Tuesday, 30 October 2007

The Red Tent, ah, for the good old days

Well, I know you have all long since moved on from The Red Tent, but I have only just finished it. At first I thought boring..., as one or two others said 'It's a bit repetitive' and as for the motherhood bit, well being a mother of five myself, I don't really need to be reminded of the agonies of childbirth on every second page. But as the book went on, I really began to enjoy it and apart from the bloody massacre bit, I liked the peacefulness of the daily routines and a much simpler way of life. Hmmm...

I've read half of Salman Rushdie's Midnights Children, heavy going but I will get back to it.

I'm into all things Gavin Maxwell at the moment, having seen the play at the Garrison the other week, it prompted me to do a bit of research on the guy - a fascinating character, totally eccentric of course, but that's what made him so absorbing. Tried to get hold of Douglas Bottings' biography of Maxwell, but alas out of print and no longer avaliable through Amazon. Shame.

Has anyone read Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson? I love the style of it, a quick read too, might be worth thinking of for future book group reads.

Good news! Maybe my previous wailing on the blog about the loss of my beloved books stirred some guilt pangs as I've recently been able to retrieve a large percentage of my book collection! It was a happy day when I went to collect them. Now those books combined with the books I've gathered in the past twelve months amount to a fair few books as you can imagine...

We are about to move house, to a very old house in Mossbank (it's a listed building). My plans for my study (library) in the upstairs attic rooms have been scuppered. Paul says the 150 year old floor will not cope with the weight - back to the drawing board, or should that be floorboards?

Red Tent again. And Hairy Men.

Good June, glad you enjoyed it - for those who didn't make the meeting, The Red Tent caused a schism in the book group, with about half of us liking it, the other half not - partly, if I'm understanding this right, because it was too repetitive and uneventful. I'm in the first camp - if you'll pardon the pun - like June I really enjoyed the description of day to day life, and in fact when the real action did come, in the form of a very biblical massacre, I was quite aggrieved that the rhythm of the story had been disrupted.

On a different matter entirely, I was recently browsing through a 1983 edition of The Joy of Sex, for reasons I won't detain you with. Those of you familiar with this work will recall that the illustrations - rather fine and very graphic - unfortunately feature a model universally refered to by readers as 'that dodgy bearded guy'. He does kind of put you off a bit - but I'm pleased to report that I've checked Amazon and there's a new updated version with photos, and no bearded man. The end of an era.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

The Red Tent: a late opinion

28th October.

I enjoyed the story and the detailed description of the way of life, so typical of rural societies the world over until quite recent times. June.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

What next?

You would think that during a two week break I would have managed to get through at least some of my bedside book collection,but no. I have read magazines,newspapers and watched daytime TV,not to mention a lot of evening TV. I have been down to Aberdeen and onwards to Glasgow and Edinburgh,and still nothing more intellectually challenging than Puzzle Monthly to pass the time! Still,we did win the pub quiz in Frankenstein's on Tuesday night,despite there being absolutely no literature questions for me to show off with!
OK,I am going to pick up a book this weekend -the third Denise Mina in the Garnethill trilogy - if only to find out what happens to everyone, and then that's me right off crime for the rest of the year. Think I'll move onto humour -it seems ages since I read a book which made me laugh out loud so any suggestions would be welcomed.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Literary fatigue

I seem to have developed some kind of terrible medical condition which is preventing me from finishing any book I am reading. I couldn't get into Venus as a Boy at all, then I started reading Iain Banks' The Steep Approach to Garbadale, which is good but it's taking me ages to read, now I have managed to get hold of the Red Tent so I am hoping that this will cure me of my current Chronic Reading Fatigue. First impressions are good anyway so here's hoping.

By the way, has anyone read Ian McEwan's Atonement? I am thinking this might be a good book group film trip/read as it is on in the Garrison next month. I saw it in Glasgow last month and it was pretty good. Although I can't approve of what Keira Knightley and James McAvoy were doing to the bookshelves in the library.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Holiday reading

Oi, someone else write something on this blog, its turning into my own sad diary! Just off on holiday, taking Ian Rankin with me - Black and Blue, the one where he comes to Shetland. Never read any of his books before, believe it or not, and it's very good I have to say, think he still holds his own against most of the tartan noir brigade. Also taking Salman Rushdie with me, just in case I've to spend a long time in airports.
Apart from that, I did of course read a bit of the Bible, which was interesting! And managed to read another of the Bookler shortlist books, which have come into the library at a really miserable trickle - The Reluctant Fundamentalist - really liked it, topical and menacing, oh and short too which is always a bonus. Been glancing at what this year's Booker book groups are making of the selection and they seem to like Mr Pip a lot, and find The Gathering utterly miserable. Bye for now!