Saturday, December 18, 2010

autumn/winter books...

Once again, I’m using this blog to record books I’ve been reading. These are my latest titles:
The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society (Chris Stewart): The final book in the “Driving Over Lemons” trilogy. I’ve really enjoyed all of them and find Chris Stewart’s writing style very endearing – affectionate, self-deprecating and rather life-enhancing!
Paula Spencer (Roddy Doyle): Probably one of the best books I’ve read this year. It’s about a middle-aged, “recovering alcoholic” mother. It’s quite brilliantly written and captures the despair, struggle, pride, compassion and humour of Paula’s life quite beautifully. I was also fascinated and won over by its somewhat quirky writing style – written in the third person, through the eyes of the central character (as it were!) and with no chapters at all. I absolutely loved it!
Deaf Sentence (David Lodge): I’ve read a number of Lodge’s books (albeit some time ago) and have always enjoyed them as relatively light, amusing novels. After looking at the sleeve notes, I hadn’t really got particularly high hopes for the book – it’s about a retired professor who is going deaf. In the event, I found it quite moving (and funny) as it dealt with some of the things that Moira and I are experiencing first hand for ourselves – the prospect and reality of retirement; our own “failing” faculties; and dealing with old age (well, older age at least!). A surprising gem of a book.
Scoop (Evelyn Waugh): Inevitably dated (first published in 1938!), but I found this irreverent satire of Fleet Street quite charming in its way (as I have many of his other books). This might seem somewhat surprising to many who know me - given Waugh’s reactionary character and his negative image as “intolerant, snobbish and sadistic, with pronounced fascist leanings”. I would clearly have disliked him with a passion!
God of Surprises (Gerard Hughes): We’re reading this book in our weekly Ithaca group and, I have to say, I’ve been rather disappointed. Perhaps I’m not in the proper frame of mind to appreciate it fully at the moment - but, although it does contain some profound and helpful insights, I don’t any of us in the group have particularly warmed to it.
PS: I haven’t included Cave Refectory Road (Ian Adams) in the above recent list as I blogged about this last month (and it’s excellent!).


blue hands said...

I have warmed to it! It is somewhat repetitive in places and hard to grasp in others, but an enlightening and life enhancing book, which I will come back to.

Alice said...

I hadn't head of any of these! Thanks for sharing. X