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Saturday, October 20, 2012

A List {SIGH}

I have been overborne by circumstances once again. Aurelius said one should not excuse one's mistakes, misdeeds, neglect on circumstances. Sorry, Aurelius. Here comes a list, instead of individual postings about each book I've finished recently.

The Heart of a Goof, by P.G. Wodehouse. Definite hit. Much better than the last Wodehouse book I read. Perhaps because it is approximately 50 years older, having been written early in the 20th century instead of late in the 20th century. If you like Wodehouse, if you might like Wodehouse, give this one a try. You don't even have to like golf.

The Sweet Dove Died, by Barbara Pym. Forget it. Not worth it. I picked it up because of Susan Hill's recommendation of Pym in her book Howard's End is on the Landing. It has some of the trappings of a novel of manners, but is too frivolous, and one of the main characters is openly bi-sexual. I found it as disappointing as I've found E.M. Forster's books. I shan't be trying any other of Pym's work.

The Various Haunts of Men, by Susan Hill. A Simon Serrailler mystery, the first, in fact. I found it unsatisfying, though not for want of skill of the author. I did not feel as though I was pitting my wits agains those of the investigator. I did not like becoming attached to a main character, only for that character to be killed near the end (I kept hoping it would turn out to be a police ploy, but, alas, no). I liked the people, and several of them, no doubt, appear in following volumes of Simon Serrailler mysteries. I intend to read another of Mrs. Hill's mysteries, unlike my intentions regarding Ms. Pym and her work.

Bookworms, edited by Laura Furman and Elinore Standard. A collection of essays, letters, excerpts by writers (and readers) about reading. I enjoyed reading it, but who's surprised by that? I thought the various pieces were of various quality, being written by various people, but who's surprised by that? I would recommend it to readers who like reading about reading (is that a bit like a meta-narrative?), but not to those who don't. Do readers who don't like reading about reading read book blogs?

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