Currently-Reading Update [Dec 2016]

I haven’t blogged much (or at all), but that’s mostly because I haven’t read much of anything. This can’t be ascribed to a lack of reading material, but mostly a time crunch and, now that my exams are through, laziness. As a short (but mostly unnecessary) update, I figured I’d just saw a few things about books I’ve been ‘currently-reading’ (thanks, goodreads) for weeks now. I will hopefully finish most of them at some point.

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (Siddhartha Mukherjee)  

Self-explanatory, from the title. As someone who’s not very sciency, this book is a massive information overload so far. I think I’m somewhat halfway through it, and I’ve probably forgotten most of what I’ve read. That isn’t to say it’s not interesting -it is, very much so. But it can also get dull very quickly, Mukherjee spares no small detail. Probably doesn’t help that I’ve picked up the habit of reading it when I’m half-asleep. I do feel somewhat more knowledgeable on the subject of the disease, but not really in a very concrete way (which is not to say the book isn’t stuffed with histories – facts, data, dates). I’m slightly horrified by how bad my memory’s become. I enjoy Mukherjee’s writing style, but I wish he’d cut down on the literary quotes prefacing chapters, he uses far too many.

I’m not really well-acquainted with the subject to write a proper review on this once (if) I’m done with it, but as part of my new personal project to read more non-fic, I’ll hopefully come out of it somewhat wiser.

If on a winter’s night a traveller (Italo Calvino)

Definitely leads the list on my personal ‘best book titles ever’ – how beautiful. Mostly the reason why I bought it, to be honest. I own Invisible Cities but haven’t read it (okay, I read the first page, and then forgot all about it). I’ve just started on If on a winter’s night but I’m very happy to take my time with it. I haven’t really read much postmodern fiction so far, so this should be interesting (as long as I kick the habit of reading before bed).

Last Night in Montreal (Emily St John Mandel)

I have no idea why I put this on the back-burner, but I must get back to it immediately. I loved Station Eleven (as a result, I never recommend it to anyone – I’m selfish like that).

I’ve made it through a small chunk of this book, but most of it’s still left. Part of me wants to savour it (although I’m sure I won’t enjoy it as much as Station Eleven), part of me isn’t even sure I’ll like it (which would disappoint me). I think it’s quite interesting so far.

In some ways, Lilia (protagonist A) is something of a dark-past-running-girl stereotype, but I don’t know, St John Mandel makes everything different, somehow happier and sadder at the same time. I love her writing, and it’s so personal sometimes I can’t even express it. If I feel I can, I’ll definitely review it though. I’m still going to read her other books, even if I don’t like this one very much. But I think it’ll be okay. I’m optimistic.

-x

I’m sure there are others I’ve been putting off, but that’s all I can remember so far. I’m excited about what I’ll be reading next year – I definitely want to catch up on some of the Booker nominees, contemporary stuff, and all the unread books lying around on my shelves.

Happy holidays!

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