Ah, how I love Wednesday reading roundup day. Without it, I’d probably gorge away on books and forget to take a bit of time to think about what I’m reading. Many thanks as always to Taking on a World of Words for hosting WWW Wednesday and Coffee and Cats for introducing me to it!
What are you currently reading?
My May book-buying binge (courtesy of my birthday) included a novel called An Accidental Greek Wedding by Carol Grace. I bought it on a whim, though I’d never heard of it, because it’s set in – you guessed it – Greece. As I’m getting reading for my annual family visit there, I picked it up. I love reading novels set in the places to which I’m traveling. I haven’t read many novels set in Greece, either, so couldn’t resist trying this one.
Twenty-something Jane travels to Greece for the wedding of her best friend Sofia, who is Greek-American (and dreadfully bratty – nothing at all like the Greek-American women I know, ahem!). Sofia’s fiancé is Alex, who Jane has had a crush on since their freshman year of college. Sofia and Alex have a fight. She disappears with a mystery man. Jane and Alex try to find her, in Sofia’s father’s yacht.
So, the novel is … well, not my usual reading material. It’s quite steamy, actually. So if you like that sort of thing, you might enjoy this one. As for me, I’m enjoying the descriptions of island locales – the food, the music, the landscape, the people. Ergo, reading this book is accomplishing what I wanted it to: It’s getting me excited for my trip and to see my family (and to eat my favorite Greek food, nom nom).
We have been watching many, many, many soccer matches at my house. How this applies to my reading: I decided to celebrate Wales advancing to the UEFA Euro 2016 semifinal round by reading a Welsh author. Well, it turned out to be a reread after all: Jasper Fforde’s thoroughly entertaining The Eyre Affair. The novel is set in 1985 in what you might call an alternate universe: The Crimean War has been going on more than 140 years. Wales is The People’s Republic of Wales (relations with England are strained, to say the least). Cloning and time travel are norms.
Our first-person narrator is Thursday Next, a Crimean war veteran who works as a literary detective. This is necessary because literature is a VERY big deal. The question of who authored Shakespeare’s plays could very well lead to violence. Other than that, it’s hard to get into the plot without tripping over spoilers. Here are a few things you’ll experience reading the book: TONS of literary puns, references, and plays on words (a bibliophile’s dream book!); characters traveling out of their books and The Eyre Affair characters traveling into books; timey-wimey things (forgive the mixed reference); so much laughing out loud.
One thing I noticed this time is how scholarly literary purist types clash with readers who identify with the characters as real people. It’s not a major plot point but is infused throughout in a way that made me think.
If you’ve never read this book, it’s great fun!
What do you think you’ll read next?
I kind of want to read The Odyssey by Homer, especially since I’ll be traveling to one of the islands that claims to be where he was born (if he indeed existed). But I don’t know that I have the attention span for it at the moment.
Another contender might be the memoir Harry Mount’s Odyssey: Ancient Greece in the Footsteps of Odysseus by Harry Mount. It seems like a good middle ground. I might try the first page and see if it calls to me.
What reads are on your list this week? Anything you recommend?