26 July 2006

I can't think of an interesting title for this post. It's about books.

It's been a productive and interesting couple of weeks bookwise.

Last night was book group. Everyone for the most part enjoyed The Secret Life of Bees, some more so than others. But it sparked good debate (and some hilarity) about religion, symbolism and maternal stuff. And made us all go out and buy decent, local, organic honey.

I've been listening to talking books in the car, as the little job I had for a month at That University with the Gum Trees meant a lengthy, bumper to bumper commute. (Remind me never to go for a job at That University). I tried to listen to Richard Flanagan's Gould's Book of Fish, expecting great things as I had loved Death of a River Guide and he is often referred to as a master etc etc not to mention the fact that he wins all those important prizes. Sadly I didn't enjoy the Fish. I found it very self conscious and rather overwritten. Upon arriving at work after 60 minutes of this I googled some reviews of the book and the very first one said "overwritten and precocious". I persevered on the way home but gave up halfway and turned to Enduring Love. I had read Ian McEwan's book Atonement on Mr Soup's recommendation but thought it so-so, but adored this one. Totally absorbing and very finely tuned. I was completely transfixed, to the extent that I found myself sitting in the driveway for five minutes when I got home on several occasions, hoping no one noticed me until I could prise myself free of the tale. Now I have to get the film out on dvd. I didn't see it when it came out as it had such mixed reviews and as the screenplay was written by the brother of very dear friends of ours, I was afraid I wouldn't like it either and then would have to face my friends. So I avoided it. (Will report back).

I also finished Emergency Sex [And Other Desperate Measures] by those three ex-UN workers. A great read. And an eye opener. (Remind me never to go for a job with the UN).

And the boys and I have taken a break from reading the Swallows and Amazons series and are back on Roald Dahl for bedtime story. Our favourite is usually The BFG and it's one I'm happy to read each and every time they request it, but for the past two nights we've read Esio Trot which I hadn't come across before. It is absolutely delightful and it features one hundred tortoises. (Esio Trot is tortoise backwards). I have a thing about tortoises and turtles. And terrapins.

Next up is Eucalyptus but I'm holding off for some reason. I've read the first three pages twice now and put it down. I don't want to be disappointed with this one so need to wait until my brain is clear (ha) and I can settle in front of the fire with a cup of tea and no distractions. Not even knitting.

Plus, hot on the heels of the Patrick White scam of a couple of weeks ago, that lot over at Sarsparilla have agreed upon a virtual Patrick White book group/reading circle and I've tentatively signed up over at the official website. The book (The Vivisector) is set for September. Can I fit it in? I hope so. The only White book I've ever read was The Aunt's Story which I thoroughly enjoyed, but generally I'm a bit scared of Patrick White. Uni started again this week and along with that comes an enormous amount of weekly reading. Lots of Homer and Virgil this semester. Anyway, one suggestion is that people can host discussions on their own blogs, much like a real book group takes it in turns to host evenings at each others' homes. At least with a virtual book group you only have to virtually bake a cake and clean the bathroom.

Care to join me? We can be the rowdy members who sit in the corner downing all the wine and laughing at inappropriate moments.

Here's a gratuitous photo of Son #3 wearing his new jumper knitted by his nana but put together by me.

blurry jumper

Less blurry pics here.


Martina said...

I read The Secret Life of Bees several years ago and absolutely loved it. I admire how you can analyse a book! I always have a hard time seeing past the story itself. I'd love to join your virtual group but I'm afraid my only comment would be "Ya, like I really liked the book." :}

Karan said...

The Secret Life of Bees was a book that left in public tears, twice. I rarely get that emotional about a book and there was something in there that touched me unexpectedly. I recommend it.

I love that jumper...we call those sweaters here in the US. The pattern is very lovely. Do you know what it is?

victoria said...

I loved Atonement--loved the twist at the end! I'm now going to try to find Enduring Love to listen to on your reccommendation--you do have such a way with words!

jorth said...

Mr Dahl is the best!

Suse said...

Hi Karan, the pattern is a Debbie Bliss one called Moss and Garter Stitch Guernsey.

Lazy cow said...

Thanks for the offer of joining the virtual book group. I'm not grown up enough to read (much less understand) Patrick Voss. Thought I was doing well to pick up Tim Winton :-) But you do it, and report back to the rest of us slackers.

ThirdCat said...

You have made up a jumper that you didn't knit. Wow. When I first learnt to knit (20 years ago), my mum made up the first jumper, then said 'you knit, you make up'. And I see her point.