Our public libraries have a “Take Five” competition running at the moment. The aim of which is to encourage people to broaden their reading. So today while returning Miss O’s library books I picked up a bundle for my Christmas reading. The fact that I may win a hamper of books is an added incentive, of course.
In addition to those already waiting in my reading queue, I have added the following goodies:
- The Liar – Stephen Fry
- Four Stories – Alan Bennett
- Sellevision – Augusten Burroughs
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz
- Lake Wobegon Summer 1956 – Garrison Keillor
Fortunately for me I noticed both Stephen Fry and Junot Diaz – the first author I just adore, the second is on my hit-list as the 2008 Pulitzer winner. So I shall be kept busy over the next month – must find the suntan lotion, hat and sunglasses, it’s going to be a lazy few hours in the sun.
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Also, while on the subject of reading and books. I am just over 100 pages in to Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Why didn’t one of you warn me that Louis de Bernieres had swallowed a dictionary !?! I am most agrieved that I was not prepared for the onslaught of large and (unless I’m living under a rock) obscure words.
I jest not, I have roughly twenty words noted down for further investigation, and could have taken more if I had been bothered to note the various Italian and Greek words that are unfamiliar to this monolingual reader. And to be frank, I think he takes the need to be fancy just a little too far on occasion, evidence the following partial quote:
…two bottles per diem.
What was wrong with saying two bottle per day??? It’s not like he was describing anything other than the local priest trying to work out how long it would take him to work his way through the gifts of penance should he drink either two, three or four bottles of wine each day!!
But, the dictionary swallowing fiasco aside, I am beginning to enjoy the book. The early chapter entitled “The Duce” is absolutely classic. I haven’t laughed and been horrified in equal measure for a long time. I feel that the remainder of the book may mirror this – black humour mixed with unpleasant realities.