Thursday, August 9, 2007

Bits and Pieces


The Slaves of Golconda have picked their new book--actually the lovely litlove, of Tales from the Reading Room, did the honors this time, and chose Andrei Makine's The Woman Who Waited: A Novel (after generously getting input from her readers). The Slaves will discuss Makine's book on September 31st, and you're welcome to join in.

When I saw Makine's name, it looked familiar to me, though I admit I didn't know why. Then I remembered that I have another of his books on my shelf, Dreams Of My Russian Summers: A Novel. This has sat, or I should say languished, on my TBR pile for so long that I had completely forgotten it. And worse, it was a gift from a close friend (sorry J, if you're reading this).

I happen to hate it when I give someone a book and they never mention it again. Of course, I know that the recipient didn't ask for the book, and it might not be anything they're even interested in, but still, I put some thought into my book gift-giving, and I'm hoping for some serious feedback.

And here I am, the biggest offender. So some five years later, I'm finally going to read Dreams of My Russian Summers. I will try to redeem myself. I'll report back to you on this, J.

I have a few more new books on the pile, all windfalls. I always forget that I belong to my local public radio station's (KPCC Pasadena) "book club", meaning I pay for the books they choose, as part of a membership deal. It's nice because books just show up on my doorstep every couple of months. This time the selection is Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, which I definitely would not have chosen for myself. In fact, I think so far it's only non-fiction, so it's really more of a book club for my husband, but I may read this one. We'll see...

And I mooched two books by Penelope Fitzgerald, one of which has shown up already. I got Human Voices in the mail the other day, and The Blue Flower is on its way. Love that BookMooch.

Fitzgerald is one of those writers that I have heard a lot about over the years, but haven't read. Looking forward to reading these two.

8 comments:

iliana said...

I am going to look for The Woman Who Waited this weekend. I hope I have better luck with it than with the Elizabeth Hardwick book. Although I'm a bit apprehensive - I read Dreams of My Russian Summers and din't like it at all. Ugh. But, it could have been right book, wrong time sort of thing so I'll try to stay positive :)

Gentle Reader said...

iliana--hmm, I was planning to read Dreams of My Russian Summers, too. I wonder if I'll like it?

jenclair said...

I followed the link and have put The Woman Who Waited on my TBR list. It will be quite a while before I get around to thinking about really reading it, but the reviews appealed to me. Can't wait to see what you think!

Gentle Reader said...

jenclair--I'm always intrigued by the Slaves' choices, and hope this is a good one. I'll let you know what I think!

litlove said...

Of all the Makine, the Dreams of my Russian Summers seemed to split the readers more than his other novels in the reviews I found - that's not to say that there weren't people who liked it a lot. I have my fingers crossed for The Woman who Waited too! Oh and I LOVE Penelope Fitzgerald. I think she's a wonderful writer and have no doubt at all that you'll enjoy the books you have mooched.

Gentle Reader said...

litlove--thanks for choosing the Makine! I've ordered The Woman Who Waited, and am hoping to bring it when I go to Cape Cod next week. I'll try to read Dreams of My Russian Summers, too--maybe I'll be in the pro camp :)

And I can't wait to get started on Penelope Fitzgerald!

Booklogged said...

I hope I can get my life back on track so I can read The Woman Who Waited and join the discussion at Slaves. Both the Makine books you mentioned have titles that make you want to read them.

Gentle Reader said...

booklogged--I hope you can join in the discussion, too! You're absolutely right, both titles grabbed me, too :)