One more day before I start posting sensible, you know, review-related material. (Or maybe two, as BTT is tomorrow) I have read some books and now I have written some words about them. But first, some thoughts.
When I come to review something I read a month ago (even though I haven’t read much in that time apart from technical treatises on the application of IAS 19 in order to account for defined benefit pension schemes), I often cannot remember the names of any but the main characters. In some cases, I struggle to remember even that. Does this mean:
a) The characters are not memorable anyway (possibly: I have much less trouble naming characters from The Love Verb, where I felt the characters were strong, easily distinguished and generally well-set, as opposed to The Horse Whisperer, where only the two main characters do anything at all – and even then I want to call Tom Robert, because Robert Redford was the actor in the film).
b) The characters are not often referred to by their names (book to refute this: A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian. There is no end of telephone conversation and dialogue in which the characters address each other by name frequently)
c) I’m bad with names (possibly, but I don’t think so).
Anyone else find this? The Physicist and I talk about memory and the different strengths that different people’s memories have, so this might just be an expression of my own memory strengths. But as I most remember “plain text” (if you can write it, I can remember it, but I have no hope of telling you how many chapels there are in Westminster Cathedral despite the fact I go there regularly – I just don’t have that spatial recollection), I would have thought that names would stick with me. Any thoughts?
What should I read next? I’ve got a few days holiday with The Physicist; that is, I have gone up to his other home, to sit and drink tea and read books and generally mooch about a lovely northern town, while he sits in a room at the university and thinks about his thesis. I may even buy some books at the Wednesday market (I have been very successful there in the past!) Here are the books I have brought with me:
Storm Front by Jim Butcher – finished on the train on the way up. To be reviewed shortly.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – obviously a must read, not just for my slowly-getting-off-the-ground Booker challenge. Slightly scary in size, must be read by 18th of August or surrendered to the library.
Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer – borrowed from the library for The No Longer Resident Cousin (TNLRC), who did not have time to read it before she set off on her European jaunt. TNLRC (TNLRC) and Mini-me rave about Georgette Heyer, so I thought I’d have to try her out.
Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico – its slimness is very appealing. It also comes highly recommended by Simon of SIAB and by TNLRC.
A Visit by the Goon Squad (do I even need to say who wrote it?) – obviously a must read. I’m a few chapters in and not really enjoying it, so not quite sure what to make of it.
Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson – I loved When Will There Be Good News and with my appetite for her plotting heightened by the recent BBC Case Histories series featuring the deliciously Scottish, rugged, steely-blue-eyed *swoon* Jason Isaacs, I have to read more of hers.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer – yes, I know, I’ve been “reading this” for ages.
Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson – review copy which I must get to before the publishing date!
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks – recommended everywhere, including by last month’s visitor C (hello C! I haven’t made more choc chip biscuits yet)
Slam by Nick Hornby – I have a mostly hate-hate relationship with Hornby. Why do I force myself to read all of his work? I keep waiting for him to redeem himself.
When God Was A Rabbit – a copy I won not all that long ago. Looks really really good.
The Survivor by Sean Slater – a fairly brutal-looking police procedural to get through and get off the shelf.
Or my Open University Italian course materials?