Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone. Much of my week was spent preparing food for youngest and his friends for their three day music festival. They added to their numbers from last year which meant 3x the recipe for main meals: tex-mex pasta, mushroom barley soup, vegetarian chili, and roasted garlic tomato sauce with pasta. I like to send hearty meals as they only eat twice a day and dinner is often at 2 am all complicated by the high numbers of vegetarians in the crowd. I celebrated the end of the week by not cooking and reading the latest Louise Penny mystery. I know that I have skipped several in the series but it was there on the shelf and I couldn’t resist. I will go back and catch up later.
Here is what caught my interest this week:
I have been dabbling in exploring German Literature with a book here and there and it may be time to read some Theodor Fontane. Chrisbookarama briefly mentioned Irretrievable by Theodor Fontane published by the New York Review Books. First written in 1891 and set around 1860, the novel is about a couple who are disparate in interest, thought, and attitude. Two grow further apart, turning away from each other and their own feelings. I am particularly intrigued because Fontane was a poet as well as an author, a mixture I really enjoy in a writer.
All I really know about Arnold Bennett is that he is an author that resides in my mother’s bookcase. I can see one of his novels now sitting on the shelf (although I must confess I do not know the title). So when Fleur Fisher mentioned his novel The Grand Babylon Hotel and links up to her previous review I think I have to put this on the list. It has a convoluted plot with disappearances, nefarious deeds, a little romance and the fact that it is set in a prestigious London Hotel helps. My favorite Agatha Christie is At Bertram’s Hotel which seems to have a similar feel. I wonder if Christie read Bennett. Best of all, I can download it free on my kindle and have it ready for when I need an entertaining read.
I have just started to read William Nicholson’s The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life which is about ordinary people in an ordinary village connected by the circumstances of life. This week Buried in Print reviews a novel by Australian author Elizabeth Jolley, The Newspaper of Claremont Street. As pointed out in the review, The LA Times writes of the novel, “Every word of this spare little novel is right.” The “newspaper” is Margarite Morris who knows of all the news on this street. Buried in Print talks about the random connections in life and how they do or do not impact our lives. I will keep my eyes out for this one.
If you are looking for something amusing to read check out Caroline’s list of funny books on her blog Beauty is a Sleeping Cat (I love her blog name most likely because of the orange blob of a cat stretched out beside me).
Finally, I have ordered a copy of Andres Neuman’s Traveller of the Century based on this quote I found on Lizzy’s Literary Life:
It’s the same with books, you see mounds of them in bookshops and you want to read them all, or at least to have a taste of them. You think you could be missing out on something important, you see them and they intrigue you, they tempt you, they tell you how insignificant your life is and how tremendous it could be.
From Andrés Neuman – Traveller of the Century
And then there is this – the best writing I have seen yet on the phenomenon known as Fifty Shades of Grey – done by the intrepid posters at Boot Riot. Fifty Shades started as fan fiction of the Twilight Series but instead of vampires and werewolves, we have a tormented hero and lots of sex. Despite many reviews of the poor writing, Fifty Shades is being widely read and the notes from the readers of Book Riot are worth reading…