself, not even taking into account the role of information, and how that’s such an instrumental part of the whole situation.

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I’ve also been reviewing a fair number of books, more than I should be, to tell the truth, at this incredibly busy time. But agents and publishers keep waving all these things under my nose. I can only take so much.

I’ve done a few interviews, too, one of which I’ll probably post here soon. It’s an interview with the Director of Communications for the Library of Congress, the gent who writes their blog. What kind of sweet job is that?

Frankly, I’m reading so darn much it’s hard to keep track. Here are just a few of the absolute gems I’ve read lately (or am still finishing up):

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In Search of Adam by Caroline Smailes
This book is heartbreaking, but so, so beautiful. It’s told from the perspective of a 7-year old girl who’s abused horrifically. It’s difficult to read, but the voice is absolutely brilliant. One of the most powerful books I’ve read with a child narrator, and what’s even more amazing is the voice never falters. You never stop believing this child is narrating. It’s a stunning achievement.

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The Gathering by Anne Enright

The Gathering, of course, just won the Man/Booker. So I ran out the same evening and grabbed a copy at Borders. What’s surprising is the voice in this book is so hauntingly similar to that in In Search of Adam. The subject matter may actually turn out to be similar, too, I can’t be sure yet. This book so deserves the honor it received, and in some ways it’s gratifying Enright came out of left field to snatch the prize. Competition was incredibly stiff, as it always is for the Bookers. Brava, Anne!

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The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam by Chris Ewan

Different sort of book here, much more funny, for one thing. The plots extraordinarily clever, too, though yes, I know, all plots are basically just derivations of the ten basic plots. Or whatever the number is. Imagine a mystery/thriller/spy novelist who’s a spy himself. That’s at the heart of this book, and it’s a really great read.

Add these to my several piles of other ongoing books and you have the sum total of what I do in my “free time.”

Oh, and to those who’ve been asking me lately how I do it all, the answer is CLONING. So you can tell us apart, I’m the better looking one.

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