Saturday, October 25, 2008
What I'm reading...
Ah the luxury of working only part-time and having a steady supply of books. Actually as someone said to me, I should be able to milk the whole 're-adjusting to life in NZ' phase for at least a month. Which gives me another ten days or so for rampant reading without the guilt of feeling I should go and get another job.
So here are a couple of books that I have enjoyed and am enjoying and why.
Animal, Vegetable and Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Barbara Kingsolver came highly recommended to me by a friend who obviously know my tastes well as I am just lapping up the book. I'm about halfway through and find myself fascinated, despairing and encouraged on every page. The book is a sort of memoir which takes us through a year in the life of the author, as she and her family pledge to feed themselves only on homegrown or locally raise food. It's about seasons, gardening, organics, eating well, the state of America's food industry and more. It's very informative and well written and will make you think twice about what you're eating and where it comes from! I'm not even finished yet and I give it a 9/10.
Les Belles Images par Simone de Beauvoir
I am trying to keep at least one french book going at all times and this is the current pick. I have always wanted to read Simone de Beauvoir but perhaps this was not the best one to start with (the Dunedin Public Library left me with little choice however). Paris has not changed much but the hi-fi systems, clothing and conversation topics of the characters have dated and I just can't say that I'm riveted. 4/10
Anyone who does want a good french read, look for Amelie Nothcomb, she is fantastically funny.
The Poetry of Pablo Neruda by René de Costa
I really enjoy Neruda's poetry but knew nothing of the man's life, loves, inspirations etc. This book presents Neruda's poetry in chronological order, interspersing them with a running commentary and biographical details. The commentary can be a little academic in parts but it really does add to the reading of the poems. Bonus - the poems are printed first in their original Spanish and then in English, very motivating for a beginning Spanish speaker. 7/10.
Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson
While in Paris I heard Jeanette Winterson speak at a festival. She quoted, by heart, the first five minutes of her novel 'Oranges are not the only fruit' and I was hooked. Found Oranges great and thoroughly enjoyed this one too, though it is a rather different style. Unsure of where to start with summing it up, I'll just quote the back of the book for this one: "Winterson breaks the mould of history and fiction alike in this intricately enjoyable book." Apparently the genre is 'Gothic farce'. It is certainly a unique novel and her writing is fantastic. 9/10