This weekly meme, hosted by MizB, over at ‘Should Be Reading’, is a snapshot of where I am at in my reading schedule.
To play along, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?
As I probably won’t be able to contribute every week, I have taken the liberty of adding in a couple more W…’s, which came to mind.
What are you currently reading?
Oxford fellow and John Milton expert, Professor Henry Fell, suffers from panic attacks and a gnawing fear that what he doubtfully refers to as his existence is much more out of his control than he realizes.
Newly arrived in Boston on an academic fellowship, Fell meets a variety of people who, in one way or another, expose him to true love, true death, and true poetry: the lovely and sharp-tongued Julia Collins, a Ph.D. candidate struggling to survive in a male-dominated world, fellow Brit Professor Geoffrey Hearne, one of the University’s most popular and colorful lecturers, and the rather less-than-popular, equally British, Professor Christopher Moberley, whose vast bulk contains the darkest of secrets.
A coming of middle-age story, a metaphysical parable, a glimpse into literature from the inside-out, ‘The Englishman and the Butterfly’, is a tragicomic look at the differences between imagining a life, performing one, and becoming enlightened to the possibility that there is more to life than meets a reader’s eye.
What did you recently finish reading?
I have just finished reading a sizzling contemporary romance titled ‘Until There Was You’, a book which was a competition win and a copy of which was sent to me as a Kindle download by its author, Jessica Scott.
A by-the-book captain with a West Point background, Captain Evan Loehr refuses to mix business with pleasure—except for an unguarded instance years ago when he succumbed to the deep sensuality of redheaded beauty Claire Montoya. From that moment on, though, Evan has been at odds with her, through two deployments to Iraq and back again. But when he is asked to train a team prepping for combat alongside Claire, battle-worn Evan is in for the fight of his life.
Strong, gutsy, and loyal, Captain Claire Montoya has worked hard to earn the rank on her chest. In Evan, Claire sees a rigid officer who puts the rules before everything else—including his people. When the mission forces them together, Claire soon discovers that there is more to Evan than meets the eye. He’s more than the rank on his chest; he’s a man with dark secrets and deep longings. For all their differences, Evan and Claire share two crucial passions: their country and each other.
What do you think you’ll read next?
Next up is another author review request and a book which is going to take me right out of my comfort zone, dealing as it does with vampires. Not a subject which I would usually care to read about, although ‘Kiss Of The Butterfly’ by James Lyon cleverly uses the genre to blend fact and fiction together, in an attempt to evoke discusssion about disurbing and important political, moral and social issues, raised during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.
Meticulously researched, “Kiss of the Butterfly” weaves together intricate threads from the 15th, 18th and 20th centuries to create a rich phantasmagorical tapestry of allegory and reality. It is about divided loyalties, friendship and betrayal, virtue and innocence lost, obsession and devotion, desire and denial, the thirst for life and hunger for death, rebirth and salvation. “Kiss” blends history and the terrors of the Balkans as it explores dark corners of the soul, from medieval Bosnia to enlightenment-era Vienna, from the bright beaches of modern-day Southern California to the exotically dark cityscapes of Budapest and Belgrade, and horrors of Bosnia.
“Kiss of the Butterfly” is based on true historical events. In the year of his death, 1476, the Prince of Wallachia — Vlad III (Dracula) — committed atrocities under the cloak of medieval Bosnia’s forested mountains, culminating in a bloody massacre in the mining town of Srebrenica. A little over 500 years later, in July 1995, history repeated itself when troops commanded by General Ratko Mladic entered Srebrenica and slaughtered nearly 8,000 people, making it the worst massacre Europe had seen since the Second World War. For most people, the two events seemed unconnected…
Vampires have formed an integral part of Balkan folklore for over a thousand years. “Kiss” represents a radical departure from popular vampire legend, based as it is on genuine Balkan folklore from as far back as the 14th century. “Kiss of the Butterfly” offers up the vampires that existed long before Dracula and places them within a modern spectrum.
…. so James combines Dan Brown, Indiana Jones, Bram Stoker, and Umberto Eco, with the vampires serving both as the villains and as a metaphor for the broader issues. The fact that vampires come from Balkan folklore (not Romanian), means he was able to abuse his academic training for a good cause!
What was the last book you reviewed?
Blue Monday is the story of Matt McAllister. Matt is the pastor of the fifth largest church in his state. After over 20 years in the ministry he is approaching burn out. Every week begins with blue Monday. The clergy’s equivalent of the morning after.
Grown-man Billy Shine hasn’t been out of his apartment for years. People scare him, and the outside world scares him even more. Day in, day out, he lives a perfectly orchestrated silent life within his four walls. Until now. . .
Grace bursts into Billy’s life with a loud voice and a brave plan to get her mum clean. And it won’t be easy, because they will have to confiscate the one thing her mum holds most dear . . . they will have to kidnap Grace.