Wednesday reading roundup (on Thursday): July 14

My Wednesday reading roundup (on Thursday) includes the ballet novel Tiny Pretty Things.With my annual summer relocation happening this week, I’m behind. I could let it go and plan to catch up next week. But I won’t. It’s like with working out: If I let myself go one week, it’ll be too easy to let it go the next one. And the next one after that.

So my 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?

Harry Mount’s Odyssey: Ancient Greece in the Footsteps of Odysseus by Harry Mount. I discovered it through this review in The Guardian. Oddly, it was the first title that came up when I googled “what’s the best translation of The Odyssey?” Mount’s project – to follow Odysseus’ journey from Troy back home – intrigued me. Busy days haven’t left me as much time for reading as I’d like, so it’s still early days for the book and me. So far, though, I’m enjoying the voice and writing quality.

What did you recently finished reading?

Earlier today, I finished Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton. I enjoy ballet books and had this one on my list since it came out. And would you believe: All those e-book sales I get finally paid off: Last week, Tiny Pretty Things was on sale for $1.99, and I scooped it up.

It’s about high school students at an elite New York City ballet academy, where the pressure to excel pushes students to the brink physically and emotionally. The story unfolds through three first-person viewpoints. California girl Gigi feels the weight of being the only African-American student at an academy where “ballet blanc” is the unspoken code. June wants more than the understudy roles she’s been getting, especially since her mother has given her an ultimatum to get better roles or leave the academy. Bette, a legacy student, fits the prima ballerina description to perfection but struggles to replicate her older sister’s success.

The story begins with a student, Cassie, falling during a class, then fast-forwards to the following year. We discover Cassie is not longer at the school. She was injured in the fall. It turns out she was also the victim of intense bullying/harassment by other students, Bette at the head of the list. The bullies find a new target in Gigi, with the “pranks” becoming increasingly alarming. We spend the book not knowing exactly who is doing what. I raced to the end hoping to find out what was going on only to find the last page is the biggest cliffhanger of them all – sneaky! I guess I’ll have to read the sequel, Shiny Broken Pieces.

I also finished An Accidental Greek Wedding by Carol Grace. More of my thoughts on it are here.

What do you think you’ll read next?

It’s hard to say at this point. I have quite a bit of Harry Mount’s Odyssey ahead of me. Earlier this week, my parents were showing me photos of their recent trip to Norway. As ridiculous as this sounds, the photos kind of made me want to read the first book in Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series. A Hamish Macbeth mystery also sounds appealing.

So it remains to be seen what book lands on my “next up” list.

How about you? What books are on you read, reading, and to read list?

4 Replies to “Wednesday reading roundup (on Thursday): July 14”

  1. I love the feel of fun and promise in this week’s roundup – like you’re reading but just taking it easy and going where your ideas and interests (like ballet – didn’t know you liked that genre!) take you. A perfect summer reading vibe!

    I want to thank you because, as I mentioned in another comment, you inspire me to finish books I normally might have set aside in despair. That was the case last week and early this week with Stephen Zweig’s novella “Découverte inopinée d’un vrai métier”. As I mentioned then, the story has beautiful, vivid descriptions, but I was – and, ultimately, am – so, so disappointed because, through no fault of Zweig’s, it just wasn’t what I was hoping for. I love books about pickpockets and petty thieves and the like and I was really hoping this one would feature cool characters and memorable dialogue and instead, it was basically 67 pages of stream-of-consciousness and minimal plot (although I did like the ending). It wasn’t what I was in the mood to read right now, but like I said, I thought of how often you plug on through books and so I soldiered on. So thank you for that.

    I’m now currently reading Nicolas Barreau’s “Le sourire des femmes” (“The Ingredients of Love”) , a book I was inspired to read because of you, as well. I saw it on your list of French books and I was surprised I’d never heard of it or of Barreau, and your description of it made me really want to check it out. Unfortunately, I’m not liking it as much as you did, but it is a fun, light summer read.

    And I ended up finding out that “Wolf Hall” was FINALLY available at my local library, so yesterday, defying doctor’s orders to rest after pulling out my back, I raced over there, while pushing my son’s carriage uphill, to snatch it up. I was in a lot of pain afterwards, but it was WORTH IT – I’m not far into the book yet but am really enjoying it. Plus, it provides a cool balance with the Barreau book – when “Wolf Hall” gets too grim or serious, I just put it down and read that one for a while.

    Thanks again for all of your inspiration – thanks to you, I’ve had quite the reading week!

    Hope your travel plans and trip go well!

    1. Yay! I love hearing this – thank you, Alysa!

      I tried to read Wolf Hall but just couldn’t get into it. It’s weird because I did think it was beautifully written. That’s a book I did not power through to finish, but now I want to try again. And I have it on my Nook too…
      Were you happy you finished Zweig’s book? For me, with The World Between Two Covers, I was glad I finished it even though it wasn’t satisfying. Now I think about it, I’m usually happier to finish a book than put it down, even though there are plenty that I don’t read to the end. I will have to think more about this!
      Barreau’s book is definitely light and has a stylized farce feel. I find books of that sort can be so refreshing, like palate cleansers. 🙂

  2. Enjoy Riordan!! I worked a book sale yesterday and sold so many of his to happy customers. Happy reading and thanks for participating in WWW Wednesday!

    1. Thank you, Sam! Riordan’s books are so much fun. I started Magnus Chase yesterday and so far am really enjoying it. Happy reading to you, and thank you for hosting WWW!

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