Gypsy Rose Lee, The G-string Murders, because I can. Lee died of lung cancer, and given the constant smoking she describes in the book I'm not surprised. Still very New York in the 40s, before it went to hell and then went to high-price heaven.
What are you reading now?
D.O. Fagunwa, Forest of a Thousand Daemons, tr Soyinka. Soyinka has the same trouble anyone else has, translating the names of certain supernatural beings into an English steeped in Christianity. He uses the archaic'daemon' deliberately for the species, and then makes up words to replace individual Yoruba ones, arguing that those would be 'over-exotic' and anyway sound wrong, because Yoruba is tonal and English isn't. (A google-books selection says he invented the word kobold, which of course he didn't. I must look at Ake again to see what words he uses there.)
Camara Laye, The Radiance of the King/ Le Regard du Roi, tr Kirkup. A white man becomes obsessed with the king of an African nation. I'd rather the king had been something other than a frail-looking youth, but I'm only a few pages in.
Chris Humphreys, Shakespeare's Rebel. So far not so bad, but who knows where we'll end up.
Miles Unger, Magnifico- The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de' Medici. Popular biography, which is fine by me. Shall read slowly.
What will you read next?
These will hold me for a while, I'd say, but at some point before the summer heat descends I'd like to get through a few behemoths that have been sitting on the shelf for a while- The Pound Era, 1Q84, The Famished Road. And others, but they don't fit into my challenge.
What have you given up on?
Tsukiyama, The Language of Threads. One, it cannot end well and two, the style is tapwater. Someone else might find it limpid but I just find it flavourless.