Memorial Day reading

Canadian cover for the novel.

Canadian cover for the novel.

We’re feeling rested and relaxed here after the long Memorial Day weekend. The overcast skies and occasional showers made it a perfect reading weekend here in Nashville, and I managed to spend a few hours with the galleys of the forthcoming A.S. Byatt novel I blogged about a couple of weeks ago, The Children’s Book.

I’m about 300 pages into this behemoth, and so far it’s pretty compelling. The cast of characters rivals that of War and Peace, but Byatt manages to make each one stand out. Among my favorites are Olive Wellwood, a complicated woman whose writing for children supports her large family (she’s based on one of my favorite childhood authors, the writer E. Nesbit);  her eldest daughter, Dorothy, whose desire to become a doctor is verbally but not always materially supported by her permissive, counter-cultural family; and Phillip, a boy with the drive and genius to become a great potter who is discovered living in the basement of the brand-new South Kensington (soon to be Victoria & Albert) Museum. Creepy fairy-tale comparisons abound, and as in Possession, some of the best passages are the stories that Byatt has created for Olive Wellwood.

Did you have time to read this weekend? And if so, what book did you choose?

14 Responses to Memorial Day reading

  1. Stephanie says:

    The Help by Kathryn Stockett

  2. Elevenser says:

    Read two Ron McLarty novels and enjoyed each one: The Memory of Running, and Traveler. Good reads, both.

  3. Kristen says:

    Finished up Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead.

  4. GeeCee says:

    I’m a couple hundred pages into The Terror by Dan Simmons.

  5. Melissa Mc says:

    A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson — looked like an easy book to start and finish over a three day weekend. Just about done.

  6. April Hawkins says:

    I read Cemetary Dance by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston. I love this series. I also reread Angels and Demons to see how closely it tied in to the movie. I also have started rereading The Da Vinci Code in anticipation of the release of The Lost Symbol in September.

  7. Diane LaRue says:

    I read Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, the debut novel of Alan Bradley, and enjoyed it. Flavia de Luce is a modern day Nancy Drew, with a little attitude. I liked the writing, and the mystery kept me guessing right up until the resolution. This series has the possibility of becoming the next Ladies’ No. 1 Detective Agency in popularity.

    Coincidentally, I also read Alexander McCall Smith’s second Ladies’ No. 1 Detective Agency book, Tears of the Giraffe. You really feel as if you have been dropped into the middle of Gaborone, Botswana, I like that about his books. The characters are memorable, and the cases are not gory or overly violent. i can’t wait to work my way through them all.

  8. Ti says:

    There is quite the buzz right now for The Children’s Book. You are so lucky to be reading the galleys.

    I alternatated between three books this weekend. The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan was wonderful! I loved it and want to put it into the hands of everyone I know.

    I also read Foreign Tongue and A Prayer for Bobby. Two totally different books so you can see why I alternated. I was holed up sick as a dog so it was an excellent reading weekend.

  9. Trisha says:

    Such great comments. Diane, did you hear about SWEETNESS here?

    GeeCee, THE TERROR is so unsettling. Have you gotten to the descriptions of scurvy yet?

    Ti, I do feel lucky. Hope you’re on the road to recovery even if it means less reading time…

  10. […] We’ve already posted about Stephen King, Pat Conroy, Dan Brown, Barbara Kingsolver and A.S. Byatt. Now Diana Gabaldon enters the list in October with a new installment in her popular Outlander […]

  11. Samantha says:

    I read “He’s Just Not That Into You”. Very enlightening

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