It was a good week of finishing middling books!
I finally finished Henry James’ Turn of the Screw, which was this month’s pick for my classic’s book club. I can’t say too much about it without being spoiler-y, but it is super creeptastic and uncomfortably claustrophobic. It wasn’t exactly an enjoyable reading experience, but I think that is probably the point. As someone who is super intersted in books with SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER, it was certainly worth the read. Also, Emma Thompson reads the audiobook!
I’ve also, for reasons that are not entirely clear to me, decided to listen to the The Complete Sherlock Holmes to satisfy “Listen to an Audie award winning audiobook” task of the Book Riot Read Harder challenge. Why pick a 58 hour audiobook that is actually 9 books in one for this challenge? I have no idea. In any case, I finished up The Sign of Four this week. It was… ok-ish? The plot gets a little convoluted, and there is some problematic race stuff going on. The reading by Simon Vance is quite good; I think I prefer it to the David Timson performance I listened to for the first book. But good lord the problematic race stuff.
Finally, I read Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate, satisfying the “Read a book originally published in the decade you were born” task of the Read Harder challenge. Again, it was… ok-ish? I liked role of food in the book and the writing had a certain charm. But, I seem to get really limited mileage with magical realism these days. In this book in paritcular, it felt like the magical realism made the characters seem more alien, less multidimensional, and harder to connect with. And the love story… unrequited love is not my thing, but when requiting it ends up laying waste to pretty much everyone in its wake, all in the name of Grand Passion, I just want to take a nap. All that said, it was a worthwhile read because the main character’s sister Gertrudis is EVERYTHING.
All in all, it was a productive week as far as finishing books, but three meh books in a row is leaving me a little uninspired. What do I do when I’m feeling uninspired on the bookish front? Delete titles from my TBR. I know, it’s a weird ass habit, but it feels sort of gratifying to go through it and be like “Nope, I don’t need to read anything by John Updike” and “Aww, self from three years ago, you were so ambitious, but you don’t really want to read everything on the Time 100 list, do you?” I’ve got that sucker down from 397 to 364! I still don’t know what I want to read next though. Le sigh. Bookworm problems.