This Week in ReadingPosted: 16 February 2015
I think I shall start posting this topic on Sundays, as a natural wrap-up to the just-completed week(s), but this one is a day late by those rules. In my defense, we spent much of the past few days seeing the eight Best Picture nominees for the 2015 Oscars. Years ago I used to make a habit out of trying to see the nominees just so I could have an opinion when the Oscars rolled around, but this year Cinemark has made it very very easy by selling a pass that works out to less than $5/picture and allows one to see the nominees repeatedly if one wishes, as well as the nominations for shorts. I actually didn’t make it to the 8th film (yet) but my husband enjoyed it too. My favorites? Hard to quantify, but I suppose my two top would be The Theory of Everything (story of Stephen Hawking and his first wife) and Selma. But my pick for best actor would have to go to Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game (which I also loved.)
Needless to say, this cut considerably into my reading schedule. I did, however, finish three books in the past week and make progress on a few others. I previously gave my impressions of The Narrow Road to the Deep North, which won last year’s Man Booker Prize for Richard Flanagan.
I also enjoyed Natchez Burningenough that upon finishing it, I immediately went to my public library and borrowed book one in the Penn Cage series. I haven’t quite finished that one, but was delighted to find that Greg Iles was an excellent writer even back in 1999. I’m very much looking forward to books two and three before the newest title (five) is released in April. I highly recommend this for fans of mysteries and southern fiction. The Quiet Game is where to begin.
At the same time I was reading The Burgess Boysfor one of the book clubs to which I belong. This particular one meets at my local public library and the books are chosen by the librarian who moderates the group. She has excellent taste and chooses books in a variety of genres. I’ve never yet been disappointed at a choice, but this week I didn’t quite finish the book in time and didn’t attend the meeting. The book is about an ostensible hate crime committed in a small town in Maine, and is a good study of how an event takes on legs of its own with politics, the media, and family dynamics. I consider it primarily a good example of the latter and highly recommend it as such.