In this new feature, WWAC writers chat about good reads, reading ambitions, and what they’re reading right now.
I’m about sixty pages into Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story and further along into Orange Is The New Black. With such a packed schedule, I’ve had a hard time concentrating on novels and nonfiction books, but I’m trying to get back into it. I’m starting with nonfiction books that are closely linked to topics I talk about and follow on social media. I’m a confirmed Rob Ford obsessive, having been hating on him for about four years now, and I’m a big fan of OItNB and one of its stars, Laverne Cox. This, I hope, is how I jumpstart my reader’s brain again.
I know two of you just finished The Goldfinch, but what are the rest of you reading?
Brenda Noiseux: I just wrapped up Mira Grant’s Parasite. I’m also in the middle of Michael Flynn’s Eifelheim and Charles Stross’s and Cory Doctorow’s Rapture of the Nerds. I’m fighting through both, but I will finish them.
MP: I know that feeling!
MP: That’s a neat idea, Wendy. Do you do it because it motivates you to read and write about your reading, or just because you find it fun and rewarding?
WB: I co-run a book blog with two friends so I’m always reading and reviewing. In this case, I’ve been meaning to read this author’s book, but more so because she’s fun to interact with on Twitter. I tweeted a joke about livetweeting my read, but then we got to chatting about it and we decided to make it a thing.
MP: So has the livetweeting become a larger conversation between yourself, the author and other readers?
WB: We had hoped it would, but for the time being, it’s just us. She is answering my questions though, so, at the very least, I hope it will trigger some more interest in her book.
Jamie Kingston: I’m always reading something. But my current read is the third book of the Shadowchaser series, Shadow Fall by Seressia Glass. I blitzed right through the first two books and had to get the third.
MP: What makes it such a page turner?
JK: There are a few reasons. The heroine is a woman of color, and the vehicle Glass uses to frame her mundane life is a blend of Egyptology and Archaeology — two subjects I’ve been curious about since childhood. The Shadowchaser supernatural aspect Glass used gives Kira a psi-power I’ve found interesting just as long: psychometry.
MP: Had to Google that one, because for the life of me I couldn’t remember which power that was. Psychometry is really interesting–I love the idea idea of reading a room, or a token.
JK: Kira’s is very powerful, to the point where she couldn’t eat anything she hadn’t picked and prepared with her own hands. I read the prologue in a freebie and it intrigued me. She was in misery and being abandoned by her adopted family, but that wasn’t a bad thing as it turned out. That plus millennia old ancient Egyptian warrior guy who is brusque but polite? I was intrigued.
Claire Napier: Non-fiction, I just started reading a book on home aromatherapy (where did it come from? I didn’t buy it). Because if it’s there, why not learn? I also read a lot of recipe books, especially the River Cottage Handbook for bread which I bought just after Christmas, and keep coming back to the Encyclopaedia of Herbs, Spices and Flavourings.
I’m between novels but my sweetie is reading me his friend’s first book/first draft, so I get the double joy of hearing a new story and then having opinions directly at the person who made it. I read Rose Madder in two chunks a few weeks back, which was a heavy lot of fictional delivery to consider.
MP: Tell me more about the Encyclopedia. I’m intrigued.
CN: It’s actually such a brilliant thing! When my parents brought a load of my things from their house, for “some reason” my Dad packed all of the old, old, old recipe books he didn’t want on the shelves any more. How To Cook Chinese Food from 1983 with notes like, “you won’t find mirin ANYWHERE, use brandy”, haha. But this is a GEM, a diamond in the rough. It has entries for every type of herb, spice, flavouring, with what type of plant they come from, what that plant looks like, which other flavours they go with, suggested recipes, and their cultural history. I love it. It makes me so hungry.
MP: That does sound great!
CN: It makes me feel like a witch. I like it.