Friday 2 November 2007

48. At Swim-Two-Birds and 49. The Early History of Rome

The other day, I found a lovely little bookstore in Trastevere (my favourite part of Rome, hands down) called The Almost Corner Bookstore and, helpless in the face of its great collection, bought myself Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds.

I arrived in Italy armed with four unread books plus the Wilkie Collins tome I began on my way to Europe; I was hoping not to buy too many books over here. Such measures rarely prove useful to me though and I didn't even try to resist the O'Brien purchase. Anyway, I read At Swim-Two-Birds over about a day and a half and it was immensely enjoyable; I spent a great deal of time laughing aloud and so cannot regret it.

Previous to finding The Almost Corner shop, I ambitiously purchased Livy's The Early History of Rome (which comprises Books 1-5 of his History of Rome from its Foundations) in the Forum gift shop - I say "ambitiously" for this is the kind of book I tend to buy and then let sit unread for years.

Well, I picked it up this morning to give it a shot - my fear of carrying it around for the next 5 weeks for nothing weighing heavily on my mind - and found myself immediately enthralled. I actually haven't really been able to put it down and so I've spent the day wandering slowly from place to place in Trastevere with my nose in Livy while the rest of me enjoyed soaking up the gorgeous fall sun.

I'm actually starting to feel kind of relaxed!

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