It’s Monday, June 29th. What Are You Reading?


It’s been a whirlwind of a week, ladies and gents, but mostly a great one and I’m pretty thrilled with all this reading. After news of James Salter’s passing last week, I decided to set down This is Your Life, Harriet Chance! (it has a very light tone that just wasn’t working for me at the moment, though I plan to come back to it later) and pick up The Hunters. It didn’t knock my favorite Salter novel (All That Is) from the pedestal, but I always love reading his words.

I don’t know what gave me the itch, but I finally jumped for my first Haruki Murakami book this week and flew through Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. I love, love, loved it and I can’t wait to read another.

On Saturday, I went to an open casting call for extras for a movie that will be filmed here in Richmond. No, I don’t have big acting dreams, but I’m really excited about the movie and love the director, so I thought I would go. I knew I would be waiting for a while, so I brought my copy of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me to read in line. It was a long enough wait and a short enough book that I was able to finish…and maybe I’ll get a call to hang out in the background of a scene—who knows?

Now I’m about halfway through Elena Ferrente’s My Brilliant Friend, which is my book club read for this month, and I’m still not sure I get the hype. It just seems very…okay? Unremarkable? I don’t know, but I’m hoping something shifts. My other new read is Mislaid by Nell Zink, and even though I’m just a few pages in I’m quite excited to see where it goes.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


  • I have never read James Salter. Now I want to. Good luck on casting call. One of those once in a lifetime things and hopefully a great experience.

    • I’m a huge fan of James Salter, but I think he can be an acquired taste…definitely much more about the writing than plot.

  • JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing

    It took me a long time to really get into My Brilliant Friend (almost stopped reading halfway and had decided not to continue the series), then finally got hooked closer to the end. I waited a couple months before picking up book 2, but that one was SO MUCH better and I immediately went on to book 3. Waiting for the 4th will be tough.

    Murakami has been on my list for so long…maybe I’ll start with Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, too, even though After Dark is on my shelf.

    Added a couple of Salter’s books to my wish list this week, too.

    • That’s actually really good to hear. I think if this wasn’t for book club I would have DNF’d it by this point…there have been some great moments, but nothing really makes me want to pick it up. A hook at the end and great book two sounds promising, though!

  • I tried All That Is and couldn’t get into it. Perhaps I should give it another go. I’ve got the Coates sitting here staring at me, just can’t fit it in yet, but really looking forward to it. As I am Mislaid, anxious to hear what you think.

    I am almost finished with tree book The Daylight Marriage (curious, yet holding my interest), just staring Dead Wake on audio, and in the middle of The Qualities of Wood on the ereader. Which is getting short shrift, the tell being I keep forgetting the title. It’s not bad, I’m just not getting to it as much as I should.

    • I adore Salter, but can only read him in very meditative moments when I can really focus on his writing, because that’s what it’s all about. He’s not one to rush through.

      LOVED Between the World and Me – I already want to read it again. It’s challenging and thought provoking and everything I hoped it would be.

  • I can’t wait to hear what comes of your casting experience; that would be fun, I think. Also, interested to hear what you think of Mislaid; I think I might enjoy it. Hope your week is off to a great start, Shannon!

  • I haven’t heard of any of these books, probably too literary for me. Glad you are enjoying them.

  • I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am you loved the Murakami!!!

    • I’ll need you to be my guide on this journey! I put Strange Library on hold just because it’s so short, but after that I’ll have no idea what to read.

  • One of these days I need to read something by Haruki Murakami. It sounds like this might be a good one. I hope you get to be in the movie!

  • I haven’t read any of these books or the authors for that matter! A call back would be so fun!!

  • First off, that casting call sounds cool and the movie looks like something I will have to watch. Extra especially if you are in it! Also, I can’t wait to read the Coates book! Also also, you’re not the last person to read Murakami: I still haven’t read any of his books. Is Colorless a good place to start, you think?

    • I saw several people mention that it would be a good one for first time readers since it’s not super long and not as out there as some of his books can get, and it seemed like a good balance to me. I definitely wanted to keep reading!

  • I’m really interested in Mislaid and have had it on my radar for a while. I can’t wait to see your thoughts on it.

  • I don’t know where to start with my comments… A casting call sounds great, and I give you credit for doing it! Between the World and Me sounds SO GOOD – I might have to try to get my hands on a copy sooner rather than later! I also have yet to read Murakami, and this just adds fuel to the fire! Ahhhh My Brilliant Friend – I want to read it after all the TOB hype, so I’m interested to hear your final thoughts. I (still) have Mislaid out from the library too, but haven’t had a chance to get to it yet – I think I’m out of renewals! Excellent reading week – I need one of those!

    • It was definitely good to get so much reading in! I wish I was more drawn to My Brilliant Friend, but I’m almost done now and it’s been kind of a boring read for me. Here’s hoping Mislaid goes a little better.

      • Bummer about the Ferrante since it was mad praise all around during the TOB – well, I guess that was the third book… but still… Do you think that maybe affected your reading of it now?

  • Heather

    Being a movie extra would be great. Then you can say you’ve been on the silver screen. Very cool. I hope you get it! The movie sounds amazing as well – I’ll have to keep a look out for it.

    I haven’t read any Murakami, but my hand always hovers over his books when I’m in the bookshop. But there’s always something else I have to have at the time, so he hasn’t made his way into my TBR. Everyone raves about him though, so I think I’ll take the plunge next pay day.I really want to read Elena Ferrante as well – have you read anything else by her?

    At the moment I’m reading Louis de Berniere’s new novel,
    ‘The Dust That Falls From Dreams’. I’m really enjoying it – it’s made me giggle so many time while reading on the train. I love his writing.

    • This is the first Ferrante book I’ve read (and the first in this series). I’m not sure if I’ll keep going, though I’ve heard the second book is better!

  • Mislaid is on my “maybe” list, so I’m interested to see what you think of it! I also started My Brilliant Friend because my father and a couple of other family friends really enjoyed it. I didn’t get very far before getting distracted, and I’m not sure when I’ll get back to it. It didn’t exactly grip me from the off. I’m really excited for This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!, and can’t wait to get my hands on it! And, of course, I need to get to Tsukuru Tazaki. Been on my shelf for nearly a year now, and I’ve heard such good things! I’ve only read one Murakami – The Strange Library – which impressed me, and I’ve been meaning to try some of his other books. It’s juts a matter of finding the time! Looks like you’ve had a great reading week, and I hope you get to be an extra!

  • So glad you loved your first Murakami! I’m getting the itch to do some re-reading ;-)

    That movie sounds so cool. I hope you get a call!

  • I’d like to read some of James Salter’s back list. I think I met him at a book signing in Aspen many years ago. But I still havent read him yet. I need to.

  • I did not realize until today that the publishers were bringing the Coates book forward to release it this month. But yay! I am so psyched to read it! And I hope you get to be an extra. They film many movies in Louisiana these days, so a bunch of my friends have been extras in various things. It sounds…sooooort of boring in the moment? But very exciting when the movie comes out.

    • There’s been quite a bit of filming here lately, too, and my husband has been an extra in a few things (his schedule has always been more flexible than mine). He can definitely vouch for the boring!

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