Reading Space 1: Most evenings I spend reading on the living room sofa, and on the end table beside me is my ever-growing pile of “to-read” books. At the moment, as you can see, I’m in the middle of Anna Karenina—an amazing book; not the dry, boring, difficult read I’d imagined it would be! I’m also really looking forward to some of the books in the background. Orhan Pamuk’s Snow is probably next in the queue. Beneath the Pamuk novel are Shirley Hazzard’s The Transit of Venus and Mary Lavin’s In a Cafe. I heard stories by both authors in recent New Yorker podcasts, and I’m very much looking forward to digging into those. Beneath the Lavin book is Emily Fridlund’s collection of stories, Catapult, which I read a very good review of in The Atlantic. Can’t wait to get to her book too. The pile to the right is Anthony Powell’s novel A Dance to the Music of Time—a very Proustian novel divided into 12 books. I read the first two books, thought they were okay, but I found myself hooked with the third book. He’s a fantastic stylist and very funny. It’s about time I start Book IV! So much to read, so little time!
Reading Space 2: My reading companions. They’re always there beside me whenever I’m on the couch. Naby, on the left, was a cat I rescued back in 2002 when I lived in Korea. A year later I got him a companion, Ningu. If they were real children, I sometimes think, they would both be in high school right now, and Naby would be getting his driver’s licence! Naby, by the way, means “butterfly” in Korean—a common name for cats in Korea—and Ningu is short for “nan-ning-gu,” which sort of means “tank top,” since she’s all black except for a white underbelly.
Reading Space 3: Me and the TNQ. Another great issue!
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