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Cooking the books

The catalyst for starting this probably short-lived and uninteresting blog, was the urge to comment on this post by Dr Grumble :


then deciding that my thoughts on the matter were irrelevent both to his post and to him, and would be better placed on my own blog. So, here goes :

The answer to the question “But when is he going to read all those books?”  is ;

The books I want to read for my own erudition, I save for holidays – time to concentrate.  Of the books I read for pleasure I’ll generally have one factual book, one biography or autobiography, and one novel open at the same time, to dip into ’selon mon goût’. (Is there any linguistic link between goût = Fr. taste and gout = En. inflamation of the joints? Bar the smart-alec’s obvious riposte of eating too much according to your goût gives you gout!).

At the moment am reading :-

  • India’s Unending Journey – Mark Tully
  • Climbing the Mango Trees – Madhur Jaffrey
  • Faith and Treason – Antonia Fraser

Have just finished The Map of Love – Ahdaf Soueif, which was fabulous,  and am about to start The Lady and the Unicorn – Tracy Chevalier.

The books I used to read for escapism have now been shelved in favour of blogs – a far quicker way of grtting a glimpse of someone else’s life, without the waste of paper or money incurred by buying a book I’d only ever read once.

The book I will leave unread is Le rouge et le noir – Stendhal. I’m told that it’s very good, but every time I try am asleep by page 6, unless I use it deliberately as a soporific, in which case I’m up until 6 without having progressed much further.

Anyway, am trusting this post has been dull enough not to warrant comment, but just in case, what books do you have on the go at the moment?  Do you have an all-time favourite? A classic that you just can’t stomach?




5 Responses

  1. Well now! I am so pleased to see you’ve joined the club. 🙂

    I’m sorry to say my reading time has diminished to some extent, with the advent of blogging. On the go at the moment is Arthur and George which I started only last night. So far it’s easy but unexceptional.

    I’ve just finished The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova., chosen in desperation at a book exchange. I finished it in spite of no particular interest in vampires. It wasn’t awful apart from the blood, but it was incredibly long.

    Favourite book of all time? It’s still The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. It has faults – it should have finished a few chapters before it did – but it transports me back to the Africa of my childhood. Interestingly, it uses 5 narrators and I was never once confused as to which one I was reading. The Historian has 3 narrators and I kept having to check.

    I’ll stop now before I turn this into a post of its own. Good to see you in the blogging world. 🙂

  2. Welcome A, and thank-you, or did you really mean that my comments chez-toi are like a Frenchman’s trousers – Toulon and Toulouse!
    I too loved Poisonwood bible, but don’t know the others you cite. I have a feeling you’d like Madame Bâ – Eric Orsenna. It’s quite easy to read French, not that I’m implying that you’d need anything simplifying, just that M.Orsenna does not suffer the torturous convoluted style of many of his fellow académiciens. I can also recommend his La Grammaire est une chancon douce and Les chevaliers du Subjonctif – less dry than they sound, honestly.

  3. FWIW in one of my wikis (pmwiki — mentioned somewhere on my blog) I keep a list of books to read someday. I’ve added the Poisonwood Bible on your recommendation.

    I just finished Two Caravans by the tractor lady, who is another displaced person of sorts.

  4. I wasn’t all that impressed by Ukranian tractors, but will now have to go hunt around your blog for what you like reading. Anyhow, only logged in to post something I’ll probably regret and delete in the morning – so welcome.

  5. P.S. Wombats, From your link 2caravans looks better so might give it a go.

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