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Old 30 April 2017, 01:27 PM
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Richard W Richard W is offline
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: High Wycombe, UK
Posts: 26,350

I finally finished S, and the rest of Sketches by Boz. (There are no great revelations in S, the final code is inane, and in fact the whole presumed plot - taken at "face value", whatever that means in a book this convoluted - makes no real sense anyway, so aspects of it were disappointing. However - spoilers ahead! - reading even further between the lines I decided that the most sensible reading is that Eric is a fantasist, he himself burned down the barn and wrote symbols about the place to deliberately drag Jen further into his paranoid world, whatever intrigues were going on between the writers in the mid-20th century were more or less irrelevant, and now Jen's where Eric wants her and their relationship is falling apart in their garret in Amsterdam. The last part about the relationship falling apart is implied in the text at least, and I was happy to see that I was right about the significance of them both using the same black pen for the last lot of comments).

So in April I read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which was really good - I found it the most memorable of hers, certainly, as although I know I liked her others I can't remember a lot about them, whereas this is quite gripping in parts.

I also read Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it All by Jonas Jonasson (trans. Rachel Wilson-Broyles), which is light fun, and worked better than I'd thought it might from the beginning. I'd thought it might get heavy-handed about religion, but it didn't.

I'm now reading 1914 - 1918: The History of the First World War by David Stephenson, which is very dense and will probably take months, although I've got past the first chapter on the build-up now, so the war itself might be easier to read. Also just started Sebastian Faulks by Charlotte Gray... sorry, I mean Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks, which looks like being good. And Pepys's diary, ongoing.

The trouble with the state of my to-read shelf, is that it's mostly been the longer and heavier-looking books I buy that have accumulated over time, since inevitably I read the lighter ones more quickly. So I'm getting through them at a slower-than-average rate when I compare with my rate in other years as well...
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