I was inspired by GP mama’s reading list to share mine with you. Yes, I knew you’d be fascinated.
“Guns, Germs and Steel: A short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years” by Jared Diamond. I have been reading this since before 2002. I know this because the price on the back is in Irish pounds so it must have been acquired pre-euro. I would keep getting bogged down on the role of fertile grasslands in the development of humanity and abandoning and restarting but a couple of months ago, I made a prolonged effort and got past the fertile grasslands and nearly finished it. In fact, I got to the second last page. Then, I put it down somewhere and my fabulous and efficient cleaner whisked it up and put it away. If she has a fault, it is her tendancy to rearrange by size books that I have neatly classified in alphabetical order (stop laughing at me). So, I know it’s there somewhere, I just can’t find it.
“Mary George of Allnorthover” by Lavinia Greenlaw. I was obliged to read this for book group and didn’t enjoy it one little bit though am forced to concede that it is very well written; the author holds down a day job as a poet.
“Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” by Susanna Clarke. I am finding this surprisingly enjoyable. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it but I’m about half way through now and showing no signs of stopping. It’s written in pastiche Victorian style and that is mildly trying. The author uses the word “presently” to mean now and this is not a mistake a Victorian would have made. I find it jarring and it keeps appearing “A spell to see what my enemy is doing presently”. Do you really mean in a bit? I don’t think so. Hey, this is my blog, I can be as pedantic as I like.
“The Great Ideas” by Suzanne Cleminshaw. Not fantastic. Nicely written but moves along rather sluggishly and, really, gifted 13 year olds are tiring. It’s set in the 1970s but somehow it feels like the 1950s and I don’t know why the author didn’t go the whole hog and set it in the 1950s altogether. One of the characters is a French femme fatale and I find her entirely unconvincing. I suppose living next door to France, I am not as seduced by the glamour of simply being French as the 13 year old narrator from Cleveland Ohio. Also, the French lady is Catholic and the author seems to feel that this is thrilling in and of itself and she nearly swoons at the sight of rosary beads. Frankly, it’s hard for me to get excited about rosary beads.
“We need to talk about Kevin” by Lionel Shriver. I’m in a book group. We had to read it. It’s not bad.
“Anybody out there?” by Marian Keyes. As you will know, I have a special devotion to Ms. Keyes as she lived second next door to my husband growing up and she did her first interview in a suit lent to her by mother-in-law. Do you think I’m joking? Oh no, I’m not. Also, I enjoy her books and this new one is fine but so far, it’s just a bit samey and I’m not as keen as I was on some of her other offerings.
How do I do this? How do I find the time to read you ask? Let me tell you. Every night I feed the boys for half an hour before they go to bed and during that time, with two babies attached, I read and turn the pages with my nose. I bet you’re glad you asked now. Do you think that image will stay with you?