Saturday, May 28, 2011

Re-reading Harry Potter

I'm on the train at the moment with HP and The Order of the Phoenix in my bag. Sadly, in oh so many ways, that book is as thick as ... oh I dunno - maybe six Gutenberg bibles? not to mention the fact that it's the hardback kiddie edition. I.e. it's conspicuous as hell and I'm too embarrassed to take it out on a packed train.  With the ease built into this Blogger phone app I could take a photo of its massiveness, but due to the above I won't.

I went on this Harry P kick after we watched the last film again not long ago. Of all the films it's my favourite. They manage to convey a feeling of bleakness and realism that lifts the story to a better level. All good science-fiction and fantasy should, ironically, be realistic. I'll get back to that when I write my Tolkien post someday THIS YEAR - see how I've committed myself now? I read that part two of The Deathly Hallows is going to me more spectacular though, all effects and 3-bloody-D I suspect. How utterly boring, predictable and disappointing.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Scarlett Thomas: The End of Mr Y

So this is the one the conductor (ticket inspector?) in my previous post liked so much she had to lean over and tell me. That sounded snarky, but I'm not taking the piss, honestly. I like the community of readers. I posted the picture on Facebook too and my editor friend said it'd be interesting to hear what I thought, because they'd turned it down themselves. So the pressure is on, people.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Laurie R King: The Language of Bees and God of the Hive

Disclaimer: this post was started on May 6th. Adjust all references to times and dates accordingly and make allowances for sketchy memories.

Two days before reading these books (well, one of them, I can't remember which one I was thinking of when I started the draft)  my husband and I walked about the Wordsworth poem We Are Seven (yes yes, initiation of discussion was all his. I'd never read it before, I admit it). And lo and behold the quote from that very poem on page 82 (in one of the books, see above), which would have been meaningless to me only three days earlier. Yesterday I read an article about a recent trend in Japan for divorce ceremonies. A key element was smashing a symbolic wedding ring with a mallet. The broken pieces are placed in the mouth of a netsuke, a frog (not real one obviously), which in Japanese belief symbolizes new beginnings. Page 210 Mary Russell breaks into a house, and her foot brushes against a netsuke on the floor.

Lucky I'm not that crazy, or I'd start thinking I was receiving messages from Above. Of what though? - that would lead to new levels of madness.

Monday, May 02, 2011


And later that afternoon the ticket inspector (conductor?) checked my commuter card, then leaned over and said "that's one of my favourite books".

Not dead!

I'm still here. Just not that much on-leasure-line.

Thursday I stopped by Väsby Centrum and went into the big charity shop there (a very good one!) to panic-shop something to wear to a dissertation party we were going to the next evening (a very smart lady deserves her guests to be at least moderately smartly attired, no?). Naturally I browsed the book section, which was surprisingly good, even for English books. I could have picked up several, including two Lee Childs because whythehellnot, but I settled for The End of mr Y which I've been wanting to read for ages and lo, lo, lo and behold - The Language of Bees.

I've finished the latter and reading it was like meeting old friends. I'll get back to you on that one.