spock: logic is sexy

What Are You Reading Wednesday

....one day late.

What are you reading now?
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan. It's about a girl who was recruited by MI5 in the early 1970s. My feelings are mixed. On the one hand, it has lot of the things I like best about McEwan's writing, like the intricate yet mundane details that make a character feel like a real human being. On the other hand, it's moving kind of slowly. I don't think about it when I'm not reading it, and I don't usually read more than a chapter at a time.

What did you just finish reading?
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. It's about a childless couple who move to Alaska for a fresh start. One night they build a little girl out of snow. In the morning, the snow child is gone and a real little girl is wandering the woods. I can't say enough good things about this novel. The prose is spare and haunting, and Mabel and Jack's stilted relationship felt completely real. I loved the way the book left so many things up to interpretation, like where the girl came from and what happened to her at the end. [Spoiler (click to open)]I keep thinking that she melted, and it gives me chills because Alaska is, quite literally, melting right now -- right along with a lot of our world. All the characters were happiest when they let Faina live as she wanted to, even when that made her a little wild, a little untouchable, a little incomprehensible. As she started to become a "real girl," she was happy for a time, and then she disappeared. I think this mirrors a lot of what we do with nature, especially as we settled the West and as we start to create tourist infrastructure in wild places. For a time, we live in awe of it, but as we civilize and cultivate it, something about it is diminished until it's finally gone.

What are you reading next?
I don't know. Any recommendations? I have been on a literary fiction kick lately, but I could persuaded by some sci-fi/fantasy with a female protagonist.
If you haven't read any Sheri Tepper or Sharon Shinn, I highly recommend either. For Sheri Tepper: The Gate to Women's Country or Gibbon's Decline and Fall. For Sharon Shinn: Archangel. Also very good: Elizabeth Hand's Waking the Moon and Llyn Fflewelling's The Bone Doll's Twin (first of a trilogy). All of these are excellent, thought-provoking books with strong female protags.

For lit fi, check out The Weird Sisters (Eleanor Brown), Hotel du Lac (Anita Brookner), Life and Loves of a She-Devil (Fay Weldon), or Daughters in Law (Joanna Trollope).

And if you read any of these, come back and tell me what you thought :)

Edited at 2013-05-31 01:30 am (UTC)
Have you read The Maker's Mask by Ankaret Wells? It starts out a tiny bit confusing, but it's really great! And Babylon Steel by Gaie Sebold is a lot of fun. Oh, and Seraphina by Rachel Hartman too.
The two that pop to mind (and are probably already on your bookshelves :D) are the Honor Harrington series by David Weber (starts with On Basilisk Station) and the Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon (starts with Sheepfarmer's Daughter). If you haven't read them, DO.
I always recommend The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker to everyone as a matter of course. Lit fic about the treatment of First World War soldiers suffering from 'shell shock', and it is a celebration of the work women do by showing it through men's eyes.