Thursday, 28 April 2016

Books Beyond Bedtime

Here's my reading list for the next couple of weeks -

  • Sepulchre by Kate Mosse - My second attempt at this book. I'm reading at the rate of around three chapters a night before nodding off. Now up to Chapter 48 and losing the will to carry on. Seems to me that there is a lot of padding to eke out the word count. I would have pruned, had I been the editor. Also, a list of characters at the front would have been helpful - I'm losing the plot, in more ways than one.

 Never one to back away from a challenge, I took up the Three Book Challenge at my local library. Select three contemporary classics from the bin, read them all in three weeks and claim your prize. There weren't many left to choose from when I dipped in. Some of them I had never heard about and would hesitate to call them classics. This is what I selected from the lean pickings  -

  • When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit - Judith Kerr. Looking forward this this one, though it is children's book. Fictionalised life writing about the escape of Ms. Kerr and her family from Hitler's Germany. Michael Morpurgo a former Children's Laureate has called it  The most life-enhancing book you could ever wish to read. 
  • Lord of the Flies - William Golding. You have probably read it, or seen the film, so I will only add that in this edition, which celebrates the William Golding Centenary,  there is a new introduction by Stephen King

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. A murder mystery narrated by a fifteen-year old detective. Wise and bleakly funny, according to Ian McEwan (if you haven't read his novels you are missing a treat).

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Sepulchre by Kate Mosse

Occasionally I open the curtains in the morning, take one look outside and decide that the only thing to do is grab a luxurious, usually to be avoided, mug of hot chocolate and climb back into bed with a good book. Which is what happened today. I had planned to plough on with the garden work but the weather is so miserable that it's impossible. It's so dismal that I can't even summon the enthusiasm to get to the gym. So I picked up Sepulchre by Kate Mosse instead. I started to re-read it a few evenings ago - usually a couple of (short) chapters before settling down for the night.

Recipe for divine hot chocolate as made in Spain -luxurious treat

I got into the habit of speed reading when I was studying for my English Literature Degree, and that's how I read Sepulchre for the first time. But I think it's worth closer reading. It's a novel, set it France, but packed with facts - a short biographical sketch of Debussy, a lesson in Tarot - and I'm only up to chapter 13! Ms. Mosse is a descriptive writer - her description of characters immediately brings a vivid picture to my mind. I usually concur with Hemingway's few that the fewer the adjectives the better but in the instance I'm enjoying a leisurely read of a novel packed with imagery.

Ms. Mosse has a very impressive c.v.: Oxford University educated; senior roles in various publishing houses for 11 years; began her writing career in 1992. Her books have sold millions of copies in 40 countries.

Read a synopsis of Sepulchre