Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Wednesday morning tea and book thoughts...

Once again, autumn is in the air, so it is hard for me to believe that the next few days will be so incredibly humid.  The air feels positively fresh this morning, great for reading and drinking tea!

I've been in a bit of a book rut lately.  I can't seem to find anything to read that really grabs me.  I tried reading Annabel by Kathleen Winter, but it was too lyrical for me at this point, although the story sounds very intriguing.  Then I tried The Love of My Youth by Mary Gordon, but it was too disjointed to suit my needs - I wanted a narrative that was written in full sentences and paragraphs, not half-thoughts and sentence fragments.  So I picked up a copy of Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman that has been sitting on my shelf for ages, a discarded paperback from the library.  I've been meaning to give it a try, since Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier is one of my favourite books.  I love the characters, the gothic tone and setting, the story, the dialogue, everything, and Rebecca's Tale got very good reviews as a companion to the original.   I've given up on it, since the voice of Colonel Julyen is one of a doddering old man rambling on about the past and denying his infatuation with Rebecca.  But only this morning I remembered that I read in the reviews that this book is written in four parts, narrated by Colonel Julyen, Terrance Gray (the journalist), Rebecca, and I think Ellie, Julyen's daughter.  So I may pick it up again, skip the rest of the first part, and give the other narrators a chance. 

But first I must finish Payment in Blood by Elizabeth George, the second in the Inspector Lynley series.  I found a paperback copy in a used book store on the weekend, which makes it light and easy to carry around and to read.  For some reason, it's not really grabbing me either, but I will stick with it and finish it.  Why is it not grabbing me?  Perhaps because I've seen this book as a filmed episode, so the story is familiar to me (although I don't really remember what happens).  Maybe I'm finding the characters too hard to keep straight (Lady This and Lord That, but with different real surnames - I think I need to make up a list of cast of characters and their relations to each other).  It's often very difficult to define why you like or don't like a book, but that is all part of the process of Reader's Advisory, and that is why reviews are useful.  They can give you a sense of the story but also of the pace, the language, and the characters.  I also believe that you can get a real sense of a book from reading the first few pages.  If you can define what it is you like or don't like about a book, you'll go a long way in finding other books you may like and so avoid wasting alot of time with others you don't care for.

Who knew it would be so difficult to pick a "good book"?!  I better get back to Payment in Blood.

Bye for now!
Julie

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