I’m not here today 6

29 June, 2010

‘coz I’m Slightly Peckish again! It’s hot, it’s sticky and I’m in need of some lazy reading time in the sun. Check me out!

I don’t normally watch football but I’ve been glued to the tv watching the World Cup in South Africa. England’s out, Japan’s out (so sad, and on penalties as well!) and so I’ve got to find a good looking team to support now. Any suggestions?

I’ve been reading James Wood’s How Fiction Works and am rather enjoying it. Maybe it’s because I haven’t actually read most of the books he’s nattering on about (except for Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky which I thought was actually readable, pretty amazing albeit very intense, Lolita by Nabokov and Anna Karenina by Tolstoy). Methinks I need to get hold of some Henry James. What’s the best one to start with?

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14 Responses to “I’m not here today 6”

  1. Mel u Says:

    On James-for a very basic start the novella Daisy Miller, then maybe The Europeans and then The Bostonians-

  2. Kevin Neilson Says:

    The Turn of the Screw! If you like, then The Portrait of a Lady or The Wings of the Dove or Golden Bowl… Cheers, Kevin

  3. winstonsdad Says:

    I read woods book earlier this year wonderful book ,I going reread it later in year found it wonderful and a lot to absorb felt needed to be read twice to get full effect of it ,all the best stu

  4. Mystica Says:

    I liked Lolita very much but found Anna Karenina very heavy going. Have to go back one day to that and finish it.

  5. novelinsights Says:

    Totally agree with you about Crime and Punishment being readable – I was surprised too. I read Turn of the Screw, which improves in hindsight for me as at the time it left me feeling a little confused… Not read anything else by HJ though.

  6. chasing bawa Says:

    Mel u: Haven’t read any of them, thank you for the recs!

    Kevin Neilson: I’ve seen the film version of Wings of the Dove featuring Helena Bonham Carter which I really liked. I wonder how it compares to the book.

    winstonsdad: I’ve read a lot of negative/critical reviews of Wood’s book (probably because he is a critic himself!) so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But it’s really enjoyable. I agree it’s a book you need to read more than once though, especially once I’ve read more of the books he mentions.

    Mystica: I liked Anna Karenina a lot, probably because I spent years trying to read Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov (I actually read it twice and didn’t get it or got confused) and it was light compared to that! I must confess I tended to skim the sections about farming though…

    novelinsight: I was avoiding Crime and Punishment for years because I thought it would be grim, but it wasn’t bad at all. I kind of know the story of Turn of the Screw and have heard that it is confusing… I think I read a book by A.N Wilson which is a reworking or homage to it.


  7. Lolita is one of my favourite books; I love Nabokov’s prose. I don’t know the Woods book but I love reading Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose despite not knowing all the texts she discusses.

    As for Miller: Daisy Miller and Turn of the Screw.

    • chasing bawa Says:

      I liked Lolita a lot more than I thought I would, especially considering the subject matter. It really is beautifully written. I’ve got Francine Prose’s book on my shelf – I’m meant to be reading it this year. I like reading about books and what they mean to people, even if I haven’t read them all. It’s just exciting for me:)

  8. JoV Says:

    Support team Germany? I thought there were quite a few good looking ones in there. 😉


  9. I’ve just finished How Fiction Works too and now have a million notes to copy out of it. I’m thinking I’ll re-read it after I’ve finished my autumn read of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. It felt, to me, as though he was talking about Flaubert on each alternate page!

    • chasing bawa Says:

      I’m so bad at note-taking that I’ll probably have to re-read it again after reading some more of the books he’s mentioned. Looking forward to your review when you do it! I read Madame Bovary years ago but wasn’t really into it at the time, so will probably re-read it again to do it justice. I felt that he was talking about Crime and Punishment most of the time (it’s funny how you compare it to the books that struck you the most, isn’t it?)

  10. mee Says:

    Go for Argentina, that’s where I put my money ;D. The guy sitting next to me at work is Argentinian so I’ve been rooting for them too. But I heard Brazil is playing really really good.


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