Thursday, November 07, 2013

Reading Update

I'm trying to get back into the swing of blogging and thought I'd ease into it with a little book chat. After all, chatting about books is probably what I do best! Here is a little bit about what I just finished reading, what I'm currently reading, and what I am about to start reading.

The Frankenstein Papers by Fred Saberhagen

I started reading The Frankenstein Papers on October 31st. I figured that I would exit the RIP (Readers Imbibing Peril) and Halloween season with a monster book and I'm so glad I did! This is the tale of Frankenstein and his monster told primarily from the monster's point of view. It is written in the spirit of Shelley's Frankenstein ... until the rather odd ending. I won't comment more on the end of the novel since that would be spoilerish. The creature narrates his own story through a personal journal. Additional viewpoints are included, in order to slowly reveal "truth" from "fiction," through letters from several other characters. Again, I won't say more about the other characters since that too would be spoilerish. What I liked most about this book is the monster's quest for identity. Is he truly a monster rejected by his creator? Or is there some other explanation .... You will have to read it if you want to know!

I'm currently reading several books. I rarely read more than one book at a time, but have found myself picking away at several very different titles over the last few days.

Mistress Oriku: Stories from a Tokyo Teahouse by Matsutaro Kawaguchi

I love nostalgia. It makes me ache and cry and long for times that are no more. I know ... masochistic. I've got some old black and white photos of Japan from my dad's time stationed there with the Air Force in the early to mid 1950s. In those photos you can see the traditional clashing with the modern. I don't know how much of the traditional still exists in that country. Because of my brush with this shift in Japanese history and culture through my father, I am interested in books that portray this shift (whether nostalgic or not). Mistress Oriku is a collection of short stories that is "filled with clear-eyed nostalgia for the vanished - and entirely captivating - world of old Tokyo" (from the back cover of the book).

And God Spoke to Abraham: Preaching from the Old Testament by Fleming Rutledge

This book came to my attention through an online post that provided one of the chapters (sermons) titled "The Bloody Passageway." I was immediately hooked by the beauty of the writing and the way in which this Episcopal priest (female for those interested) connects us to the past and leaves the reader with a sense of kinship to the ancient, primitive, and primordial. I got goosebumps reading this piece and by revisiting one of the oddest pieces of biblical scripture I've ever read - a passage in which "a ceremony is described which is of such great antiquity that one has the sense of going back as far as it is possible to go in biblical history." What is extraordinary to me is the way in which Rutledge brings this forward in time, to me and you. Whether or not you agree with the theology, you might very well be stunned by the beauty of the writing and the way in which the author ties us to the ancients. I'm looking forward to reading more out of this book over the coming months.

11/22/63 by Stephen King

I'm about to start this hefty tome. Mostly because I've heard good things about it and it is on my TBR pile of already acquired books! I thought reading it in November of the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination would be good timing.


  1. Just thought you might like to know-- I used to date Fred Saberhagen's nephew. FWIW... :-)

  2. Great minds think alike! I just downloaded 11/22/63 to my kindle thinking this would be the perfect time to read it. Just need to finish If on a Winter's Night a Traveller first...

    Nice to see you posting, Terri :)

  3. I don't remember how to write about books. I try and I just wind up leaving them sitting there.

  4. Yes, I've heard of Fleming Rutledge. Have read her book The Bible and The New York Times which has some wise insights. I'd be interested to read this one you mention here. And I agree, her writing style is admirable. I also have her commentary on Middle Earth. Really. I also, I see you're (we're) reading Bonhoeffer. Would like to know your thoughts since I hosted a B. Read-Along a year ago. ;)