1. What book are you reading now?
Barchester Towers. I should have read it years ago. My husband and I share many tastes, but he is unreasonably squeamish about the 19th century. He told me for years that the only Dickens novel he liked was Tale of Two Cities, because it wasn't like any other Dickens novels. (But really, it is SO much like other Dickens novels.) Way back in 1991 he practically retched when I told him the senior seminar for comparative lit majors was on the 19th-century historical novel -- I do believe he'd have preferred to have a couple of fingernails ripped out. (Mostly I enjoyed the readings, although I did not love Salammbô.) I should have learned early to filter out his anti-19th-century bias. But when he talked about Trollope as reading one would only undertake as penance, I believed him. When he gave me a copy of Barchester Towers and said, "Here, I thought you might like this," in the same tone one might use while handing a box of laundry starch to a pica sufferer -- I said thank you wanly and put the book on the shelf.
But! I love it! I should have known I would. It is so witty, and the characters so interesting, that I can't wait to read more about the wily machinations of imaginary English clerics. Go figure. It's possible that 600 pages might be a whole lot of machinating, but I'm happy for now.
2. What book did you just finish?
Have His Carcase. Finals prompted a Lord Peter Wimsey binge, because the idea of a world full of careful observations and sparkling language usage and a right answer that no one can argue with has a certain appeal at finals time.
Stolen. This was a Lissa recommendation. In contrast to most Lissa recommendations, it didn't grab me.
Thea Gallas Always Gets Her Man. A budding lactation consultant solves a murder mystery! This must be the first time that the Journal of Human Lactation has featured in a book about body-hiding hoarders with dark personal histories.
When We Were On Fire. A memoir of growing up evangelical and becoming disillusioned. I think that this one and the previous one were both recommended by Rixa.
3. What do you plan to read next?
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's newest is coming out on Monday.
4. What book do you keep meaning to finish?
Oh, ugh. In the fall of 2011 I bought Diane Ackerman's One Hundred Names for Love. I'm two-thirds of the way through. I also have had My Peace I Give You sitting partially read on my iPod for, like, ever. I'm generally a little obsessive about finishing books I buy from the Kindle store. We will not discuss my dusty pile of book-books.
5. What book do you keep meaning to start?
Romola. I keep thinking that George Eliot should be my next multi-year reading project, and then I keep not reading George Eliot. I loved Adam Bede and Mill on the Floss and Silas Marner, but all of them took me a good long while to warm to. I did not love Middlemarch. Is that heresy?
6. What is your current reading trend?
Other bloggers' recommendations. I am a reed in the wind lately.