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Reading repors for May and June 2007

Just poking my head in to report on my reading :-)

In May I finished a book on average every 2,4 days: 13 books that total 3562 pages. I started reading some of these books months ago and had been reading them on and off since. I have always liked having a wide variety of books to read and I mix together books that can be read over a long time with books that are best read, if not quickly, than at least over a period of just a few days.

I started reading The Literary Gourmet three years ago and would pick it up every now and then and read a chapter and then put it on the shelf again. I thought it had great promise when I first got it, but I was disappointed with it. The book is a collection of food and eating passages from famous literary works, with recipes researched by the author/editor and adapted and tested by chefs. I think a book like this is probably most interesting when you have read the majority of the books mentioned in it, and I have not, which is probably why I found it disappointing.

I finally did read The Wasp Factory, prompted by someone mooching it from me, so I read it in an afternoon and was not disappointed. The humour is as dark as it gets and it's an imaginatively gruesome account of what can happen when children are allowed to run wild.

Iain Banks: The Wasp Factory
Beryl Bainbridge: Harriet said...
Susan Donovan: Knock me off my feet
Mark Gatiss: The Vesuvius Club
Robert A. Heinlein: The Star Beast
Holly Hughes ed.: Best Food Writing 2001
Linda Wolfe: The Literary Gourmet
Margery Allingham: Death of a Ghost
Peter Tremayne: Hemlock at Vespers
Mary Saul: Shells
Thomas Stevens: Around the World on a Penny-farthing

G.K. Chesterton: The Innocence of Father Brown
Terry Pratchett: Moving Pictures


It has been a long time since I finished so few books in one month – only six – and all of them before June 10th. I finished the last one at the airport on my way to the USA, during a three hour delay. The next three weeks were so full of sights and adventure that I was generally too tired after dinner each night to do more than write in my journal and fall asleep. I did buy several books that I am looking forward to reading.

One of the books I did finish before setting off on holiday was Titus Groan, the first part of Mervyn Peake's famous Titus trilogy. It is like a huge meal put together from many small dishes that need to be eaten slowly with frequent breaks so as not to cause indigestion. I started reading it in April and finished it at the beginning of June and now I'm looking forward to starting the second book, Gormenghast.

I am working on some reviews, but I'm not making any promises as to when I will publish them.

Meyer Berger: The Eight Million
Andrea Camilleri: The Shape of Water and The Voice of the Violin
Giles Milton: Nathaniel's Nutmeg
Mervyn Peake: Titus Groan
Rex Stout: Too Many Cooks


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