I've been having some technical difficulties this morning, so I'm a bit behind and am on my second cup of tea already, before I even start writing. And it's Tuesday morning, not my usual time to write, so this maybe a bit different from my usual posts. Speaking of different, I will be starting a new job next week, and will be working straight days. This means that I will have to find another time to write, either an evening or maybe on Sundays. I wonder whether that will affect the tone of my posts. I certainly don't spend the time in the evenings savouring a steeped cup of chai tea, so that will certainly be different.
First I want to talk about my book group discussion from last Friday. We were discussing Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, and I would say that the group members unanimously enjoyed it. This novel tells the story of a cathedral being built in England in the 12th century, and the challenges faced by the characters involved in this project. The Church and various political figures play prominent roles in the advancement or setbacks of this project. During our discussion, we agreed that this very long novel had something for everyone: historical details, artistic considerations, love stories, family dynamics, war, religion, and politics. The characters were interesting, none being so purely "good" that they were unbelievable, but some characters being so purely "evil" that there was no redemption in the reader's eyes. The plot was of course complex, and most of us had a challenge keeping the political details straight, but we generally got the gist in the end. One criticism was that, while the historical details were clearly well-researched, sometimes the author would use a modern turn-of-phrase as part of a character's dialogue, which really stuck out as inappropriate. And the ease and speed at which some of the (mainly female) characters transitioned from being young and naive to strong and influential was a bit unbelievable. At the beginning of our meetings, we all usually sit down at the table and put our books and notes/notebooks in front of us. That way, we can see the different copies everyone has, and we sometimes compare the various cover designs, or discuss whether our copy has drawings or pictures included, etc, as well as making our copies accessible for reference purposes. Well, on Friday everyone was setting out their books and I set the three-disc miniseries in front of me, since I was heading to the video store after the meeting to return them. I was willing to admit that I hadn't read the book, but after the discussion, I definitely wanted to read it for a variety of reasons, mainly because it sounded as though some of the characters and their relationships were portrayed very differently in the film version than they appeared in the book. Our next book selection in The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis.
I finished The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin earlier this week, and it was very good. It tells the story of a detective who is heading up the Complaints Department as he and his team investigate possible cover-ups and corruption in the Fife Police Department, an investigation that takes the team into territory spanning more than twenty years. It was suspenseful, it had mystery and corruption, it involved players from different levels of police and government, and it also included a domestic element regarding the main character's father and sister. It's been so long since I've read anything else by this author that I can't really compare it to his "Inspector Rebus" series, but I definitely would read others in this series as they are published. This is the second in this series, so I have at least one other to read now, if I choose to do so.
Now I'm trying to decide what to read next. I had requested The Chrysalids by John Wyndham from the library, and I started it, but I'm not really in the mood for this type of novel right now. It's too early to start reading the next book club selection. Maybe I'll see what I have on my personal bookshelf that will suit my mood (I'm not sure what my mood is, so that's a bit of a problem). Oh well, I'll find something. In the worst-case scenario, I can always reread something I've enjoyed in the past. I was considering rereading We Need To Talk About Kevin since the film is playing at the Princess Cinema in a couple of weeks, but I think I need to see the film with "fresh eyes", or at least as untainted as possible since I've read the book numerous times already. I think I'll go and check out my personal library this minute.
Bye for now!