Reading and Rambling

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Elegance of the Hedgehog ...

Wow!  I have finished reading this beautiful novel was fabulous!  It took me a while to empathise with the two alternating narrators:  Renee is the 54 year old concierge, of humble origins yet highly  although secretly educated.  12 year old Paloma is an intelligent daughter of one of the wealthy residents of number 7, Rue de Grenelle, who rejects the bourgeois and plans to commite suicide on June 16, her birthday) But I steadily became enthralled by the story.  It did feature some surprise twists - I won't give too much away - although I was a little saddened by the final event before the novel's conclusion ....   I would have liked a little more on the developing relationship between Renee and Paloma, more on the interaction between them to convince me of their connection, although it was credible.  I totally believed in - and found myself hoping for the blossoming of - the relationship between Renee and Monsieur Ozu.  It is a story about friendship, intelligence versus the class of intelligentsia, fate, wealth and status ... It was just so different, and so lovely, intellectually challenging, and yet imparting some basic messages about life, love, culture and the state of the world.  Adorable!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pearl in a Cage

Just bought this one on e-bay.  Looking forward to a shopping trip to Hobart, where I am sure I will pick up an extra book or two  :)  Plus a visit to Laura Ashley ... always inspiring!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New books!

I love buying new books, and have now added Peter Temple's Truth and Still Alice, by Lisa Genova, to my collection, as well as the latest Joanne Harris novel, Blue Eyed Boy.  I always become so engrossed in Harris' tales, and look forward to reading this one.  

I cannot wait for our new house extension to be completed, so that I can create my library/study - although sadly, it won't warrant one of those ladders that roll along to reach the higher shelves ... still, I am excited about creating a new book haven for myself, building some new shelves and organising my very own library.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

50 great reads ...

I am so excited that the new list is out, and have already highlighted about twenty books I simply MUST read ... shopping awaits .............

Back to Tractors ...

I have finished reading A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, with mixed responses.  There WERE tractors ... Nikolai was writing a book about the history of tractors as current events in his life unfolded, narrated by his daughter, Nadia. 

Overall I enjoyed it, although at times I was frustrated and wanted it to end.  There were moments that I thought, if he was my father, I would hit him over the head with a shovel, and then I felt ashamed that I contemplated this, given his age and history of war and flight to a new country... Valentina was hilarious, although she too was trying to improve her situation in life ... I was a little concerned at Nadia's obsession with Valentina - to the point of stalking her ....

A combination of humour, featuring language and circumstance, as well as a sense of tragedy for events endured by various characters, it was a good read.  I did also like the historical insight that the novel provided, in terms of the challenges of creating a new life in a new country, and the historical conflict and oppression that people and cultures endure.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pearl Jam lyrics ... love them :)

I wish I was a neutron bomb for once I could go off

I wish I was a sacrifice but somehow still lived on

I wish I was a sentimental ornament you hung on

The Christmas tree I wish I was the star that went on top

I wish I was the evidence I wish I was the grounds

For 50 million hands upraised and open toward the sky