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For once, I'm at home on a Wednesday. I now have several weeks to catch up on, and will probably miss stuff.


Currently Reading

Sunbathing in the Rain (Gwyneth Lewis) - was recommended to me by a clueless ex-colleague as being thought to be generally good on depression. Mostly it is, though I do not think there is anything in it that I hadn't learned elsewhere over the three or four years since it was recommended to me.

Pigeon Post (Arthur Ransome) - because I missed one train and the next was late, and I'd just happened to pop into the Oxfam bookshop and filled a number of holes in my Swallows & Amazons collection.

Carpe Jugulum (Terry Pratchett) - I'm now into the ones we have in hardback, most of which I hadn't previously read.


Recently Finished

The intervening Terry Pratchetts.

High Life in Verdopolis (Charlotte Brontë) - which I enjoyed hugely. I am now resolved to seek out the remaining works in the Angria and Gondal universes.

Following on from that, Firebrand (Ankaret Wells) - tremendous fun. I am a sucker for an airship and a Ruritanian landscape. This has both.

Really, what with Discworld, Angria and the half-real half-imagined Lakes, I have been having a lovely time in imaginary worlds recently.

Dracula (Bram Stoker) - for book club. I can't remember when I last read it - early twenties, I suppose. I was very struck, this time round, by the insistence on technology, and how very scientific our heroes are being in their approach to the supernatural.

Smile or Die (Barbara Ehrenreich) - a most enjoyable rant about the cult of positive thinking. Interesting to read in tandem with Sunbathing in the Rain, which is equally perceptive on the dangers of denying reality.

The Divide (Nicholas Evans) - didn't live up to the promise of its first chapter. Sentimental and unconvincing, with characters who failed to hold my sympathy.

The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter (Ambrose Bierce) - my favourite sort of unreliable narrator. I'll say no more than that.

Alexander's Bridge (Willa Cather) - my goodness, she could write. Alexander himself was tedious, but the prose is worth it.


Up Next

Some thing about London whose title I have forgotten, for book club.

Possibly The Maker's Mask, now that I have got started on Ankaret Wells.


Poetry

The Heart's Time (ed. Janet Morley) - is not quite as useful to me in Lent as Haphazard by Starlight was in Advent. I think this is because I find Lent more difficult generally.


Abandoned

Snow (Orhan Pamuk) - I put this down to finish Dracula, and when I picked it up again I couldn't remember where I'd got to and what had happened, and didn't really care what happened to anyone. So I left it under a seat at the TUC, and I hope whoever picked it up enjoys it more than I did.


Other Media

A lot of Thunderbirds, which is delightful in its combination of appalling science ("Well, Mr Tracy, the gas seems to evaporate...") and horrific workplace health and safety practices. I'm rather wishing I were liveblogging it, because it's the only way to share the joy. I cringe through the sixties attitudes.

Long Road to Peekskill (Will Kaufman) - a presentation on the life of Woody Guthrie, with an emphasis on his formation as an anti-racist activist. With songs. As one might expect, shocking and depressing (particularly when one considers e.g. Ferguson) in parts, but very interesting indeed.
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kafj: headshot of KAFJ looking over right shoulder (Default)
Kathleen Jowitt

April 2015

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