Sunday, July 11, 2010
I’m afraid I’ve given up on Bill Bryson’s At Home. His scattergun approach, piling detail on detail, & moving from one continent & historical period to another, exhausted me. I wanted more depth & I know that’s not the object of the exercise here. He’s roaming far & wide yet staying close to home. So, what’s next, I ask myself? Well, I’m still reading a collection of Daphne Du Maurier’s short stories & I’m about to start reading Peter Pan by J M Barrie, the novel that was the basis for the incredibly popular stage play & many subsequent adaptations. I also have a terrific stack of library books to choose from which you can see above.
The mills of God – Deryn Lake. This author is best known for her series of historical mysteries starring John Rawlings. I haven’t read those but this new book intrigued me. Vicar Nick Lawrence has just moved to the Sussex village of Lakehurst & becomes involved in the investigation of a series of serial killings by someone calling themselves The Acting Light of the World. I only hope it’s not too gruesome as I’m a wimp when it comes to explicit violence in books - & real life too, I should say.
The importance of being seven – Alexander McCall Smith. The latest in his wonderful 44 Scotland Street series. I can’t wait to see what Bertie, dreadful Irene, Big Lou & co are up to.
The betrayal – Helen Dunmore. The sequel to The Siege, which was set during the siege of Leningrad in WWII. This book is set during the 50s & revisits the characters from the earlier book, which I loved.
Macbeth – Fiona Watson. Macbeth is my favourite Shakespeare play & I’m fascinated by the difference between the myth & the reality. Rather like my fascination with Richard III. Dark Age Scotland is a murky place & Watson aims to put Macbeth into his true context as a ruler & dispel the myth of the haunted murderer of the Scottish play.
Contested Will – James Shapiro. Speaking of Shakespeare, this is an examination of the authorship controversy. James Shapiro wrote 1599, one of the best books I’ve ever read about Shakespeare. It took one year in Shakespeare’s life & used the events of that year to tell his story. In this new book, Shapiro looks at the reasons for the controversy about the authorship of the plays, the candidates & his own theory about Shakespeare & the plays.
Courtiers – Lucy Worsley. I’ve become more interested in the 18th century in recent years & this book is a look at the lives of the servants & courtiers at the Georgian Court at Kensington Palace. Lots of scandal, a dysfunctional royal family & some great stories, I’m sure. Reading Fanny Burney’s diary of her time as lady in waiting to Queen Charlotte gave me some idea of the politics, backbiting & sheer boredom of Court life. I’m looking forward to discovering more.
Not sure what I’ll read first. I may just work my way down from the top!