Thursday, 14 July 2011

What I've been reading

Image of the book cover
A Room With a View
by E. M. Forster

narrated by B. J. Harrison
"A charming young Englishwoman, Lucy Honeychurch, faints into the arms of a fellow Britisher when she witnesses a murder in a Florentine piazza. Back in England, Lucy is courted by a more acceptable, if stifling, suitor, and soon realizes she must make a startling decision that will decide the course of her future: she is forced to choose between convention and passion."
This is another of the free podcasts read by an American who isn't 100% accurate on pronunciation, but I quite enjoy spotting his errors and his narration isn't bad otherwise. And I've read the story several times, and seen the film, so I knew I wouldn't be disappointed by that aspect of the book.

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Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks: The Essential Alan Coren
edited by Giles Coren and Victoria Coren

"The Queen at a loose end playing I-Spy, QPR fans arguing at the cheese counter, prank phone calls to Mao Tse-Tung, the Roman tax collector Glutinus Sinus dealing with the mud-caked Britons, Gatling guns, an Italian driving school, herons, hearing aids, hosepipe bans, talking parrots... Welcome to the wonderful world of the late, great Alan Coren."
Lola II gave me this, an anthology of the humorist Alan Coren, and some of it is quite funny. Most of it is faintly amusing, there are a couple that are just clever and not very funny at all, and a further few that I don't 'get' because I don't know much about poetry, or Greek, or whatever the subject of the parody or satire is. It's very handy for breakfast or toilet reading, though, like many such compilations of short articles.

Image of the book cover
The Hand That First Held Mine
by Maggie O'Farrell

"Lexie Sinclair, from rural Devon, carves out a life for herself at the heart of bohemian 1950s Soho, with the sophisticated Innes Kent. In the present, Ted and Elina no longer recognise their lives after the arrival of their first child. As Ted's search for answers gathers momentum, so a portrait is revealed of two women separated by fifty years, but linked by their passionate refusal to settle for ordinary lives."
Another one supplied by Lola II. I'm not used to reading fiction in print rather than audio, so I had forgotten my propensity to read too fast, skipping detail in favour of finding out what happens next. This was particularly bad towards the end, when the different threads of the story are drawn together and it got a bit tense and exciting. I liked it, although I did get irritated by the majority of the book being divided into two separate strands, chapter by chapter.

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