I am having a feeling of hopelessness about A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. I had wanted to have it finished and post a final thoughts on it. I have barely gotten fifty pages past where I was when I wrote my last post about it though. I’m enjoying it, and want to make progress, but forces (better known as my day job) are conspiring against me. So for tonight I thought I’d just tell you about the books amazon sent me this week and why I’mexcited to read them someday.
The first book I got this week was Philippa Gregory’s The White Princess. I haven’t read one of Philippa Gregory’s books in quite a while, but I love them. Her specialty is British historical fiction, focusing on the royal families. Her more recent books have focused on the Wars of the Roses time, though the earlier ones were more typical Tudor England stuff (you know Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, et. al.). This book is, I believe, the fifth in this series. To be honest I haven’t been that excited to read about this era of English royalty, and that is probably a lot of the reason why I haven’t read any of these books yet. I continue to buy them because I know once I get around to reading them I’ll enjoy them and because I can’t give up on a series/author.
The other book was Fiona Maazel’s Woke Up Lonely. This book was in The Morning News Tournament of Books this year and was eliminated in the pre-tournament playoff round when it went up against Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life. Atkinson’s book actually went on to compete in the championship round and narrowly lose to James McBride’s The Good Lord Bird. I honestly don’t know why I ordered this book! I mean it sounds vaguely interesting, but more like a book that I’d buy in a couple years when I run across it in a used bookstore, not a book I’d pre-order in paperback on amazon, at least not lately. This one sounds like it might be something of a satire: there is a cult leader in it, and I tend to think that any book with a cult leader as a main character is probably a satire. The cover is pretty cool, though.
My boss also brought me Marisa Silver’s Mary Coin. I had never seen this book before, but it sounds interesting. It’s a double narrative, with one storyline taking place in 1936 in central California, and one taking place in the present day. The focus is on a picture that was taken in the 1936 storyline of a migrant worker. In the present day it’s an iconic, famous photograph (and is actually a real photo in real life and is up above the start of this paragraph), and someone named Walker Dodge, a professor of cultural history, learns that his family has a secret wrapped up in the photo. I’ve never really read anything that takes place during the Great Depression, so I’m looking forward to learning more about that era. And I’m looking forward to discovering a new writer, too.