I have a confession to make: I'm running behind schedule. I finished Down the Rabbit Hole, went to start Open City, and somehow got caught up with Louis Theroux and his Call of the Weird. Therefore, I've tried to reduce the list this week with books I have already made an attempt at reading, so I can try and catch up.
First up is Tender Morsels. I've had this for a while after seeing it in a 'fairytale twists' display in Waterstones Norwich, and started it a month ago, but couldn't gain any momentum when reading, and ended up passing it over for other books. This week is Tender Morsels last chance to impress me before it has to be returned to the library.
In her inspired re-working of the fairy tale Snow White and Rose Red Margo Lanagan has created characters that are vivid, passionate, flawed and fiercely devoted to their hearts' desires, whether these desires are good or evil. It is the story of two worlds - one real, one magical - and how, despite the safe haven her magical world offers to those who have suffered, her characters can never turn their backs on the real world, with all its beauty and brutality.
Next is Atonement. I saw the film when I was at University, with no knowledge of Ian McEwan, and then separately started reading other McEwan books (I read Saturday in conjunction with my Modernism and the City module and last year I read and reviewed Solar). As there was a copy available in the library, I thought, why not?
On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briny Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge.
By the end of that day the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.
Finally, a change from novels I ordered Jo Shapcott's Of Mutability, which happens to be part of the Summer Reads Program '12.
In a series of fresh, unflinching poems, the author movingly explores morality and the nature of change: in the body and the natural world, and in the shifting relationships between people. By turns grave and playful, arresting and witty, the poems in Of Mutability celebrate each waking moment as though it might be the last, and in so doing restore wonder to the smallest of encounters.
Happy Reading, and here's hoping I don't fall behind. x