hp: hermione fifty points

What Are You Reading Wednesday

What are you reading now?
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. It's a retelling of a Russian fairy tale where a childless couple build a little girl out of snow and it comes to life. I haven't read very much of it yet, but it's spare and haunting, and the characters seem very real. I can see why it was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize.

What did you just finish reading?
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, a narrative non-fiction book about a slum in Mumbai. I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I usually try to avoid books where white people write about other countries and cultures; I'd much rather hear what people from different places want to say about themselves. I'm also a little skeeved out because the book sold very well, and I see no mention anywhere of the author using her profits to help the impoverished people she wrote about. If I put those philosophical objections aside, this book was fabulous though. The writing is so lyrical. More importantly, what I remember most are the people, who seem just like people anywhere, even though they are living in horrific conditions. The author writes about their lives with great respect and insight, so I'm not sorry to have read it.

What will you read next?
I have a sample of Sweet Tooth, a novel about a female spy in the 1960s. The reviews are pretty mixed, but Ian McEwan wrote two of my favorite books, so I'd like to give it a chance.
I loved The Snow Child. I had no idea until after I finished it that it was based on a Russian fairy tale, but I thought it was absolute poetry, so beautifully written and such rich descriptions. Look forward to hearing what you think of it!