Monday 1 February 2010

A fail, an un-review, and a little treat

It seems I'm going to have to resign myself to getting all my history out of historical novels - only 25 pages into a book on Roman Britain, I gave up and ain't like to try again. It was just so dull. And there were even photos and drawrings to keep me happy. Not for me, it seems, is pretty much any text that doesn't have either a compelling narrative or writing so fantastic it doesn't matter what it's about. As I was slogging my way through those 25 pages, I kept asking myself, "Never mind how stupefying this is to read - did this guy want to kill himself out of extreme ennui while writing it??" I hope he didn't; but I would understand if he did.

Anyway, now that I've got that out of my system, I'm free to go back to reading primarily novels. I do have a couple of biographies I'm hoping to read; my fervent wish is that because they involve real people (as opposed to groups of people or Romans with unpronounceable names who are mentioned once), there will be a narrative structure that my addled brain can maintain paying attention to.

In the meantime, I've been reading Ellis Peters' 7th Brother Cadfael mystery, The Sanctuary Sparrow. It was exceedingly good, as they always are, and I didn't figure out who the murderer was until the very last moment - pretty much when Peters was shaking it in my face and laughing at me for not getting it.

I do so love Ellis Peters! But I think I should next read a book that 1) I can write a proper review about, and 2) I'm going to love. It shouldn't be just one or the other. I love Peters but having read 7 in the Cadfael series already, I don't feel I have anything new to add. All I've got is gushing adoration and personal satisfaction.

So, to make up for this non-review, here's a micro mini-edition of The Sarazens head without New-gate. It's so small, indeed, that it comprises one thing: the contents of a note I found sitting on the edge of one of the shelves in the poetry section. Not in a book, just near some books, face up. Hand-written note on a very small scrap of paper, contents of which are:
Hi Fudgie

Wow...good book isn't it! Way to go, you're almost finished.

Sorry if I've been a dink. I'm just board [sic].

I Love [sic] you,


Let me know when you get this. Because as soon as you do...I'm gonna jump your bones!
I wish I knew how this note came to be where it was; left there on purpose, or more likely, by mistake? And how the recipient if he/she ever got it, is feeling about having lost it...

If Found magazine still exists, perhaps I'll send it to them...


Heidenkind said...

Have you read the Vicky Bliss mysteries? I'm not sure they're books you can do a "proper" review of, but they are good. Or I think they are.

Celine said...

Speaking of Roman Britain; have you read Manda Scott's 'Dreaming the Eagle' and 'Dreaming the Bull'? Haven't read them myself, but my BiL and Hubs have been mercilessly pushing them at me for years. In light of your current Roman-Briton obsession I thought I'd pass on the recommendation!

Stefanie said...

That note is a hoot!

Yuri... said...

I have generally had similar reactions to most history texts I pick up with the best of intentions. HOwever, a few that really snagged me include "How the Irish Saved Civilization" and "Ghenghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World." Maybe you could give one of them a go one of these days :)

Bookphilia said...

heidenkind: No, I haven't even heard of the Vicky Bliss mysteries. I will try to keep them in mind but my next mystery will be The Hound of the Baskervilles!

Celine: Thankee! Haven't heard of this either!

Stefanie: Yes indeed. :)

Yuri: I actually tried to read "How the Irish..." right after I gave up on the Roman Britain book but it didn't hold me, maybe because I'd just read somewhere that its historical claims were dubious...but of course I can't recall where I read that.