requisite Christmas cake. Plus to get in the Christmas mood, along with my yearly viewing of Love, Actually, I read David Sedaris' Holidays on Ice. Some of the stories in the collection were very chuckle-worthy, but others... well, let's just say they weren't quite to my taste. Click on the book cover to read my review. I'd like to try another book of his though to see if it was just this particular collection that didn't completely work for me. If you're a Sedaris fan, please suggest which one I should read next.
The year-end is the big celebration here in Japan, rather than Christmas, so we were away for a few days to spend the New Years holidays with the in-laws. They don't have internet (can you imagine!?) so I thought I'd get a fair bit of reading time in, but somehow that didn't quite happen. I blame Twitter (even without an internet connection, I still had my phone) and the distraction of visiting with family and friends. One highlight of this trip was meeting up with a fellow book lover who I met a few months ago on Twitter. It was so great to meet up in person and we had a really wonderful chat about books and life. Reading-wise, I did finally finish The Temple of the Golden Pavilion though, so that felt like an accomplishment in itself.
After we got back early last week, we visited a local shrine for Hatsumode, the first shrine visit of the year, to pray for good health and success in the coming year. However, it didn't seem to work as a couple days later I ended up with yet another cold. (!) But on the positive side, it was the perfect opportunity to stay warm indoors, and curl up with a book, or two. So this weekend I did just that. On Saturday I finished Drinking Closer to Home by Jessica Anya Blau, which I had started earlier in the week. Despite the fact that the characters were all pretty selfish, I ended up quite liking them.
Sukkwan Island by David Vann. Sukkwan Island recently won the 2010 Prix Médicis étranger. To celebrate the fact that David Vann's first full-length novel, Caribou Island, is coming out later this month, right now, courtesy of Harper Collins, you can read Sukkwan Island for free via the following: Kobo | Sony | Amazon | and it should also be available for Nook, and on Apple's iBookstore if you do a search. If you like well-written, dark stories, with a fabulous sense of place, I recommend you check it out. What have you got to lose, after all?
I love discovering new-to-me writers and now I'm very much looking forward to reading Caribou Island, which I've got loaded on my e-reader and am just about to start.
I did wish you all a very Happy New Year already, but I do hope this Year of the Rabbit has started out well for you, hopefully with some good books!
What are you reading this week?
It's Monday, What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.
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