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Right, i have four books on my desk beside me and i can't decide what to read, not sure they are all well known but here goes.

(44 Posts)
lucyellensmum Mon 07-Jul-08 23:37:32

So, i have just finished Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks - Didn't like it that much, found it a bit preachy and it took me AGES to finish it. I did enjoy Johnathan STrange and MR Norrel. I seem to be enjoying historical novels right now. I absolutely loved the Historian by Kristina Katonova (is that her name?)>

So....i have:-

The Dante Club by matthew pearl - not sure about this, it looks a bit intellectual and the font is shite and it might irritate me. Plus i have never even read an ounce of anything written by or about dante, but know that he wrote stuff about death and punishment? See, i know nuthin!

An instance of the fingerpost by iain pears - looks like a historical detective novel, 17th century

The meaning of night - micheal cox, victorian chick lit?? (odd on favourite at the moment)

Or

The life of Pi - yann martel

or, not on my desk (i wonder what i did with it) Salmon fishing in the yemen, but i cant remember who.

So..........i want something substantial but that i can read quickly and not feel like i "have to" finish it. I couldnt put down JS&MN, but Human Traces was a chore and took me twice as long to read.

Or do i give up and go and buy something on recommendation.

claricebeansmum Mon 07-Jul-08 23:39:27

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen will be the perfect antidote to Human Traces. Very amusing and fairly easy read

OverMyDeadBody Mon 07-Jul-08 23:40:39

I'd recommend the Life of Pie, but that's cos it's the only one I've actually read! grin

Dante I had to study at uni so would probably go for that one next if it is indeed aboput Dante.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen sounds great, I would definately read that, put probably because I spent three months travelling round the Yemen with my parents when I was ten, so would want to read it for nostalgic reasons.

OverMyDeadBody Mon 07-Jul-08 23:41:08

Life of Pie is very good though, you have to read it at some point.

snice Mon 07-Jul-08 23:41:33

I would go for The Meaning of Night-its not chick-lit though

zippitippitoes Mon 07-Jul-08 23:43:11

the only onew i have heard of and started was the meaning of night but i got stuck with it and it is unfinished some time ago

have you read the woman in white

claricebeansmum Mon 07-Jul-08 23:43:47

Ooo Woman in White is fab

zippitippitoes Mon 07-Jul-08 23:44:27

i hve just looked i gtot to page 146 lol

but i am either a read it quick or get stuck and start somewthing else person

AnyFuleKno Mon 07-Jul-08 23:44:48

Can't help as I have studiously avoided reading all of these, they sound like a bit of a snore to me. Read The Devil Wears Prada and be done with it woman wink

Quattrocento Mon 07-Jul-08 23:44:51

I've read four of the three books on your table but sadly not your odds-on favourite.

Life of Pi was good actually. That Fingerpost is okayish but I did feel vaguely dirty after reading it (bit trashy tbh). The Dante Club is vg but there was an awful lot of Dante

Califrau Mon 07-Jul-08 23:45:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Quattrocento Mon 07-Jul-08 23:45:13

three of the four

Sorry late

lucyellensmum Mon 07-Jul-08 23:51:05

oh the dillema, i had made my mind up, the meaning of night, but now quattro send fingerpost made her feel dirty - so, obviously, im swaying more towards that though - but meaning of night seems the less work, and after human traces (at least i read this one, abandonned Birdsong halfway through, despite loving the way it was written, i think i was put off by the graphic violence in the war bit but it was AGES since i read it). Oh, what to do what to do

OK, so its down to two, fingers or meanings.

lucyellensmum Mon 07-Jul-08 23:54:41

I dont know why this is, but if i get stuck, im stuck, its like i can't start another book until that one is either finished or long forgotten about. It has honestly stopped me in my tracks before - Donna tarrt completely stopped me, i would find that too upsetting now though. I do like to think, if this doesnt sound a bit pretentious, that im trying to read "better" these days. I used to be a horror novel and chick lit girl, now im too squeemish (i get upset hmm) for horrors and would rather stick a fork in my eye than read chick lit.

zippitippitoes Mon 07-Jul-08 23:55:01

well meaning of night is tedious for the first 146 pages at least lol

zippitippitoes Mon 07-Jul-08 23:55:58

i am the same...not finishing a book leaves me streanded fopr ages

Ellbell Mon 07-Jul-08 23:56:05

I keep meaning to read The Dante Club but haven't done so (so I'm worse than useless, really, aren't I?). I think, though, that it's about American academics in the C19th (when Dante was very popular and being translated into English). I could tell you what Dante's all about, but really you don't want me to. Once I get started, I can't stop. Let's just say that he is the greatest writer in Western literature. Ever.

OMDB... You studied Dante? Are you an Italianist?

lucyellensmum Mon 07-Jul-08 23:58:39

im going to bed now, ellbell, you could give me a breif synopsis, really - im interested. Im sure it would be waaaaay to highbrow for me though.

lucyellensmum Mon 07-Jul-08 23:59:36

zippi, im so tired these days that it might take me a month to give you a verdict. nite nite x

snice Tue 08-Jul-08 00:00:03

Meaning of night has a great opening paragraph zippi-surely not tedious

zippitippitoes Tue 08-Jul-08 00:00:42

have you read the betrothed alessandro manzoni

or crime and punishment

Ellbell Tue 08-Jul-08 00:15:28

OK. So a guy (Dante) comes to his senses, aged 35, to find that he's lost in a dark wood. He can see the sun and a path leading up a mountain, but can't get past the wild animals that are barring his way. At this point, a guide appears (this is Virgil) and tells him that the only way out for him is to travel through Hell and Purgatory, until eventually, in the company of the woman he had loved before her death (Beatrice), he will enter Heaven.

The rest of the poem is the story of that journey and of the people he meets on it. Unlike most characters in medieval literature (and this is just one area of D's genius) the characters are not one-dimensional representations of abstract concepts (love, greed, etc.) but 'real people' (either contemporaries of D, historical characters or characters known from earlier works of literature, like Ulysses or Roland). They tell their stories in ways that are totally plausible and they show us how tempting bad behaviour can be and yet, at the same time, how wrong it is (and what deep shit - s'times literally - it can get us into).

This story is interwoven with 101 other concerns: politics (D was exiled from his native Florence for being a member of the 'wrong' political party and for his opposition to the interference of the papacy in political matters), poetry (D shows his huge debt to classical poetry while at the same time showing how poetry written in Italian can rival and exceed classical Latin poetry for beauty and seriousness), religion and philosophy, love (human and divine), etc. Oh, and while he's at it, he pretty much invents the Italian language.

<<Ellbell gets over-excited and goes up in a puff of hot air blush>>

zippitippitoes Tue 08-Jul-08 00:16:24

lol have you read the decameron

Ellbell Tue 08-Jul-08 00:21:42

Yes. But Dante is my luuurrrrvve!

S1ur Tue 08-Jul-08 00:36:10

not read any, but friend really rated life of pi

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