Having moved out to the burbs a couple of years ago, there is very little I miss about Paris a) because I go there quite often b) because there are so many things I enjoy here, like a garden. (By the way, for those of you who were anxious to hear the latest developments about the blue tits, they seem to have flown the nest – anyway, all is quiet, it’s been over a month since they hatched, and having checked their breeding habits on Wikipedia, they’ll have flown off by now.) So, the hammock and the loungers are out most days, and are extremely conducive to reading and/or a nap…
Of course, as I write, the weather has turned rainy and stormy (as forecast) but yesterday was glorious and so I disappeared in the hammock with my Kindle (which is perfect with its special whatever screen in strong light) and had a go at a review of Catcher in the Rye, which I bought by mistake instead of the novel itself. It’s OK so I’ll probably finish it.
I also took with me La consolante by Anna Gavalda. I’m aware that it’s not meant to be her best effort, but I wanted to read it anyway and was just waiting for the smaller paperback to come out. (French bestsellers don’t tend to come out in big hardback format before the paperback version like in the UK. Instead, publishers bring out big paperbacks, before the small paperbacks which is perhaps marginally more environmentally friendly, but still annoying.) I haven’t started it yet. The sunshine filtering through the trees and the tweeting and chirping sent me to sleep before I picked it up…
I’m starting to get a little disappointed with the choice of ebooks availble on Kindle. After the initial euphoria, I am discovering that apart from the latest releases and past-the-copyright-date classics, there is really quite a limited choice. For instance, I’m listening to Daphne du Maurier’s Frenchman’s Creek on the radio at the moment, and thought I would get the book on Kindle, but no joy, even Rebecca isn’t available. Neither are any of the Salinger novels or the Harry Potter books. I wonder whether this is to do with rights issues or are down to publishers’ decisions or what. I still love the Kindle as object/concept but would love a little more choice of books, and of course, books in French too.
No hammock today, will just have to read indoors.
Time to be in earnest by PD James
An autobiography in the form of a diary over a period of one year (1997/1998). As always, I find it interesting to get insight into the life of authors I admire. But I wish she had just written an “ordinary” autobiography, because the diary-as-an-excuse-for -reminiscing ploy sometimes feels a little clunky. Still, I enjoyed this.
Notting Hell by Rachel Johnson
This was lent by a fellow book club member and was a fun read. “Witty, sharp, outrageous and cringingly real. I was riveted” says Sophie Kinsella on the front cover and I more or less agree with her. It left me with the feeling that having the money to live in a place like Lonsdale Gardens would be a very mixed blessing.