Thursday, June 17, 2010

Book Gluttony

The only trouble with reading British children's books like Swallows and Amazons is that they tend to go quickly. Since last week I've churned through my third or fourth re-read of Winter Holiday and -- though I was pacing myself -- just finished Terry Pratchett's excellent Nation last night.

(Morning reading: Worse Than War, by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen. Part of my ongoing attempt to understand human and institutional cruelty. Also finished that yesterday).

Which means that in the evenings I've moved on to Pigeon Post, another Ransome classic. This morning I started Suzanne LaFleur's Love, Aubrey. I read a review of this (recent) book and its quiet tale of sadness, independence, and determination seemed similar to my first book. Plus I like the voice.

"That's all great," you might say. "But what about when you go out of town, or need something bigger to read?" Ha, I'm ready with Victor Klemperer's diary of the Nazi years, I Will Bear Witness. Which happens to be one of the themes of my recent book, so I'm curious to see how it's expressed in nonfiction.

It was only last summer that I read David Mitchell's superb Cloud Atlas, a book that defies genre and even tidy explanation. I can best describe it as the series of rings left by a plunging stone in a pond. Is it too early to re-read? Probably. But I think Mitchell has a new book out. And then there's Alan Furst's atmospheric mysteries: I've never been a mystery reader but man oh man do I love the voice and scenery in those.

There are more, there are always more.

No comments: