Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bedtime reading

My fiction reading list is currently interspersed with various library books and magazines about fashion, sewing and styling. But fear not, I have been feeding my literary side too.

I've just finished re-reading Charlotte Randall's The Curative, which I loved first time around. I don't know why it took me so long to read it a second time, it's such a good book. Considering it's set within a 19th Century insane asylum and almost all of the action is inside the head of one highly-educated and not-at-all insane (but morally objectionable) male inmate, it's a bloody good read. Sure, there are plenty of words used that I have no idea of the meaning of, but that's part of the fun. Lonsdale, the inmate in question, loves words. He doesn't seem to know why he's in there, but he's keeping himself sane by talking to whomever will listen, including his vegetative cellmate.

And now I have three new non-clothing-related books next to my pillow. Last time we were in Borders, I noticed that Bill Bryson's Shakespeare was on the 3 for 2 table. A bit of hunting around on that table turned up Junot Diaz's The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao. Score! But it was not so easy finding that elusive third book. Finally I settled on Jodi Picoult's Change of Heart. I've never read her work before, and have heard that she's not a particularly good writer in the literary sense. But I've also heard that she tells a damn good story, so I picked it up and we had our trio of books.

Okay, so only one of those 3 Borders purchases qualifies as literary (Bryson's book being non-fiction). But who cares?


Anonymous said...

I read the curative ages ago and now I"m wracking my brains as to whether i liked or not... or even what it's about. I seem to recall there was lots of (like making cuts in his head and bleeding them to balance his humours or whatever they're called).

I've read 1 Jodi Picoult book and it was actually alright (although have not been compelled to read another since). I'm re-reading Human Croquet by Kate Atkinson, which is ACE. I've read it 3 times now. Although I'm always surprised how I can never remember what happens next each time I read it.

Violet said...

donnasowho: yeah there was plenty of that. It was quite shocking really, how mental patients were treated, even right up until a few decades ago according to some.

What's Human Croquet about?

Anonymous said...

I don't know, exactly. It's told from the perspective of a 16 year old girl (but it jumps around all over the place). She lives with her aunt and grandmother and brother... her parents disappeared - and all this stuff happens. And some of it's a bit mystical to (except I think that's all in her head). But it's really really good. And I guess it's a bit of a 'who dunnit' except you don't really realise that until the end (and actually having finished it again last night I'm still trying to figure out who dunnit or whether it was someone irrelevant).

It's really really good though.

Violet said...

Donnasoowho: sounds intriguing, surreal even. As long as it's not gimmicky, which is a bit of a turn-off.

Angela said...

I need to get back to reading, but it is hard to understand somethings with pregnancy brain.
Some days I feel like I can't comprehend anything.

Glad you found some interesting books

Violet said...

angela: how around something light and chicklitty? That stuff wouldn't be too demanding.