Monday, September 3, 2012

Reading Notes

How delighted was I to discover Annabel Lyon's new book The Sweet Girl will be out soon?! I pre-ordered a copy directly from Random House, opened a bottle of wine and did a little happy dance. I was that excited.

Pythias is her father's daughter, with eyes his exact shade of unlovely, intelligent grey. A slave to his own curiosity and intellect, Aristotle has never been able to resist wit in another--even in a girl child who should be content with the kitchen, the loom and a life dictated by the womb. And oh his little Pytho is smart, able to best his own students in debate and match wits with a roomful of Athenian philosophers. Is she a freak or a harbinger of what women can really be? Pythias must suffer that argument, but she is also (mostly) secure in her father's regard.

But then Alexander dies a thousand miles from Athens, and sentiment turns against anyone associated with him, most especially his famous Macedonian-born teacher. Aristotle and his family are forced to flee to Chalcis, a garrison town. Ailing, mourning and broken in spirit, Aristotle soon dies. And his orphaned daughter, only 16, finds out that the world is a place of superstition, not logic, and that a girl can be played upon by gods and goddesses, as much as by grown men and women. To safely journey to a place in which she can be everything she truly is, Aristotle's daughter will need every ounce of wit she possesses, but also grace and the capacity to love. 
(from the RH website)

Sounds good, yes? Especially since, surprisingly, one of my favorite reads last year was her 2009 book The Golden Mean a book I had no intention of actually completing because, well, ancient Greece and Alexander the Great have never been high on my list of interests. But still, there was something about it that kept calling me from my bookshelf (that cover, ack!) for a good year and a half until I finally opened it thinking it would be back on the shelf after a courtesy 50 page trial. Well, didn't it just sweep me into its ancient world of philosophy and family ties and adventure! I loved it and scolded myself afterwards for being so lame. Of course then it left me fretting over how long I would have to wait for any subsequent books to come off this author's desk. I tried not to think about it  so the waiting wouldn't seem so long.

In the meantime I consoled myself with Madeline Miller's  Song of Achilles earlier this year, which I also loved. I know I'm already an historical fiction buff, but this streak of ancient Greek stories is turning into something of a trend, methinks. 

Speaking of waiting . . . I'm wondering when Joseph Boyden will be coming out with his third book after thoroughly hooking me with Three Day Road (2005) and Through Black Spruce (2008). Both are fabulous books that I briefly reviewed early in my blogging days but never gave the gushing praise they deserve. Although Spruce did win Canada's Giller Prize that year, which is something.

Both stories are related (Three Day Road being the prequel to Through Black Spruce) and are about the bonds within a Native Canadian family as their story takes them from the battlefields of Europe during WWI to the wilds of Northern Ontario in the present. Wonderful writing and an engrossing story! 

So Mr. Boyden, please, a new book already. 

And then there's this little number, which I'm reading right now and is totally creeping me out in a Beautiful Mind sort of way. A little bit of a modern day psychological thriller to ring in the fall season.

Anywhoo, that's about all the bookish news I've got for this week. But it is September which means BOOK FAIR at my son's school. And guess who's organizing that?


Life is good.


Jackie/Jake said...

I also loved Through Black Spruce and would love another book by him!!

Thanks for dropping by and visiting.

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

Annabel Lyon sounds like an awesome writer, how have I not heard of her until now? I'll be reading Golden Mean very soon :)

Trish said...

Jackie - Four years is plenty long enough to wait for a next book, don't you think?!

Sam - yes, I think you'd really like her. I'd be interested what you think of Golden Mean.