Sunday Thoughts and Updates: I’m still here

No, seriously, I’m still here.   I’m saying this more for myself as I’ve been absent from this blog for almost two weeks. I’m scrambling to finish two projects at work before the end of the year.  To top it off, I lost a member of my extended family.  All losses are painful, but this one seems even more so as it was completely unexpected.  Needless to say, I’m well off my game.  My reviews are piling up; I know that I’m the only one counting :).

I’ve been reading a little.  I managed to finish Borges’ Labyrinths . BytheFirelight, in a comment to my Literary Blog Hop post on difficult books, remarked that Labyrinths is one of his harder reads and while he enjoyed it, he “just wasn’t sure what it was trying to say”. He loves “the work contained in those pages, but it took a few rereads to get it”.  His description sums up my experience to the tee.  I’m also done with Death in Spring; I’m slowly working my way through my list of Catalan Literature.

Now to a number of recent additions to my TBR.  First, two books from Lusophone Africa (because I really need to diversify my reading of African literature):

  • The Book of Chameleons by Jose Eduardo Agualusa:  It won The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize of 2007.  I’m so glad I found it; it’s on my list of African Fiction #1 and I’ve heard only good stuff about the book.
  • The Last Flight of the Flamingo by Mia Couto:  This author has been on my radar for a while now.
  • And Bitches’ Brew by Fred Khumalo:  A completely new-to-me author.  The book cover says “Joint winner of the European Union Literary Award 2005”.  I’m not sure if it’s the author or the book that won the prize. Looks very interesting. The author is from South Africa.
  • I found a used copy of The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction by Henry James.  Reviews of Cynthia Ozick’s Foreign Bodies (2010), especially the one at Apostrophe has me looking for James’ work.  Ozick’s book, apparently, is a homage to James and might be a “photographic negative” of James’  The Ambassadors.  The thing is I want to read Foreign Bodies but I feel I should reacquaint myself with James first.

Well, that’s all for now.  I wish everyone a good reading week.



  1. I just finished THE BOOK OF CHAMELEONS! Very good and perfect follow up to Borges. (You’ll see why, although I really should reread Borges and then CHAMELEONS to get it….)


  2. Have my sympathy there. So sorry about your loss. The first two books looks appealing judging from their covers. But I know Mia Couto is a good writer. Have read a couple of his short stories and were extremely funny.


  3. Kinna I have seen Bitches Brew at Silverbird but have always skipped it. I would want to know what you think first. The most difficult thing is making a decision to buy one book and not the other.


  4. I’m sorry for your loss Kinna.

    I loved The Book of Chameleons; I think I read it late last year. The other books are new to me!


    • I’m a ditz, no they’re not. I read a different Couto and didn’t get along with it overly well…I hope you have better luck with The Last Flight of the Flamingo! It has a great title at least. And I love Henry James, although I appreciated Turn of the Screw much more the second time around. 🙂


  5. I ve just read the book of chaeLeons for second time for the blog and loved it even more than my first reading ,all the best stu


  6. Glad to hear that you are still around Kinna! I’m sorry to hear about your loss – never an easy thing to deal with. I hope that your projects go well and that your new year is less stressful. Also, those books sound interesting!


  7. Sorry to hear about your loss. I can’t believe you’re reading such a difficult book. Usually when I’m in a stress/difficult situation I read easy books.

    I love the covers of your new books, I haven’t heard of them (except Henry James), but from the cover, they look great.

    Hope you’re getting a bit more time to read, eventually!


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