Sunday 23 September 2012

Sunday morning tea and book talk...

On this cool, bright, gorgeous Sunday morning, as I sit drinking my chai tea, I'm planning my day with the intention of attending the Word on the Street festival that is happening at Kitchener City Hall this afternoon.  It's always interesting to check out this celebration of books and reading, and it's a perfect day for it, too.

I think I mentioned in one of my recent posts that I was listening to an audiobook by Hari Kunzru called My Revolutions.  It tells the story of a man, Mike, who has lived the past 2 decades with an assumed name and identity in the capitalist world against which he protested when he was a young activist named Chris.  His identity is about to be revealed as his past keeps cropping up in the shape of former fellow activists.  It sounded really interesting, and it started out well, but I found that it shifted from period to period in Mike's/Chris' life too often for me to keep track just listening to it.  I think that I may have to check the book out of the library and read it, as there are many visual clues on the printed page to let the reader know what is going on in the story.  When a new paragraph starts, that usually means a new thought or idea, but one that is still related to the ideas in the previous paragraphs.  When there is a new section, the reader knows that the author has moved on to a completely new topic which is not related to the previous section, or at least not directly.  And, of course, a new chapter means... well, a new chapter.  These are all things readers know without thinking about them, but the fine art of topic separation can be muddled or even lost when listening to a book instead of looking at the printed page.  Narrators are usually pretty good at indicating these shifts, but they can only do so much for the listener.

All that to say that I've moved on to another audiobook, Long Gone, by Alafair Burke.  I'm not familiar with anything by this author, who is the daughter of James Lee Burke (I've never read any of his books, either).  This novel has three storylines:  Alice Humphrey, a 37-year old out-of-work arts' grad who is offered a too-good-to-be-true job managing a new gallery, finds that maybe it really was too good to be true, as one thing after another suggests that she has been set up; a young girl, Becca Stevens, gets quietly involved with a jock at her school, but has another secret that may be dangerous; and a man (can't remember his name) is keeping an eye on the man who became involved with, lied to and cheated his sister, and who may or may not have caused her death.  These stories become intertwined, with Alice's story being the key to everything.  I was finding it confusing at first, but it seemed to come together fairly quickly and seamlessly, and I'm now anxious to find opportunities to keep listening and find out what happens next.  I'm just over halfway through the audiobook.

And I've started reading a book from my "required reading" box called Walking into the Ocean by David Whellams.  It is a mystery set on the coast of England involving a Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Peter Cammon.  Cammon arrives at a coastal town to help out the local police investigate what appears to be a domestic dispute turned murder-suicide, while the locals investigate a serial murderer.  I've literally just started this book, which I believe is the first in a series (or maybe a trilogy) featuring Cammon, but I'm looking forward to reading further, as it really has the tone and style of a British mystery, even though the author lives in Ottawa.

Alas, I also have to read Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale, as our book club is meeting on Thursday.  I started rereading it yesterday, and was hoping to spend the afternoon curled up reading, but I forgot that it was Word on the Street today.  Hmmm... decisions, decisions...  Maybe I'll set aside the Cammon mystery until I finish Setterfield's book, and I've just noticed that the sun has gone and the sky is overcast.  If it rains this afternoon, I will feel justified in not going to Word on the Street.  Whatever I decide to do, I'm sure it will involve books in some way or another, which is always a good thing. 

Bye for now!

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