I think I started the whole “Multi-reading Monday” posts last year, where I would pick three books and see which ones I had finished by the end of the week. Eventually, after about two posts like it, I stopped doing those since it started to make reading feel like a chore. And anyone who knows me knows just how much I hate chores.
Recently, though, I’ve gotten overwhelmed by the amount of books that I own that I haven’t read and the fact that I am in a semi-reading slump. So, I decided to chuck out another one of these posts to see if that could help me get through at least one of the books I’m trying to read.
Once again, there are going to be three books that I will attempt to get through by Sunday. I already have the three in mind, since they’ve been filling my every thought for the past week. Here they are:
City of Masks by Mary Hoffman
Lucien is seriously ill but his life is transformed when an old Italian notebook gives him the power to become a stravagante, a time traveller with access to 16th century Italy. He wakes up in Bellezza (Venice) during carnival time and meets Arianna, a girl his own age who is disguised as a boy in the hope of being selected as one of the Duchessa’s mandoliers. Arianna gives Lucien her boy’s clothing and he is selected as a mandolier himself, becoming a friend of fellow-stravagante Rodolfo, the Duchessa’s lover, and saving the Duchessa’s life when she is threatened by an assassin hired by the powerful di Chimici family. For state occasions the Duchessa uses her maid Giuliana as a body-double but Guiliana commits the fatal mistake of revealing the secret to her fiance Enrico and a sequence of devastating consequences unravels. Meanwhile Lucien has met the original stravagante, the Elizabethan alchemist William Dethridge, and he begins to understand that he may be called to follow in his footsteps.
Technically, this is a reread, since I first read this in high school and absolutely adored it. I finally got my hands on another physical copy and want to relive the magic that I felt the last time.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov
Humbert Humbert – scholar, aesthete and romantic – has fallen completely and utterly in love with Lolita Haze, his landlady’s gum-snapping, silky skinned twelve-year-old daughter. Reluctantly agreeing to marry Mrs Haze just to be close to Lolita, Humbert suffers greatly in the pursuit of romance; but when Lo herself starts looking for attention elsewhere, he will carry her off on a desperate cross-country misadventure, all in the name of Love. Hilarious, flamboyant, heart-breaking and full of ingenious word play, Lolita is an immaculate, unforgettable masterpiece of obsession, delusion and lust.
Another go at a classic novel as a means to achieve my goal at reading a classic a year. Last time it was Pride and Prejudice, and I’ve tried to read others. But those failed. And this will be attempt number three at reaching my classic reading goal.
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.
As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.
I picked this book up about two years ago when it was on a clearance rack. I started reading it about two weeks ago and got through a good chunk of it. But after getting distracted by medical appointments and friends coming over to hang out, it’s been left sitting on my bedside table. Let’s see if I can rectify that.
And those are my three picks for this week. Will I actually finish one of them by Sunday? I suppose I will have to get to reading and see.