Spring is in the air! Green grass has begun to appear, the trees are starting to bud, and the first of the tulips and daffodils are blooming. The floodwaters are receding, too, though we keep getting rain so they might not be gone for long.
I’ve been a little tired this week since a co-worker is on vacation, and so things at work are a little off balance and schedules are a little wonky. He’ll be back on Wednesday, though, so things will be back to normal soon. But as I was a bit tired and doing a bunch of other, non-reading things this week I didn’t read as much as I wanted to. Oh well.
What I Finished Reading Last Week:
- Reading Through the Night by Jane Tompkins
- A Prisoner in Malta (Christopher Marlowe mysteries #1) by Phillip DePoy
- Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
I wasn’t enjoying Reading Through the Night for the first third or so, but I dealt with the fact that I had little to no interest in the books that Tompkins was discussing, pushed through that, and found it to be a lovely book overall.
A Prisoner in Malta was a fast-paced mystery set in England during the Elizabethan era and starring the playwright Christopher Marlowe. In this first of two books, Marlowe is tasked with rescuing a prisoner from a heavily guarded prison on the island of Malta and unravel a conspiracy that could lead to the Queen’s death and the fall of England itself. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and plan to read the second one, The English Agent.
I hadn’t planned to read Vonda N. McIntyre’s award-winning book, Dreamsnake so early in the month, but McIntyre died early last week, and it seemed appropriate to read the book she is best-known for. Dreamsnake is a strange book set in a post-apocalyptic future. It is about a healer named Snake who distills the venom of serpents in order to make medicines for the people of the wild lands outside the closed-off Center City. I finished it last night, and am still wrapping my head around it.
What I’m Currently Reading:
- The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
- Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, audiobook narrated by Simon Slater
I’m just over halfway through The Priory of the Orange Tree. It’s still wandering about, though it feels like Ead’s story is starting to crystallize. Tané‘s story continues to meander, and I’m not sure what Shannon intends to do with Niclays’s perspective from here on out. There was a turning point about 100 or so pages ago. I could see it building so it wasn’t a surprise, but I don’t know how the first half of the book aligns with the second half now. I’m still interested, but there is a distance between the story and the reader, as if there is a veil between me and the characters.
Wolf Hall grows more fascinating the longer I listen to it. I’m familiar with almost all of the characters from all of my other Tudor readings, but because the story is told from the point of view of Thomas Cromwell, who is often seen as a villainous figure from Henry VIII’s court, the generally accepted views on characters like Thomas Moore and Jane Seymour are flipped on their heads.
What I Plan to Start Reading This Week:
- Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World by M.R. O’Connor, ARC provided by NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press
- The Narrow Road to the Interior and Other Writings by Matsuo Bashō translated from the Japanese by Sam Hamill
- The Flanders Panel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa
I will start Wayfinding and The Narrow Road to the Interior and Other Writings for sure this week. Wayfinding is an ARC and it’s due to be published at the end of the month. I like to have my reviews ready two weeks before the publication date, so I need to get it done. The Narrow Road to the Interior and Other Writings arrived on Thursday- much faster than I had expected it to. It turns out that a local college had it available, so the public library received it in short order.
I would like to start reading The Flanders Panel this week, but it might be unseated by another book. Who knows? I’m sure I will enjoy it since I’ve enjoyed the other books I’ve read by Arturo Pérez-Reverte.
We’re careening toward the second season finale of Star Trek: Discovery. In episode 212, ‘Through the Valley of the Shadows’, we see the mysterious Klingon planet of Boreth when Captain Pike makes a possibly ill-advised trip to the surface to try to get a time crystal from the fanatical monks who guard the crystals. He must pass a trial to take a crystal with him, and that trial involves facing his own horrific future (which we’ve already seen in the original series episode, ‘The Menagerie’). It also helps to tie up some loose ends from a handful of episodes from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Discovery continues to do an excellent job at being a prequel, explaining story points and technological issues that arise from a universe that encompasses six TV shows and 14 movies across 53 years. Meanwhile back on Discovery, Tig Notaro is back as Jett Reno who is sick of working with a lovelorn Stamets, and so knocks some sense into Culber’s head by telling him that he has the second chance at love that literally no one has ever had before, and he shouldn’t screw it up. She needs Stamets’s head in proper working order if he’s going to help them all save the galaxy. While all this is going on, Michael and Spock have gone off in search of the Section 31 ship that failed to report in. They discover that the evil artificial intelligence known as Control has extended its control much farther than just Leland, and so they find themselves trapped on a Section 31 ship that is actively working against them. ‘Through the Valley of Shadows’ was definitely an episode that involved pieces moving into place for the season’s last two episodes, but I still enjoyed it.
My Lord of the Rings Reread is almost at an end. I discussed chapters VI and VII in the latest installment, ‘The Road Home‘. We have just two chapters left: ‘The Scouring of the Shire’ and ‘The Grey Havens’. I’m still thinking about how to wrap the whole project up. There may be a movie wrap-up involved, but I’m not sure yet.
And that’s all for now. Though Sunday always involves housework and laundry, that’s going on hold for a couple of hours while I meet up with my book club. It’s been a while since we last met, as schedules and travels meant that we hadn’t gotten together since late January. It has been entirely too long since I saw their wonderful faces, and I am looking forward to it!