The True Sea

The human mind, old films, literature and podcasts.

What I’m currently reading

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What I'm Currently Reading | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comThe Vegetarian: A Novel by Han Kang
When Yeong-hye suddenly decides to become a vegetarian (technically, vegan) and stop sleeping because of recurring nightmares, her husband doesn’t know what to think. Being vegetarian in South Korea is still uncommon, and her increasingly unsound behaviour drives her husband to acts of sexual sadism. An indelible South Korean novel about shame and desire, written in three acts. I read the first two acts in one go.

Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime by Val McDermid
Crime writer Val McDermid combines research, interviews with professionals and her own experience in this non-fiction book about the fascinating science of forensics. I went to the fantastic exhibition with the same name at the Wellcome Collection last year, but I didn’t get round to buying the book until now.

Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
During a trip to her hometown, painter Elaine reflects on her teenage years and an abusive friendship which has haunted her for 40 years. A stream of conciousness novel exploring the unreliable nature of memory and the ever-changing nature of identity. My colleague surprise lent me this one. I’ve never read Atwood before so I’m really excited to read it.

The Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To by Dean Burnett
Neuroscientist Dean Burnett explores the human brain and its imperfections. In this non-fiction book, he explains why our brains are seemingly sabotaging our lives in the most bizarre ways. I’ve got a ticket for a talk with Dean Burnett and Robin Ince about this book in May, so I figured I’d read it before then.

A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie by Kathryn Harkup
Poison was Agatha Christie’s preferred murder method to kill off her characters, and the deadly substances were carefully chosen. This non-fiction book, written by research chemist Kathryn Harkup, celebrates Christie’s extensive chemical knowledge and use of science in her work. I’m deliberately taking my time reading this one.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Growing up in 70s Michigan, the narrator Calliope Stephanides has a unique family secret; having been born with both male and female genitalia. An inter-sex, family saga covering three generations of a Greek immigrant family in America. This novel has been in my to-read pile for ages so it’s about time I finally read it.

How about you? What are you currently reading?

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7 thoughts on “What I’m currently reading

  1. I think its amusing that your first Margaret Atwood novel is the same one I read first. TBH, I remember love-hating it. (It turns out I have also read the Penelopiad (The Odyssey from Penelope’s POV) but have all but forgotten it too. Much and all as she comes raved about, I have yet to see eye to eye with Atwood. (And it doesn’t help that she likes to be considered as the more literary acceptable term ‘speculative fiction’, rather than Science fiction which she sees as some kind of genre ghetto. But I digress).
    I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the Eugenides book. I’ve read the Virgin Suicides and quite liked it. But then I also like how it was visualised in film with all the nods to william eggleston’s photography. Middlesex sounds intriguing too.
    At the moment I am mostly reading books from my to-read pile i blogged before xmas and from the selection of wonderful books and comics people sent me for my recuperation. I’m not reading very fast as i’m a bit distracted with audio at the moment. But I was thinking it might be nice to do a 6mth recap on my reading list and see what’s still on it and why….. And of course and i am reading Amanda Palmer’s Art of Asking that you kindly lent me!
    Hope you’re having a fab easter break
    b.x

    • I gave up halfway through Cat’s Eye. Reading it ended up being a trauma trigger because I was bullied as a child. It made me feel awful and nearly brought on a panic attack before I realised what was going on. I want to try another book of hers though. I’m not sure how I feel about her either. She was great on the Nerdette podcast though. Yes, I’ve seen her being labelled as speculative fiction.
      I haven’t read The Virgin Suicides but I love the film. When I do get round to reading it, I’ll let you know what I think.
      Audio is good too. I have the never-ending predicament of wanting to listen to a podcast at the same time as I’m reading. There’s no way around that one haha! I’m glad you have lots of books to read. I love having a big pile of books to read next to my bed. I would love to read a 6 month recap. That’s a great idea. You’re most welcome, my dear. I can’t wait to hear what you think of The Art of Asking when you’ve finished it. :)
      Hope you’re having a fabulous Easter weekend too! X

      • You make me laugh! I could just see you trying to read and listen to a pod cast at the same time. I am trying to get the Art of Asking finished so I can give it back to you when you are here, but it made me cry soooo much over the weekend I had to put it back in the drawer for a bit. xx

        • I’m glad I make you laugh. :) I have actually tried haha! Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t work. No rush, my dear. I’m happy for it to live with you. It made me cry floods too. Would you like me to bring How To Build a Girl with me to yours? xx

          • Would you? (I like it for reference for ‘teen novel’ coming of age stuff I sort of collect and may one day write). But only if you have room. I can swap you ‘How to be a woman’ for it . That sound good? I keep wanting to book mark so many good things in the Palmer book! (Don’t worry! I haven’t marked it in any way!) x

            • I’ll bring it. It’s a smallish paperback so I’ve got room. I’d love to read How To Be a Woman but no need to lend it to me. Dawn has a copy. Thanks though. :) I just need to get round to reading it. Oh, mark or highlight all you want! It’s a book meant to be marked. You keep it safe for me, my dear. My bookshelves are small and pretty full at the moment. I’m glad that you’re finding it as inspiring as I did. X

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