Wednesday reading roundup: July 6

Wednesday reading roundup: Humor, romance, and the eternal question of what to read next.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).

What did you recently finish reading?

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 AffairThe 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?

6 Replies to “Wednesday reading roundup: July 6”

  1. The Eyre Affair sounds really fun! I hope you enjoyed it thoroughly. Happy reading and thanks for participating in WWW Wednesday!

    1. Thank you for hosting it!
      I loved the Eyre Affair. It’s so fun and witty, and best of all, it’s the first in a series.
      Happy reading to you too!

    1. I’m sure the right time will come for The Odyssey and am looking forward to it. 🙂
      Thank you for sharing your link, and now I’m off to read your post!

  2. A trip to see family – and in such a beautiful place! How exciting! I’m glad that you’re getting into the spirit of things, and with a splashy, steamy novel no less! It’s cool to see that the book does have merits besides -ahem – in that you’re loving the setting and descriptions. I always love it when a book delivers on multiple levels, especially when one of those is transporting you to another place.

    Thanks for sharing your reads and I can’t wait to see what you decide to read next.

    By the way, you’ve inspired me so much – I’ve finished a lot of books recently and am currently plugging through a novella by Stephen Zweig that’s full of beautiful, vivid descriptions, but that I thought would be so much cooler plot- and character-wise (it’s about pickpockets – one of my favorite subjects), just because I keep thinking you’d think I should finish – seriously, you’re like my reading life coach! 🙂

    1. Aw, I LOVE hearing that! And you’ve given me something to think about, as always: When is it quitting time and when is it good to push through a book? It’s so hard to figure it out sometimes.
      So I feel like I should say An Accidental Greek Wedding is not really to my taste, and I don’t have a broad enough pool of sampling this genre to assess how skilled it is in relation to other books of its kind. My reading of it looks something like this: “Ugh, more longing looks? Yes, yes, I get it. They’re wildly attracted to ea–ooh! a description of baklava!” 😉

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