Thursday, September 06, 2012

Royal Pain

Well, it's news to me but it's National Read a Book Day. That makes it a good opportunity to mention how much I'm enjoying Bring Up the Bodies, the sequel to Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I think most people know these are novels about Thomas Cromwell, Chief Everything to Henry the VIII. I have never read much about English royalty, but these are great, and I found the prose a good antidote to much of the overwritten, stylish stuff I read this summer. My only complaint is I'm reading a borrowed copy and have to slap my hand when I pick up a pen to mark something or underline. 

Other good books I read this summer were David Markson's Vanishing Point and David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. With the latter I did complain about the writing sometimes, though, despite the strength of the story. I mean you must take offense at sentences like, “Warm snowflakes settle over Orito’s skin, whispering as they melt.” You must. 

When I bought my computer, it came with a free Kindle app. I've been loading that up with freebies, I admit, but at the same time nothing compares to an actual book, and besides the intimate relationship the reader can have with each, real books are the best way to make a room inviting and interesting. Whether they're lined up nicely on shelves, or stacked at the edge of a table, or traveling from room to bedside, or whatever. Just like I sometimes need a pen in my hand to think with, I need a book in the room to stave off an empty panic. 


Kathleen said...

I finished a book today, Marginalia, by Doran Larson.

Robert Mc said...

I started and finished a short novel called.. well, I forget what it's called, a new novel coming out in 2013 by Jonathan Dee about a woman who discovers she has a talent for making famous men confess their sins. It was pretty good. Now back to our regularly schedule Moby-Dick--I'm a bit more than half way in.

Jeff said...

Don't own an e-reader - probably won't ever. But was in a Sony store at the local mall where they had a huge display of their Kindle-like poseur.

Started scrolling and punching but didn't make much sense. Salesman came over and said "You can store thousands of books on that!" I looked up at him and said "Yeah - but you still can only read them one at a time."

Made sense to me...but obviously not to him - he walked away never to return.

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