It’s #FridayReads with Albert Whitman Staffers! Today Senior Editor Wendy McClure talks about her current reads:
So I’m one of those nerds who does the reading challenge on Goodreads, where you set a reading goal for the year and log all your books. In the past years my goal has been around thirty books—not that many compared to some folks, but then I read a lot of manuscripts for my job, so if you count unpublished works or books in production, my stats are a lot higher. So high, in fact, that I decided I was totally WINNING at reading and decided to set my Goodreads goal for FORTY books this year. So here’s where I’m at now:
You guys, I don’t know if I’m going to make it to my goal.
Part of what got me behind is The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, the most recent book I finished, because it’s 600 pages. But it’s one of the better 600-page books I’ve read. Then again, I don’t take on a book this long unless I’ve heard it’s good. And as it happened, my husband read it, and he made me read it too, partly because he wanted to talk to someone about it.
This is only the second David Mitchell novel that I’ve read—last year I read Black Swan Green, and I’ve been trying to gather the will to read Cloud Atlas (which is supposed to be a challenging read). How do I even begin to describe The Bone Clocks? Um, well, it begins in 1984 and ends in 2044. And it’s divided up into six sections. And there are immortal characters fighting a psychic war that has lasted for centuries. And since it’s 600 pages, you really do feel like you’ve been fighting a psychic war for centuries. IN A GOOD WAY, I mean. I really enjoyed it. It just came out, so you’re probably reading all about it right now anyway. (And hey! Here’s an excerpt.) I won’t give anything away except to say that I really hope the real 2044 is better than the one in the book (spoiler alert: it’ll make you want to hoard batteries).
Another fun thing about The Bone Clocks: my husband won the advanced reader copy in a bookstore raffle, so we both got to feel like the cool kids on the block for getting to read it early. And this is one of the first times I’ve read an ARC and found out that there are some significant differences in the final version: apparently David Mitchell loves to put characters from his previous books in cameo roles in other books. Several of them made an appearance in The Bone Clocks, but Mitchell changed his mind at the last minute and took out a few of them in the final version. As an editor, I know of course that this can happen, but it was fascinating to find out about it from a reader’s standpoint.
So, what do you read next after reading a 600-page book about the future?
Book 3 in a totally addictive YA trilogy! Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian is now on deck. This is the follow-up to the novels Burn for Burn and Fire with Fire (which of course I’ve read), about three girls who find they’ve been wronged by the same people and enter into a revenge pact to bring them down. PSYCHIC WAR, INDEED. I can’t wait.
And here’s a little bonus link in honor of #StarWarsReadsDay tomorrow—my favorite story ever about books and Star Wars: Darth Vader Made Me Cry, about a book signing with the Imperial Dark Lord. Seriously, read it.