Monday, April 4, 2016

A Reading Life - Oh, the reading plans for April...and beyond! (39)


It has been ages since I've done a Reading Life post. I think it's about time to get back into it...and what better time than this month...April 2016, the month for all the reading!


So, this month I'm hosting Roots: The Read Along, as I'm sure many of you already know. It officially started on April 1st, but our first discussion isn't for two weeks so you can still join us. Get all the details here.

I recently decided to sign up for Read The Nobels, a perpetual challenge hosted by Guiltless Reading. There is also a 2016 challenge in conjunction with the perpetual challenge which I'm also signing up for. I will do a more detailed post about my sign up for the above at my reading challenge blog. In addition to the above, Guiltless Reading is also hosting a challenge this month to go along with Read The Nobels and Travel the World in Books challenges, Where in the World will your Nobel Take You?

Where in the world will your Nobel take you?

The Book I chose for this challenge, which is also on my Travel the World in Books reading list, is Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth by Naguib Mahfouz.

Mahfouz won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1988.
"who, through works rich in nuance - now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous - has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind"



From the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and author of the Cairo trilogy, comes Akhenaten, a fascinating work of fiction about the most infamous pharaoh of ancient Egypt.

In this beguiling new novel, originally published in 1985 and now appearing for the first time in the United States, Mahfouz tells with extraordinary insight the story of the "heretic pharaoh," or "sun king,"--and the first known monotheistic ruler--whose iconoclastic and controversial reign during the 18th Dynasty (1540-1307 B.C.) has uncanny resonance with modern sensibilities. Narrating the novel is a young man with a passion for the truth, who questions the pharaoh's contemporaries after his horrible death--including Akhenaten's closest friends, his most bitter enemies, and finally his enigmatic wife, Nefertiti--in an effort to discover what really happened in those strange, dark days at Akhenaten's court. As our narrator and each of the subjects he interviews contribute their version of Akhenaten, "the truth" becomes increasingly evanescent. Akhenaten encompasses all of the contradictions his subjects see in him: at once cruel and empathic, feminine and barbaric, mad and divinely inspired, his character, as Mahfouz imagines him, is eerily modern, and fascinatingly ethereal. An ambitious and exceptionally lucid and accessible book, Akhenaten is a work only Mahfouz could render so elegantly, so irresistibly. (from Goodreads)

Week One questions for the challenge:

When someone says "Nobel Prize winner for literature," what comes to mind? Is it a positive or negative reaction? Why do you think you have this reaction?

Definitely positive. I'm anticipating some really great, well-written books from these authors and winners of the Nobel Prize. I'm really very open minded about books. While some may think books by Nobel Prize winning authors might be stuffy (or pretentious), I prefer to keep an open mind.

What book did you choose? Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth

Who is the author / when did they win the Nobel Prize / nationality? 

Naguib Mahfouz (Arabic author) was an Egyptian writer who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature. He published over 50 novels, over 350 short stories, dozens of movie scripts, and five plays over a 70-year career. Many of his works have been made into Egyptian and foreign films.

Where does this story take place?

Ancient Egypt during the 18th Dynasty (1540-1307 B.C.) of Egyptian pharaohs, the reign of Akhenaten.

Why did you pick this particular book?

It has been on my TBR for some time, and it's on my Travel the World in Books list. Plus, I'm fascinated with ancient Egypt. Always have been.

What other authors / books did you also consider for this challenge? 

None really. I was seeking a short book since I have so much on my reading plate this month. This one fit the bill.
Also, this month....


My Spring into Horror Read-a-Thon over at Seasons of Reading, coming April 18 - 24. Sign up here. (Don't worry...you only have to read one scary book, and it doesn't have to be straight horror. Whatever is scary to you and within your comfort zone)


Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, coming Saturday April 23. This is during my Spring Read-a-Thon. So, why not do both? Sign up here.

What else am I reading?


My TuesBookTalk read along group on Goodreads is reading The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James. Group details here.


My Classics Club Spin selection is The Shipping News by Annie Proulx.


Our featured author for our August online reading retreat at Lit Collective at Goodreads is Jane Smiley. We're reading A Thousand Acres, The Greenlanders, and 13 Ways of Looking at a Novel. Join us here.

It's going to be interesting to see if I can get all this reading done. Whether I do or not, it's the trying that is always fun.

Recent book acquisitions...

The Troop, Nick Cutter (one of my selections for Spring into Horror)
The Deep, Nick Cutter
The Treatment, Mo Hayder
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, John Boyne
Child 44, Tom Rob Smith
Pigs in Heaven, Barbara Kingsolver
The Shards of Heaven, Michael Livingston (won from Fantasy Literature)
The Mistletoe Inn, Richard Paul Evans
God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Christopher Hitchens
How to Write, Richard Rhodes
The Fast Diet, Michael Mosley
Mrs. Lincoln's DressmakerJennifer Chiaverini
The Book of Killowen, Erin Hart
Inferno, Dan Brown
The Devotion of Suspect X, Keigo Higashino
The Incas, Daniel J. Peters

What's going on in your Reading Life?

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3 comments:

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  1. You've got a busy month ahead! So I'm really happy you decided to join in the #ReadNobel #TTWIBRAT challenge ... I guess if you don't finish it, you still have the rest of the year ;) Looking forward to finding out about Akhenaten. Happy reading!

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  2. I'm still trying to figure out what I could read for Spring Into Horror; I'm thinking I may be able to squeeze something in. But then I want to read the Charlotte Bronte book, too. Oh so many things to do this month!

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  3. You've got a busy month ahead but all the books look amazing. I tried to read a Pulitzer Prize winner per month last year and it definitely changed the way I looked at reading and writing and the world.

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