Summer is a prime time for reading, isn’t it? Usually. But some summers are so packed with activity that reading is done only in bits and snatches. Nevertheless, thanks to the High Summer Read-a-thon, hosted graciously by Michelle at her blog Seasons of Reading, I found some quality reading time this weekend and at last made some progress with Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It is our July selection for TuesBookTalk Read-a-Longs and I am finally past the half-way mark and starting to discover some of the book’s chilling secrets. It begins to remind me of a Shirley Jackson story, but set in a remote Swedish fishing village. Lindqvist ’s novels have gained a wide international following, and I was glad to have this little push to read one of them. I came across his name in the course of my Northern Lights Reading Project, and when I finish this book, I will review it there.
In nonfiction, I started reading Becoming Madison: the extraordinary origins of the least likely founding father by Michael Signer. I visited Madison’s newly restored home of Montpelier in northern Virginia a few years ago, when the main house was opened to visitors and the archaeology of the entire plantation was well underway, and this sparked my interest in Madison’s life. Signer gave an excellent talk about Madison on C-Span’s BookTV last weekend, and after listening, I spent much of the rest of the day reading his book on my kindle (ah, the joys and temptations of instant book gratification!).
I hope all this year’s participants had a lovely Read-a-Thon, and I did too, after all. Visit Seasons of Reading to find out what everyone was reading, via the wrap-up links.
Hosted by Michelle Miller of The True Book Addict at her lovely Seasons of Reading blog–thanks, Michelle!
Time to wrap it up! What did I read all week? Some things I had planned and a few things that I didn’t.
- Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson. I finished this one, my second Moomin book, and I’m more and more sure that these fanciful tales by Finnish-Swedish artist Jansson are utterly charming and rather profound. In this one, Moomintroll (the sweet son in the family) has unaccountably woken up during his winter hibernation. How he makes his way through winter and finds friends who love snow and wintry pursuits is the premise of this book, but Jansson is too wise a writer to let her characters discover winter without also discovering more about themselves.
- The House by the Fjord by Rosalind Laker. I finished this one too, and what a lovely read! It is a historical romance set in post-WWII Norway, and you can find my full review of this book at my other blog, Northern Lights Reading Project. I discovered this book while browsing my local library for one of Laker’s other books, The Venetian Mask, which I am reading for our Lit Collective theme of Venice. I have started The Venetian Mask too, and I’m liking it, but most of all, I am so glad I picked up Laker’s absorbing novel about a widowed war bride in Norway as well!
- Jacob T. Marley by R. William Bennett. I’m just getting started on this one. I thought I would be focusing on it over the weekend, but I ended up staying in Norway a while longer. For the next leg of the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge (also hosted by Michelle Miller) I plan to hurry back to Victorian London to find out more about Ebeneezer Scrooge’s old business associate–his chain-rattling, ghostly conscience on one famous Christmas Eve. The book promises to reveal whether Jacob later found his own path to reforming his soul–I certainly hope so! That would be a Christmas-spirited ending I could love.