Here are my final thoughts and ratings from the eight books I read this month.
- The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton. 5/5 stars
- An awesome epic! Would recommend for anyone that likes mysteries, satire, astrology, but also great writing and characterizations. Catton’s book is a masterpiece.
- The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard. 5/5
- I’m new to Annie Dillard, but I particularly enjoyed this piece of essays on writing. Her voice comes through so beautifully and artfully. She’s meditative, self-reflective, and the prose is lyrical too.
- Lives Other Than My Own, by Emmanuel Carrère. 3/5
- A podcast I listen to has been ranting and raving about this book, which I didn’t enjoy as much as the podcasts host do. The story starts out about lives other than his of those affected by the 2004 tsunami in the South Pacific, where he happened to be vacationing at the time, then chronicles the life of his sister-in-law, a lawyer in France. Carrère is an elegant writer but tends to digress.
- Euphoria, by Lily King. 4/5
- This book is about a love-triangle involving anthropologists in 1930s New Guinea, in fact, is a fictionalized account of real-life anthropologist Margaret Mead. A quick read, makes you want more books about anthropologists!
- Power Politics, by Arundhati Roy 3.5/5
- Roy’s essays do it again! Packing an emotional polemical punch into one slim little novel. I read it in about a day. She goes into the corruption of the multi-national corporate interests, particularly in Energy in India. Her other essays, in The Cost of Living, about dams and nuclear bombs are worth a read as well. Also, this edition contains a great afterward about the author/citizen’s right to dissent.
- Keats and Embarrassment, by Christopher Ricks. 5/5
- A random find from a podcast I was listening to. Great series of essays on Keats poetry, which I also highly recommend, to further enrich your readings of Keats, his feud with Byron, his word-play genius, and his sensuality, and of course, blushing.
- The Awakening and Selected Stories, by Kate Chopin. 5/5
- A lovely round-up of short stories, starting with Chopin’s feminist masterpiece The Awakening. Heavily criticized and shunned when it was first published, Chopin’s book have enjoyed a revival of interest starting in the 20th century. Definitely recommend for those Bronte and Austen lovers.
- Heart of Darkness (Audible audiobook), by Joseph Conrad, performed by Toby Stephens. 4/5
- A re-read for me, but a first with the audiobook. An engrossing book about a horrifying tale that takes you upriver on the African Congo. Complement with Chinua Achebe’s take on Conrad’s racism.
That’s 39 out of 40 books that I have originally scheduled to read this year.
[Photo by Me: Chopin and Cinnamon Roll on a Sunday Morn, September, 2017.]