Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Must Read in 2014: October Update

Way back in January, I committed to the Must Read Challenge. I purposely designed my list as a realistic and attainable goal.  Just 10 books that simply must be read in 2014. No biggie.

It's now October and it's very tempting to ditch this update and just pretend that the whole challenge never really happened. Full disclosure: when I created my list I was in a heightened Canada Reads state and had every intention of reading all those titles before the voting began in March. As they say - life got in the way. Before I knew it, Canada Reads was over (at least I read the winner. Yeah The Orenda!) and I was onto other interests and other reads.

Over the past Thanksgiving weekend, I had the opportunity to reflect on Time and the Plans that we make. In a recent awkward exchange I was reminded that our time on earth is finite. It is very likely that not all our goals - reading and otherwise - will come to fruition. But still it is fun to plan and see where the plans take us.

Although I have only crossed one more title off of my list, I like to look at it as I'm 60% through my 2014 Must Read list.

So which title did I manage to read since my July update?

Roberta Rich's The Harem Midwife. A few years back, I had read and totally enjoyed Rich's The Midwife of Venice. I was anxious to continue this tale of Hannah Levi, a Jewish midwife now living in exile with her husband in sixteenth century Constantinople. And, while I did enjoy the plot and the richly described setting of this second installment of the trilogy, I found the ending a hurried and implausible disappointment. Ms. Rich seemed to be in a rush to wrap up the tale and tie up all the loose ends. The Harem Midwife is a quick read, and for lovers of historical fiction I still think it's worth a try. Will I read the final book about Hannah? The jury is still out on that one.