What I Just Finished Reading
The Windfall – Diksa Basu
I very much enjoyed this book. It resembles Austen in its gentle parodying of social mores and its characters' concern for status and material wealth, but also Shakespeare in the way the characters' desires and motivations are at cross-purposes to one another, with everyone misunderstanding everyone else's intentions, often to amusing consequences. In the end, Basu opted to keep things realistic, so there's no neat resolution to the novel's many plotlines, such as one would find at the end of an actual Shakespearean comedy. (And I'm not sure such a conclusion would have served the book better.) This one is fun and definitely deserving of a read.
What I Am Currently Reading
Buddhist Economics – Clair Brown
I'm supposed to have this finished for a book club on Saturday, and I just cracked it open. Heh-heh.
A Curious Mind – Brian Grazer & Charles Fishman
Brian Glazer has produced tons of well-known movies, although I had no idea who he was before I started reading this book. Basically, the guy seeks out talented and interesting people to have short conversations with, which he credits with sparking many of the ideas for his films. It's an interesting concept, and Glazer's narrative is largely free of ego, but it does suffer somewhat for his attempt to redefine everything (courage, civility, grit, you name it) as curiousity.
Tarot 101 – Kim Huggens
There's plenty of “look at the card and let your intuition tell you what it means” wishy-washiness here, but Huggens' grouping of the Major Arcana by archetype versus numerical order is refreshing. I'll be interested to see how she handles the Minors.
The Souls of China – Ian Johnson
The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom – John Pomfret
Deathless – Catheryne Valente
I lost steam on this one during part 3, but happily it picked up in the final chapter and now we are back in business. I've said this every week, but Valente's language is beautiful and sounds exactly like a fairy tale should. This week's chapters in particular have contained some gorgeously stark imagery.
What I'm Reading Next
The Essex Serpent, and I am very excited about it.