Sunday, 5 September 2010

You'd think I did nothing but read

Seems that quite often I end up putting off writing an update because I'm behind, or because there's a book I really want to write about but I haven't yet mentioned the one before.
So, to catch up with a list:
42 Work 2: twenty personal accounts (Fraser)
43 Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
44 What the Dog Saw (Malcolm Gladwell)
45 Testimony (Anita Shreve)
46 The Rings of Saturn (WG Sebald)

I don't want to say much about Testimony mainly because I didn't really enjoy it that much, and that disappointed me because when Shreve is good, she's great. This one, though, while it was very readable, just didn't ring even slightly true. Plenty of bad stuff happened, but there was no sense that these truly were characters who would have behaved that way. Writing by numbers, but slightly misprinted ones.
There's also not much to say about what the dog saw which is probably why I've not said much about it before now - it was probably a month ago that I took this and Testimony out of the library (technically, not a breach of the summer reading project, because I didn't *buy* them). If you liked Blink, you'll like this - it's a collection of previously published journalism about, not sure what to call it, 'interesting stuff'. I read it, thought "ooo" a few times, noted to myself the range of things that I could well be interested in if I only gave time to exploring them, and then took it back to the library. It's not changed my life.

Perhaps you can see I'm building up to something here. I LOVED LOVED LOVED The Rings of Saturn but it's a Sunday morning, I'm not feeling very alert yet, and so I can't quite do it justice. Another post will follow.

(I can tell you in the mean time, though, that Little Women is just as good as it always was, only that every time I read it more of it makes me cry, not just the obviously sad bits but all the bits where they try hard at something and it goes wrong and they learn from it and resolve to be better, nicer people. Sometimes I resolve this as little as three or four times a day.)

1 comment:

  1. I'm rather ashamed that I've never read Little Women, only seen the movies. Must put that right!

    I loved Sebald's The Emigrants. Am now putting Rings of Saturn on my growing wishlist!