Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

Books read, early May

This is an extremely light fortnight for reading: combination of a big, heavy tome and general household uproar. So:

Chaz Brenchley (desperance), Bridge of Dreams. Just finished. Want the next. I spotted some things that I think would push (the bad kind of) buttons for some people on my friendslist, but they didn't hit me that way. At first I had the problem I often have with two POV books, where I was much more interested in one POV character than the other, but after the first 50-100 pages, that eased off as well.

David Palmer, Emergence. Written long before V. Secret Diaries. Had similar diary/telegraphy style. As result, kept thinking, "Still last one alive. Apocalypse v. annoying. Still prettiest," etc., similar snark early on. Main character annoying. Secondary characters not much better except bird. Plot took off eventually.

Simon Schama, Citizens. The book that ate my fortnight. Definitely worth it. I think wshaffer and Daniel recommended this -- if not, some other Schama -- and it definitely made me cross the line from "read this author if he writes something immediately useful" to "read this author." This was about the French Revolution, a lot of personalities but not necessarily "great man" history -- the people it focused on weren't all the great and powerful, but they were all distinct individuals. Very little of The Masses or The Aristocrats or what have you. Individual aristos, certainly. Also balloonists, orators, craftsmen, madwomen, lots of fascinating tidbits.

I'm finding that one of the disadvantages of reading about...well, countries that aren't Finland, basically...is winnowing. A book like Citizens makes me want to read more about the French Revolution, but there's too much more out there to read it all. This is not nearly so true of books about Finnish history, myth, and culture available in English. I won't go so far as to say I've read all the stuff there is, but I've read a pretty large percentage of it -- not quite everything I can get, because we have access to the University of Minnesota library now, but even a large percentage of that. There just isn't much out there. In the understatement of the century (haddayr: this is a good time for a bland, "Oh, yah?"), this is not true of material on the French, and it's not ever going to be. So the sorting process is a good deal more interesting.

Noel Streatfeild, Movie Shoes. May have had a more sensible British title; some of them do. Anyway, one of the parts I found interesting about this reread of this childhood favorite is that Streatfeild was fairly aware of how much her characters tended to be types. Posy Fossil, a character from an earlier book now grown, exclaims to one of the children that she is just like Posy's sister Pauline. And indeed she is.

And that's it. Oof.
Tags: bookses precious
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