30 August 2010


'Twelfth Night' by William Shakespeare
August 25 - 27, 90 pages

Yep, I'm back to Shakespeare. It's been a few weeks. It was time to return.

This was the first time I read a Shakespeare without notes on the page to translate into modern English. I was a bit nervous about this but it turned out fine. Admittedly the play is a fairly simple one, but still I found it easy to follow. Pat on the back for me.

I really enjoyed the play. It's funny, had some good lines. It was exciting to think how many other stories have been inspired by this most famous one. Pretty cool. 

This is my favourite quote from the play (especially as a vegetarian):
'I am a great eater of beef, and I believe that does harm to my wit.'

22 August 2010


'Blind Faith' by Ben Elton
August 18 - 20, 320 pages

I enjoy novels about dystopias, and utopias for that matter. Although the two seem to overlap. Maybe there's some appeal in seeing society (with all good intentions) go to the extremes only to realise that life just isn't very nice and is much better the way it is for us now. Mass self-assurance, perhaps. Whatever the reason, I really like books like this and 'Blind Faith' was no exception. It was completely different to what I expected. For starters, it was funny. I enjoyed reading it. I also really like how 'current' it was; so relevant to everyday life. And, I don;t want to spoil it but I just have to say, I like how it ends with his faith in humankind to realise the error of their ways and put things right. Eventually.

17 August 2010


'The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy' by Douglas Adams
August 11 - 13, 159 pages

This is a very funny book. I really enjoyed it. I don't usually have much time for science fiction but this novel definitely made up for this by being so hilarious. I just don't know what else to say. A great length, too; short enough to be funny the whole way through without becoming tiresome.

'Tinkers' by Paul Harding
August 13 - 15, 191 pages

A beautiful book. I love the way it's written; like a tapestry. I like how it cited other works and wove its way back through time by following the lives of each son's father. Quite brilliant.
'Such a crooked and flimsy device could only keep the fantastic hours of unruly ghosts.'

Yep. A good week's reading. Although it did frustrate my slightly that on this copy of 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide' the title is spelled different on the cover and on the spine. The cover says 'The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy' while the spine says 'The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy'. Oh well, I'm sure I'll eventually get over it.

Some quotes from 'Tinkers':

'He grabbed for his hat because the mule had eaten it off his head once before, leaving the beast ill and gassy and he behind it with teary eyes and a sunburned nose.'

'My goodness, I am made from planets and wood, diamonds and orange peels, now and then, here and there; the iron in my blood was the blade of a Roman plow; peel back my scalp and you will see my cranium covered in the scrimshaw carved by an ancient sailor who never suspected he was whittling at my skull...'

09 August 2010


'A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare' by James Shapiro
August 2 - 8, 333 pages

I love reading about Shakespeare just as much as I love reading his plays. I think that part of what makes him so interesting for me is not just his genius, but how we know so little about him. Still, today, even what the Bard from Avon looks like is speculation.

But moving right along. I was very impressed by the depth of research gone into this book. And not only that but how much that research told us about Shakespeare's sources and inspiration. I also was very interested to learn more of the world in which Shakespeare lived. A good read; heavy at times.

And imagine a year when he wrote Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It and Hamlet. What a year!

01 August 2010


'The Secret Life of Bees' by Sue Monk Kidd
July 26 - 27, 374 pages

I really liked this book. It was great. Quite refreshing. And very different from what one would expect from a book set in the south of America in 1964. It was sad, but had some funny lines: "You put his brain in a bird, and the bird would fly backward" and 'Sometimes you want to fall on your knees and thank God in heaven for all the poor news reporting that goes on in the world.'
And didn't I learn a lot about bees!

'Dirt Music' by Tim Winton
July 29 - 31, 461 pages

It was good. I do like Winton. He's honest and comfortable at the same time. I still prefer 'Cloudstreet' though. But a good book, and I like the way Winton creates characters with so much complexity. He sold Broome to me as well, I really want to go!

Okay I'll admit it: part of the fun in reading 'The Secret Life of Bees' was imagining them all speaking in their South Carolinian accents.