Spotted: Chaucer and Exile’s Valor

I know, I know, I’m failing at getting this week’s Reading ‘Round the Nation book written about and posted. It’s a really hard book, and I want to be able to say something not completely idiotic about it!

In the meantime, here’s another new type of post for The Art of Reading. I’m a horrible snoop when it comes to other people’s books. I always want to know what other people are reading, whether they’re friends, family or complete and utter strangers. My favorite thing about riding public transit is catching a glimpse of what other passengers are reading. Maybe this is another problem I have with the Kindle and other e-books…it makes it much more difficult to make out what someone else is reading from across a crowded metro car.

Spotted will be a record of the books I spot people with on a daily basis. Today was a pretty quiet day – – only two successful “Spots.”

Today, at my new coffee shop haunt, the girl next to me was reading Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (“The Knight’s Tale,” to be exact). Talk about motivation to study for my GRE Literature in English Subject Test.

And later in the afternoon, when I was walking to meet a friend in Kendall Square, a woman on break outside a hospital was smoking a cigarette and pouring intently over the pages of a hardcover book called Exile’s Valor, which further research revealed to be a “stand-alone novel in the Valdemar series [which] continues the story of prickly weapons-master Alberich.” It’s not headed to the top of my list, but judging from the entranced expression on the woman’s face, I bet it’s a gripping summer read.


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