What I'm reading right now
Every serious bookworm I know is always reading more than one book at a time. Here’s a short run through of what I’ve reading right now, and things I’ve just finished.
McMafia (Misha Glenny)– I’m about 10 years late for this, since the book first came out a decade ago. I won’t say it’s an uplifting read (really, can anything discussing human trafficking and people being displaced by the violence of cocaine production be uplifting?), but it’s fascinating. Misha Glenny’s experience reporting on the subject shows – the book covers everything from protection rackets to the movement of drugs to the production of counterfeit goods and the trafficking of labour. I need to break up reading it with something lighter, but it’s absolutely worth it.
The Magician's Lie (Greer Macallister) – I’m not entirely sure how to describe this book – on the surface, it’s about the most famous illusionist of her day, but it’s also a lot more than that. I see this book as being about how important the stories we tell about ourselves are – and how much they can be shaped by what we think we know about the people around us. Lots of people trying to reinvent themselves here, and the challenges in doing so can be pretty apparent.
Bellevue Square (Michael Redhill) – The 2017 Scotiabank Prize winner – I’m only part way through this one, but it’s got some interesting insights into how we relate to other people, and how our perceptions of ourselves can change. The writing captures something of the impressions I’ve always had of Toronto as a city, including the warm, but… sometimes halting… way people interact with strangers, and the casual mixture of cultures.
Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy) – I have a long list of “books I should have read by now,” and try to make regular progress through it – Anna Karenina is my attempt at that right now. I love Russian folklore but haven’t read much Russian literature. The reflection of social realities in relationships is… both foreign and familiar. It’s a little strange to see how easy it is to get into a novel written in the 1870s… obviously, lots has changed, but in many ways, the stuff that really matters is still exactly the same.
Although my to-read list is forever longer than I ever have time for, I’d love to hear your suggestions for the most compelling book you’ve read lately in the comments