Today got off to a bad start reading-wise. I almost never get out of bed in the morning without reading for at least ten minutes. On the weekend heck, I could be in bed for an hour sipping my coffee and reading a good book. However, every other weekend my boyfriend’s daughter is with us. She’s nine, so she doesn’t usually ruin my reading time, but occasionally it falls by the wayside so that I can make her breakfast or just hang out with her. Today though, we had a one year old and a two year old with us also. My best friend’s children stayed the night. I guess I should preface this by saying it went much better than anticipated. My boyfriend and I had a crib on either side of the bed and we were only woken up briefly in he middle of the night, so what could have been bad went relatively smoothly. However, I got in not one minute of reading this morning, so now my whole routine feels out of whack. I suppose I’ll have to make up for it later tonight.
This week was my first foray into audiobooks. I’m still on my first one–We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver. It’s taken a bit of getting used to, but so far I’ve enjoyed the experience. I did have some issues with the narrator at first, but that has waned dramatically. Her tone and voice did not embody what I envisioned the narrator to be like as I’ve listened to the book, but slowly I’ve grown warmer to the idea that maybe it’s not as big of a tretch as I first thought. I have at least five or six audiobooks waiting for me at the library right now, so watch out for a Library Loot post later in the week.
This week coming up is Banned Book Week. I plan on having some posts featuring some of my favorite banned books, so keep an eye out for those!
My short story this week was “The Bloody Chamber”, by Angela Carter. Every other week I’ve read stories by authors that I’m familiar with but this week I branched out because Angela Carter is not an author I’ve ever heard of. Coincidentally, “The Bloody Chamber” turned out to be one of my favorite short stories so far during this challenge.
The story is about a seventeen-year-old girl who is married off to a very wealthy, older widower. And when I say widower, I mean that he’s fallen prey to three dead wives. This seems to cause no concern for the girl and she marries him with, what seems like, no real misgivings. The man must then leave their home soon after they are wed. Before leaving, he entrusts his wife with the keys to their home, telling her that she is welcome to go anywhere or see anything in the house except for his one, secret room. He explains to her that if she really loves him, she won’t dare venture into the secret room.
Of course she makes her way to the secret room almost as soon as her husband has left and stumbles into a torture chamber replete with the bloody, mangled bodies of the man’s first three wives. Soon after the shocking discovery, the man returns home and is immediately aware that his wife has broken his rule. He in turn brands her with a red heart on her forehead and condemns her to die by his sword. As she approaches her death in the courtyard, her mother rides up and rescues her, shooting the husband dead with a single bullet.
The story was pretty predictable and I was actually a little aggravated that the wife lived and the husband was killed. That may seem rather sinister, but the ending the way Carter wrote it was just too tidy and neat for me. She may as well have added and they lived happily ever after. I don’t always appreciate those endings, and I especially didn’t in this case.