On this last weekend of April, the weather is cool and windy and just a bit overcast, a perfect evening to drink a cup of tea and to think about, write about, and especially read books! So much to read, so little time...
This evening I want to write a little bit about a few different things. First, I made it out to the CFUW Book Sale last weekend, after work on Friday. It was, as usual, hugely popular and quite busy, and the selection was awesome, as were the prices. I didn't really have much time, so I just browsed the paperbacks, all conveniently located in one room, and found a few titles that I wanted to own. I picked up a John Le Carre novel, A Perfect Spy, a stand-alone about a double agent that sounded interesting. I also found a paperback copy of The Telling of Lies, a murder mystery by Timothy Findley, an author whose works are so different from one another that some of his novels I love and some I find unreadable. And I found one Inspector Wexford novel, the Ruth Rendell series I was speaking so excitedly about last week. I think that was certainly worth the trip to Waterloo, and if I'd had more time, I would have explored the other rooms for hardcovers and "better quality" books. Thank goodness this is an annual event - it's something to look forward to each spring!
I've been reading A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke this past week, a book I took out of the library. I've read it before and remembered really enjoying it, finding it humourous and insightful. I thought I'd reread it because I have a copy of Merde in Love on my bookshelf and thought I might read it. It made sense to reread the first book in the series to refresh my memory and "set the mood". I have to say that the novel is just not grabbing me. I'm two-thirds of the way through, and I'll finish it, but I expected to be so compelled that I wouldn't be able to put it down. That was not the case. This novel tells the story of Paul West, an Englishman who goes to work for a company in Paris to research and design a chain of British tea rooms to open across France. His experiences in Paris are the antithesis of Peter Mayle's experiences in the french countryside as described in A Year in Provence, as one thing and another do not work out for him. It's still pretty funny, but I guess I was significantly younger when I first read it, and it was a fresh new experience, so I really did enjoy it. This time, not so much. This may be why I'm hesitant to recommend a book to someone if it's been a few years since I've read it. Life situations, mood, reading histories, and all kinds of other factors, go into the experience of reading a book, and those factors can change over time as one reads other books, changes life situations, matures, etc. It's still worth reading, but less funny than I remembered it to be.
I need to finish it soon, though, or set it aside, as I must start my next book club selection by Saturday. We're reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and I can't believe I've never read this book, not even for school. This novel explores racial inequality and loss of innocence in a small American town, and it is told from the point of view of a young girl, Scout Finch. I have to admit that I may have even missed watching the film based on this book - I'm so glad I'm part of this bookclub because I now have to read this classic of American literature. Perhaps I've avoided it because it's written from the point of view of a child, not my favourite style of narration. I'll write more about this novel once I've started it, and of course once we've had our discussion.
Right now I have a fuzzy kitty on my lap who wants some attention, so I have to go.
Bye for now!