January’s New Reads

A little something about the new year. I have absolutely no expectations of the year to come. No list of things I must pretend to accomplish. No run numbers, real or imagined. There has been an end to so many things. As a result I’m in day-by-day mode. Or, in the case of this entry, book-by-book. Here’s what I finished:

Fiction:

  • Captain of the Sleepers by Mayra Montero
  • Any Human Heart: a novel by William Boyd (AB + print)

Nonfiction:

  • Italy and the Grand Tour by Jeremy Black
  • Another Life by Michael Korda
  • Book of Puka-Puka by Robert Dean Frisbie. (I am now reading An Island to Oneself by Tom Neale as a continuation to Puka.)

Series:

  • Spiderweb for Two by Elizabeth Enright (finished the series)
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons (started the series). (I’m now reading Fall of Hyperion as a continuation.)

LibraryThing:

  • Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston. NOTE: I was supposed to receive this as an Early Review in 2014. When it didn’t arrive I borrowed it from a library two years later.
  • You Carried Me by Melissa Ohden (December 2016 batch)

For Fun:

  • Island Voices II by Poets of Monhegan Island ~ a gift from my mother.

Captain of the Sleepers

Montero, Mayra. Captain of the Sleepers. Translated by Edith Grossman. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002.

Reason read: Hostos Day in Puerto Rico is on January 11th.

This is a very quick read. Once you get into it you won’t be able to put it down, and luckily because of its length you won’t have to. This is the story of Andreas Yasin who has carried a grudge against family friend J.T. Bunker for his entire adult life. Believing Bunker betrayed his family by having an affair with his mother when he was a small boy, Andreas seeks revenge against the now 83 year old man dying of cancer. But what is reality and what is just a childish memory? Set in the time of the Puerto Rican Independence movement politics permeate Andreas’s world.

Best line, “There is nothing more predictable for a mother than her own child” (p 127).

I know I’ve said this before but I am always amazed when my hometown of Monhegan is mentioned somewhere. I knew something was up when Montero gave one of her characters the home town of Port Clyde, Maine.

Author fact: Mayra Montero wrote one of my earliest Early Review books for LibraryThing, Dancing to ‘Almendra’ back in 2007.

Author trivia: I’m guessing Montero likes cats. The photograph of her on the dust jacket of Captain has a picture of her with a beautiful cat on her lap, only she looks like she is trying to strangle it!

Book trivia: I read this in one insomnia fueled night. It’s only 180 pages long.

Nancy said: Nancy has more to say about the translator than the book.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Cavorting Through the Caribbean: Puerto Rico (p 57).


2017: a new dawn

What can I tell you about the new year? Not much. I can tell you about the Challenge books! Here’s what I have planned:

Nonfiction:

  • The Book of Puka-Puka by Robert Dean Frisbie ~ in honor of National Geographic Travel Month
  • Italy and the Grand Tour by Jeremy Black ~ in honor of travel and a personal resolution to see Italy some day
  • Another Life by Michael Korda ~ in honor of the selfishness of resolutions (it’s all about me).

Fiction:

  • Captain of the Sleepers by Mayra Montero ~ in honor of Hostos Day in Puerto Rico
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons ~ in honor of Science Fiction month
  • Spiderweb for Two by Elizabeth Enright ~ to continue the series started in September (no I didn’t finish this last month like I thought I would)
  • Any Human Heart by William Boyd ~ in honor of the month most people start a journal

Early Review:

  • Dirty Work by Gabriel Weston (NOTE: I didn’t actually receive this as an Early Review. I was supposed to back in 2014. I just decided to borrow it from the local library & read it anyway).