One of the things I’d really like to do with my blog is get in the habit of having regularly scheduled posts, so Tuesdays around here are going to be all about the books that have been added to my to-read list in the last week. I may never get around to actually reading them, so you may never hear about them again, but you never know.
Ragged Company by Richard Wagamese
Four chronically homeless people–Amelia One Sky, Timber, Double Dick and Digger–seek refuge in a warm movie theatre when a severe Arctic Front descends on the city. During what is supposed to be a one-time event, this temporary refuge transfixes them. They fall in love with this new world, and once the weather clears, continue their trips to the cinema. On one of these outings they meet Granite, a jaded and lonely journalist who has turned his back on writing “the same story over and over again” in favour of the escapist qualities of film, and an unlikely friendship is struck.
A found cigarette package (contents: some unsmoked cigarettes, three $20 bills, and a lottery ticket) changes the fortune of this struggling set. The ragged company discovers they have won $13.5 million, but none of them can claim the money for lack proper identification. Enlisting the help of Granite, their lives, and fortunes, become forever changed.
Why I Want to Read It: Had a brilliant lady recommend this to me at the store and I’m always wanting to read more Canadian fiction. Plus, it sounds like it’ll challenge my privileged existence in at least one way, which is totally the point of my diversity challenge.
How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standford
New to town, Beatrice is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, a quiet loner who hasn’t made a new friend since third grade. Something about him, though, gets to Bea, and soon they form an unexpected friendship. It’s not romance, exactly – but it’s definitely love. Still, Bea can’t quite dispel Jonah’s gloom and doom – and as she finds out his family history, she understands why. Can Bea help Jonah? Or is he destined to vanish?
Why I Want to Read It: I’m a sucker for books about real misfits. And YA books that aren’t romances. Will it live up to its promise?
The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World
Roughly half the world’s population speaks languages derived from a shared linguistic source known as Proto-Indo-European. But who were the early speakers of this ancient mother tongue, and how did they manage to spread it around the globe? Until now their identity has remained a tantalizing mystery to linguists, archaeologists, and even Nazis seeking the roots of the Aryan race. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language lifts the veil that has long shrouded these original Indo-European speakers, and reveals how their domestication of horses and use of the wheel spread language and transformed civilization.
Why I Want to Read It: I’ve really been in the mood lately to learn more about Russian history before Russia was Russia. You know, the Volga Vikings and Kievan Rus and the early Slavs. There really aren’t a whole lot of interesting books out there on the subject (most “complete” histories of Russia have about 50 pages about the pre-Peter the Great era, 450 pages that cover Peter the Great to the Revolution, and 500 pages for the Soviet and post-Soviet era) but I ran across a reference to this book in an article I was reading and it sounds fascinating. Not exactly what I was looking for, but it also hits my linguistic nerdy buttons, so I put in an inter-library loan request.