What I’m Reading: Classics and Chimeras

In my usual fashion, I’m reading multiple books at once. Lately I’ve been trying to dip into short stories, like Bill Lychak’s collection The Architect of Flowers, though thanks to disconnected nature of short stories, I can’t just sit down and swallow a whole book of them at once. And since I’ve decided to give writing poetry another go, I’ve been flipping through some of the collections I own, like William Carlos Williams (I can read “Between Walls” over, and over, and over again).

Anna Karenina by Leo TolstoyBut of course my main reading focus has been on novels. Thanks to the movie coming out I was inspired to pick up Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I’ve only gotten through the first couple dozen pages, but thus far I really like it (though I still haven’t met the titular character). Obviously it’s more tiring to read through than most modern novels, but I don’t think it’s as overwhelming or requires as many sentence rereads — basically, I feel less like I’m doing homework and more like I’m actually relaxing while I’m reading it.

I’ve also started reading Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor. This is the sequel to her last book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which I was shocked and surprised at last year when I got to the end and realized that this was part of a series and that I would have to wait for the rest of the story (normally I’m fine with this, but I like to be prepared ahead of time). In this novel Karou has regained her memories of her previous life as a chimera. Reeling with guilt over what Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylorher love affair with a seraphim (the enemies of chimera) has wrought, she has taken over the job of her old caretaker and mentor, Brimstone, and is creating warriors so her old people can fight back. So far the book is making me nervous, since I can’t see how things will possibly turn out well for Karou — her “family” is dead, she has been deeply betrayed by her ex-lover, and her own people despise her only slightly less than they need her. Basically, things aren’t looking up for her, and I’m wondering how, or if, Taylor will pull this together for her.

Due to the holidays and the sheer length of both books, these might take me a little extra time to get through, but you can probably expect a post or two when I’m done — at the very least a Catching Up post on Tolstoy’s book.

So friends — what are you reading?

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