BNBC · stuff I read

The Falls and a Reading Schedule

The readers have spoken and the new fall/winter schedule at Literature by Women is:

September: Purge by Sofi Oksanen
October: Orlando by Virginia Woolf
November: Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
December: The Ponder Heart by Eudora Welty
January: Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
February: Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar

In the meantime, drop by in August to join us for The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates!

BNBC · music notes · stuff I read

Bel Canto

I read Bel Canto back around 2005 (I think – I couldn’t find the page in my book journal) and I have to say that I really didn’t like the book all that much.  I thought the plotting was annoying with all the foreshadowing about after the hostage situation ended.  I couldn’t really get into any of the characters – probably because I was concentrating on the plot – so I was pretty blah about the whole thing.  I couldn’t see how this had been nominated for an NBCC award or the Orange Prize.  I even off-loaded my copy thinking I was unlikely to read it again.

Fate laughs.

Enter BNBC.  And I start moderating “Literature by Women”, for which I let the group nominate and vote on the reading lists.  Lo, and behold, Bel Canto is nominated for Spring/Summer 2010 and makes it through the voting.  I had to read it again (*sigh*).

So I did.  I tried to concentrate on the style of the book, the music references, the relationships formed between the characters.  Bel Canto is better the second time around – at least for me.  I was able to bypass some of the irritation I felt with the plot by concentrating on the writing.  Until I got the Epilogue which is not only unneccessary but completely confusing; there’s little in the way of explanation.  It has a pretty last line, but so does Chapter Ten, and I would rather have had the book end without an Epilogue than keep the one it has.

So, an improvement (and I was moved to listen to opera all day when I finished – oh, Renee Fleming, how I love thee, which reminds me I need to come up with a copy of your duet album with Placido Domingo *droolz*).