Monday, 9 August 2010

Recent reading

Cornfields and my August garden. I've always loved geraniums since our time in Geneva where they are taken very seriously.

Many thanks to LindyLouMac in Italy for her review of Tropical Connections, and for taking the trouble to post it all over the place.  So very pleased she enjoyed it.

Just finished an interesting novel by Judith Lennox, The Heart of the Night, set in WW2, partly in what is now Poland and was then East Prussia.  Have decided I now rather like historicals about this period.  As one might expect from Judith, the research is thorough but she doesn't overwhelm us with it.  A good read.  Long, and suitable for reading in bed over a number of evenings.

Whereas I am exhausted with the Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.  This seems to be a series of philosophical essays, along with thoughts about Anna Karenina, tied loosely together by a minimal plot.  Much of the book is narrated by an intellectual concierge in a smart Paris block who hates everybody except a charming rich Japanese gentleman and a Portuguese cleaning woman.  The rest of the musings are by an unlikely 12-year-old girl who also despises everyone French, even the cats.  Just when you hope there is going to be some sort of movement in the story, the author enquires What is the purpose of Art?  It's an intelligent but so far negative book. Is it a novel?  Not really.  I haven't finished it yet but I'm not confident anything much will happen.  It has sold very well in France and some people love it.  Here is a positive review, and here's a less enthusiastic one.


Jan Jones said...

Judith Lennox is a chapter-pal of mine, so very pleased you like her book. I think she writes very elegantly.

LindyLouMac said...

Thanks for the mention Susie and for taking the time to visit my blog and comment there.

serenknitity said...

I'm so glad you said that about 'Hedgehog'. I'd heard good things and just can't seem to get on with it.

The Judith Lennox sounds more like my cuppa. I've got Julie Orringer's 'Invisible Bridge' lined up - about Hungary in the same period.

Talli Roland said...

I tried 'Elegance' too and, well, I eventually abandoned it! Glad to hear others had the same reactions.

Vintage Reading said...

I appreciate the honesty of your review - this book doesn't sound like my cup of tea - and my favourite book bloggers are the honest ones. Lately, I get the feeling that some bloggers who write gushing reviews about everything are getting too many freebies!