A boatload of Benson
Yesterday for my birthday I decided I wanted to go have a rummage around at a local charity bookshop that had all of their fiction on sale at 50 percent off. The bookstore is in Georgetown so it seems to get a fair amount of estate-type (read old) books as donations. It was here that I picked up a bunch of Pyms last time I was in. This time I got a bunch of old novels by E.F. Benson. Until recently I had only ever read his Lucia books so I am kind of excited to see what else he wrote.
The Climber (has a character Lucia, but I don't think it is the Lucia)
Does anyone know anything about The Grampian Quartet by Nan Shepherd?
I came across Nan Shepherd's The Grampian Quartet in an omnibus edition and for some reason decided to give it a try. At $3 it seemed like not much of a risk. But I really know nothing about the four novels: The Quarry Wood, The Weatherhouse, A Pass in the Grampians, and The Living Mountain. Have any of you read any of them?
Dave Eggers was right*
For some reason I decided that I was in the mood for Norman Mailer's 1979 epic, Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the execution of murderer Gary Gilmore. I had The Safety Net by Heinrich Boll on deck to read for my 1979 A Century of Books choice, but for some reason I just felt like it wasn't the time for it. I like Boll's work, but it isn't the kind of stuff one should rush through, and these days, as I try to finish up my century of books, I always seem to be in a rush. For some reason I thought that the 1,109 pages of this true crime account would go faster than the 313 pages of Boll. Now that I have read the Mailer in about four days, I would say that my assumption was correct.
When I picked up The Executioner's Song at Politics and Prose the clerk said Mailer needed an editor. After reading it, I concur. It did read quickly, and Mailer's intent was obviously to really flesh out all of the players and capture the whole zeitgeist of the Gary Gilmore execution circus, but he still could have used an editor.
*He said: "It's the fastest 1,000 pages you will ever know."
|I finished the Mailer in 4 days, yet am stuck on A Suitable Boy at 714 pages, only half way done. ASB is very good, just not something to rush through. Still, I do need to get moving on it.|
Rebecca West is starting to bum me out
The first Rebecca West I ever read was The Return of the Soldier. I loved it, so I assumed I would love other West novels. It is starting to become painfully clear that West may not indeed be my cup of tea. I have read three others, Harriet Hume, The Judge and now The Thinking Reed. Each of them have been tedious in their own special way. Book Snob Rachel tells me there is at least one more I should try before I give up on West entirely. If only I could remember the title.
Summer garden interlude
|Lucy checking the crops|
|After a tough day in the garden|