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?
I have just started reading ‘Kiss Of The Butterfly’ by James Lyon, a book which blends 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. You can read the opening lines of the book here.
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 did you recently finish 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 do you think you’ll read next?
Next up is ‘An Uncertain Refuge’ by Carolyn Rose, a Kindle Gift, sent by the book’s author as a review copy. This mystery / suspense story has been receiving some excellent reviews and I can’t wait to get started on it..
A child orphaned by violence. A woman sworn to protect and raise him. A killer come to claim him. A few deadly minutes in An Uncertain Refuge.
Kate Dalton lives by the rules of honesty and fair play until she steps between a battered woman and the man intent on killing her. Amanda Blake barely survives; her ex-husband dies by Kate’s hand. The repercussions force Kate from her job at a domestic violence shelter. Fleeing unwanted publicity and yearning to break with her past, she heads to the Oregon coast, burdened by a coerced promise to Amanda—to care for the nine-year-old son of the man she killed and shield him from the truth.
For several weeks Kate holds a tattered web of lies together. Then Way-Ray’s vengeful uncle murders Amanda, an ambush journalist tells the story, and the boy bolts in horror. Aided by a dangerous man she only half-trusts, Kate searches for the boy she’s come to love. But a sadistic killer intent on claiming his kin is watching every move.
What was the last book you reviewed?
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.