Yesterday the postman rang and delivered a fairly large parcel with books, ordered from Amazone. I had decided that my wishlist, compiled out of the tbr list of books that I had not got on my shelf, was becoming too long and I could not actually remember why some of them were on there. I read recommendations on other blogs, and add them to my list when I like the sound of them, or because they seem to relate to what I am writing about. So I simply levered some from the wishlist to an order and hopla, there they are. So it was a bit like christmas and the following books are now added to my physical tbr pile – some of you may recognise your own recommendations…:
- Women of Algiers in their Apartment – Assia Djebar ;
- LIghthousekeeping – Jeanette Winterson (a myth book)
- The Road Home – Rose Tremain (of course, this one needs to be added to my Orange Fiction challenge as the winner of this year’s Orange Prize for Fiction)
- In a Glass Darkly – Sheridan le Fanu (who told me to read this??)
- Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout (don’t know where that comes from either)
- The Helmet of Horror – Victor Pelevin (This is the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, one of the series on myths – I don’t usually read straightforward horror stories)
- Weight – Jeannette Winterson (another one in the myth series – this is the Myth of Atlas and Heracles)
- A Farsi Phrasebook (reference material for my writing…)
- Where Three Roads Meet – Salley Vickers (another one in the myth series).
I picked up the last one, Salley Vickers’ Where Three Roads Meet yesterday afternoon and read it straight through. I felt it was a bit thin, also a bit far fetched? Talking to Freud about the Oedipus complex? Interesting concept though… I’ll write something about it this week.
I read quite a bit this week actually, in between being busy travelling and writing briefing papers for work. Apart from the Salley Vickers’ one I also read Jonathan Coe’s The Rain Before it Falls, which I liked and will review, as well as Sadie Jones The Outcast, which, I’m afraid to say, I did not really like much. It’s too slow, too removed from its characters even if it tries to paint a picture of the fifties and what it was like to grow up in a very stifling, stiff family environment, where children are not to be heard, and preferably not seen either and the man on the whole is the dominant force in family life. I liked the concept, but I skipped pages because I became impatient. Never a good sign, I suppose! And this book was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, so I guess I can count it to my reading challenge, even if I did not like it.
Well, a lot of reading and not much writing and I can feel a depression setting in as far as writing is concerned. Perhaps the Write on Wednesday will keep me on track?
Finally, a nice review in the Sunday Times on Haruki Murakami, whose writing I like very much (Ten things you need to know about Haruki Murakami). He is depicted as cult writer, which he is, is hugely influential in that for example the plot and style of Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation were partly inspired by Murakami’s novels, he used to run a jazz club and if you’ve read any of his books that you know that there are countless references to music scattered through his stories and books, and, the review says, he is a romantic. Well, that makes me feel all good about him.
So, what am I reading now?
I’ve started Kate Atkinson’s One Good Turn , and like what I’ve read so far. So this book will keep me going nicely, a bit today and more during the week when I will be away and on the roads again for three nights running. I think it’s a good one to have in my overnight bag. Are you surprised I don’t do much writing?!