It's also Tuesday, September 6th - the first day back to school for many of the kids I know. AND... it's Turn the Page... Tuesday (brought to you by our good blogger-friend, Adrienne). Check out Some of a Kind to learn more, or to join in each month to talk about the book(s) you're reading.
So what did I read in August?
As usual, my eclectic tastes took me all over the world (and the time-space continuum).
I finished Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson. It was the final book in his Sprawl trilogy based in the future where people jack into computers to live (and trade and steal) in an alternate reality. As I've mentioned in previous posts, it's The Matrix meets Blade Runner... and so much more. I quite enjoyed the final chapter in this series, happy endings for most of the characters and a nice wrap up of the plot lines. I'll admit, Gibson's writing style is not the easiest to follow all the time (it feels like you've walked in on conversations sometimes - missing the important explanations so you have to "catch up" while reading), but this challenge adds to the intensity of the stories.
If you're into sci-fi dystopic worlds, read this trilogy... it won't let you down.
I was let down, however, by the second book I read... Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors.
Set at the height of the Mughal Empire, Beneath a Marble Sky recreates the remarkable lives of those responsible for the Taj Mahal's existence. From the famous lovers who inspired it, Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, to the architect who designed it to the man who sought to destroy it, Beneath a Marble Sky recounts the stories of those who oversaw the rise of the world’s most famous building.
Maybe I shouldn't say 'let down' - more like 'not wowed'.
This book had been on my shelf for at least two years. I don't remember if it was a hand-me-down from a friend or if I picked it up in a book sale... but from the blurb on the back cover it seemed to have an interesting story to it. I had hoped this could be a book I recommended to my Book Club. It sounded like it had everything we all love to talk about - historical fiction, character interactions (the political side of romance, for example), and a setting unlike the one we live in.
It just didn't seem to grab me... it felt predictable and unoriginal. I didn't LOVE any of the characters or root for them to succeed. I wished I had been given that feeling, but it just didn't happen.
After Marble Sky I had to make a choice... read one more book that I could use as a Book Club recommendation or move on to The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (our September Book Club selection). I tried to do both.
I started Jacob de Zoet. I'm a few chapters along in it.
I also started Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
We all "know" the story... but do we really know it? I've never read the book, but I hear it contains a lot more than the story of the crazy doctor who creates a monster. It's about the struggle of life and acceptance, the quest for immortality and the conflicts in science. I'm also curious to read it because the author is a women. Writings like this, by women, were very rare in the early 1800s. I want to know (and want to talk about) Mary and why she created a story like this. I hope it's selected by the Club, but if not, I'm certainly going to read the story on my own.
That's all for this month, thanks for stopping by. I think I'll go make some tea, snuggle up with the dog & a blanket and read for a while. Hope you have a chance to do the same.