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Currently Reading #2

I almost forgot that I had started this section on the blog! So here we go - round two of what I'm currently reading. As always, if you want to keep up with my reading in real-time, add me on Goodreads.

The Fish Can Sing - Halldór Laxness

Ahhh, this is brilliant. I read Burial Rites by Hannah Kent a couple weeks ago (review for this one coming soon) and obviously I couldn't quite let go of the Icelandic setting. Halldór Laxness seems to be a rather popular Icelandic author and this translation from Magnus Magnusson is truly wonderful. The plot seems to be moving quite slowly - and it almost reads like a memoir - however, the writing is perfectly beautiful and I cannot stop reading. It follows the life of a young fishing boy and his ascent in to education and the world of music. I've put some quotes below so you can really observe the beauty of the writing. I cannot wait to finish this book and I've already got some of Laxness' other works on my TBR list.

“I have written about everything at Brekkukot, both indoors and out, which can be given a name; but I have scarcely said a word yet about my grandmother, who was certainly not some useless ornament about the place. On the other hand, if she were likened to the heart of the house, one could say exactly the same about her as one does about healthy hearts in general, that whoever is lucky enough to have such a heart is quite unaware of having a heart at all.” 
"I felt that I was dying, and perhaps I did die a little, or rather began to die in the way that the cocoon of the chrysalis cracks at the end of winter; but unfortunately I did not die so thoroughly that I achieved new life like a butterfly."

The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller

Now I've only just started this one but it's had really good reviews on Goodreads so I'm excited to get stuck in. The Song of Achilles is a re-imagination of Homer's The Iliad. This was Madeline Miller's debut novel and amazingly it won the Orange Women's Prize for Fiction (now the Baileys Prize) in 2012. It's been described as an action-adventure story as well as an epic love-story, and so I'm SUPER excited to read on. After all, I do love a good classically-influenced tale.

Have you reading either of these two titles? What did you think? Let me know!

Currently Reading #1

I've been on a book-acquisition rampage again (When am I not?). So I thought it might be handy for me to start picking out some of the books that I'm reading and that I'm really excited about. The logic is that I'll be reminded of all my part-read books and be more inclined to finish them. We'll see how that one goes. Let me know if you'd be interesting in seeing these posts a little more often, as they may help to introduce you to some authors that you might not have heard of.

St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised By Wolves - Karen Russell

Starting off with a lovely short-story collection, we have the weird and wonderful world of Karen Russell. All of Karen Russell's narratives are just a little strange, making them truly entertaining to read. I started reading this collection after having to read the name-sake story for my creative writing class - a pleasant tale about a group of young wolf girls being 'trained' to be humans by a school of nuns. Interesting.

Kindred - Octavia E. Butler

Octavia E. Butler is truly the hidden gem. I read her short story Bloodchild a couple weeks ago and now I am determined to get through her entire bibliography. Her writing is most definitely science fiction, but it always has a twist and beautiful hidden meaning. This book follows Dana, a young black woman in the present day, who finds herself transported back to nineteenth-century Maryland. As the book proclaims: "It's the most terrifying experience of her life... until it happens again." I've just started reading this and I cannot wait to see what happens.

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly - Sun-mi Hwang

This was very much an impulse purchase during a recent foray in to Waterstones. I was captivated by the beautiful publication of this book and the equally as stunning illustrations. Marketed as a modern Korean fable-- it's the story of a Hen named Sprout, who no longer wishes to lay eggs on command and pines for freedom from her barn. She hatches (ho ho) a plan to escape so she can finally lay an egg of her own. This book draws some serious parallels with the current situation in Korea and promises to be an intriguing read. I haven't actually started this one yet, but it's next on the reading list.

If you haven't noticed already, you can actually see what I'm currently reading in the little box to the right of this post. It also links to my Goodreads, if you wanted to find out more about the titles or even add me as a friend (hint hint).