Happy Sunday everyone! Right now I am in the process of slogging through all fifty prologues of The Museum of Eterna's Novel (The First Good Novel) by Macedonio Fernández. It's been some slow, slow work. Fernández is a great writer, no doubt about that, and brilliantly inventive (he was, after all, Jorge Borges's mentor), but Lord is he difficult. We're talking deep, deep, mind-bending metaphysical stuff here.
For my time-off moments from Fernández I've also been reading the first book of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I originally started it sometime when the movies were still in theaters but couldn't get into it. I'm not a fantasy person at all but I feel like this is one of those Books You Must Read Before You Die.
I do need to get Fernández done, though. Some of you may recall that I had a review published by The Front Table back in December. They recently contacted me again and I'll be getting a copy of Monika Fagerholm's The American Girl! Here is what Publisher's Weekly had to say:
This third, unusual novel from Fagerholm (Wonderful Women by the Sea) is a hypnotic coming-of-age story that hinges on a dark but powerful bond between two Finnish girls growing up in the swamplands of outer Helsinki. Born to jet-setter parents, timid young Sandra finds strength by clinging to obstinate, wild-eyed Doris, who is no stranger to dysfunction herself: her mother has a hundred thousand excuses for beating her daughter. The two begin to obsess over an unsolved death that haunts the town. Making up games in abandoned pools, basements, and the muddy marshlands, the girls dress alike and begin to form solipsistic creeds, such as the belief that suffering has developed a hidden power in us that makes it so that we can see what no one else sees. The fractured work can by trying—there's no straight chronology, and sentences are frequently appealingly off-balance (kudos to Tucker for the slick translation)—but Fagerholm's esoteric prose and her omnipotent narrator's eye bring to life a world of ambient longings, cryptic memories, and ethereal figures.I cannot wait for this one. It'll be my second Swedish book after John Ajvide Lindqvist's Let the Right One In. But I wonder why it's called "The American Girl." That's very odd.
And last but not least, my very best news:
I have found a local book club.
Right now we're reading Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, which I already read over the summer. Still, it's been great revisiting it and hearing everyone else's thoughts. Of course, I also participate in The Good Books Club online, hosted by Padfoot and Prongs. Book #3 for us is the play Rozencrantz and Guilderstein Are Dead, which we'll be discussing in our chatroom on the 28th.
So - right now: get through The Museum of Eterna's Novel!
Update: I completely forgot it was Valentine's Day! Happy Valentine's Day everyone!