It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Date and is "a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week."
Visit the Book Date to see what various other book bloggers have been up to in the past week.
Books I finished reading last week:
On Friday I feared I would have to report that had not finished any books during the week, because I have been book-hopping all week long, reading a chapter here and a chapter there, and never being able to concentrate on any one book for long enough to get really and properly into reading it. The upside of this is that I decided to stop reading one book from my very long list of partially read books and chucked it in the "cull" stack.
- Then I happened to pick up a shortened, sumptuously illustrated edition of Sir Richard Burton's translation of Sheikh Nefzawi's 15th century Arabic sex manual, The Perfumed Garden. I ended up finishing it in two sessions and found it an enjoyable read. Burton's translation is playful and interspersed with the advice and instructions on all sorts of things relating to sex, like funny nicknames for the genitalia, aphrodisiac foods, sexual positions and the kind, are erotic stories that sparkle with humour. I was pleased to see the emphasis that the text puts on the enjoyment of coition by both participants, and not just the man. Bafflingly, the book is illustrated with what looks to me like Indian erotic miniature paintings that would not have been out of place in an edition of the Kama Sutra but strike a somewhat false note in this book.
- The playful, literary style of The Perfumed Garden compares very favourably with the style of a couple of short erotic romances I then read over the weekend. Both were very much in the "insert tab A in slot B, agitate, repeat" style of sex writing and I don't think I'll bother mentioning the titles.
- The final book I finished was Elizabeth's Adventures in Rügen by Elizabeth Von Arnim, which I read as an eBook, downloaded from Project Gutenberg. This author wrote one of my favourite novels, The Enchanted April, and several years ago I also read a couple of semi-fictional books she wrote about her life in Germany. As I am planning to visit Rügen next summer, I figured it might be interesting to read it, to perhaps glean some insights into visit-worthy places on the island, and also to see what it was like around 115 years ago. I don't think I shall say any more at this point, as I feel I need to write down some of my thoughts about it, which will probably end up in a review.
- As always, I have no idea what I will read during the week, but I am about halfway through Common Ground by Rob Cowen. It's the kind of naturalist book I love to read, an in-depth study of nature in all it's glories and cruelties, seasonal changes and slow rhythms. I'll definitely be reviewing this one.
- I am alternating reading the above with Campervan Crazy.
- I would also like to finish one of the partially read books from the monster list.
I did no watch any DVDs - nor did I watch TV - and the only things I did out of my ordinary activities during the week was to admit to myself that one part of the 6-week exercise program I am doing, the one involving exercise bikes, is too strenuous for me, because exercise is not supposed to hurt so much. I have the stamina - just about - but my muscles are not recovering fast enough to be pain-free when the weight-lifting part of the program rolls around 5 days later. Plus, it's not the good kind of pain, but the kind that comes from overexertion, so I plan to drop the two remaining exercise bike sessions and instead concentrate on the weight-lifting and hot yoga classes and do some less strenuous open classes to get some extra calorie-burning into the program. Zumba sounds pretty good.