Thursday, April 19, 2007
My book group, a wonderful bunch of women, chose The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver for our next meeting, which is convenient for me, since I already had a copy. I've started it and I'm really enjoying Ms. Shriver's writing style. She is an American living in London, and that's what she writes about--and there is a wonderful awareness of the clash of British and American English usage, as well as an exploration of the clash of these two cultures, in the book. I also love it when writers describe things in ways that make me say, oh, yes, I've felt that way. And it looks like Shriver is one of those writers for me. Even little descriptions like this one make me smile: "The air was the temperature of bathwater whose heat was beginning to fade, but still warm enough for a lingering soak."
I'm also almost through David Shapard's The Annotated Pride and Prejudice. I bought it more or less as a reference but of course I couldn't resist reading it (again!) every night at bedtime. Pride and Prejudice is one of those books I read over and over again--it's like a security blanket for me. Reading with the notes is fun for me, but for a first-timer to P and P, I wouldn't necessarily suggest it, since reading the notes definitely takes away from the flow of the narrative. However, I'm happy that it's forcing me into a more close reading. I'm finding the notes are informative for me about half the time--I'm pretty familiar with much of the language by this point, so the definitions and clarifications aren't generally very surprising, but Shapard's citations from Austen's life and letters, and much of his literary analysis, is really helpful.
Stefanie at So Many Books, in her post about what book to bring on an upcoming plane ride, reminded me I have to pick a book or two for the long flight I'm making at the end of May. We'll be on the plane for almost 6 hours, and since I'll be entertaining three kids the whole time, I probably won't have much time to read. But I can't imagine not bringing a book. I need a book as a security blanket, since I hate to fly. So maybe I'll bring Pride and Prejudice, just to make me feel better.
A while back, Stefanie also mentioned coveting David Austin English roses, which are some of my favorites, so I've included a photo of our English rose in the back yard.