WWW Wednesday 16/10/19

IMG_1384-0WWW Wednesday is currently hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.  Each week there are three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I was so late with this last week that I thought maybe I would skip today’s post.  But here I am, all good to go, so why not…

Three books finished since the last post and only one added.  That seems reasonable.

 

 

What are you currently reading?  After a false start or two I am now properly reading The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West.  I felt totally daunted when I started the Kindle sample – I blame the cold entirely, for this is such an easy book to read and huge fun (so far).  Plus, I now have a green-spined Virago copy, which clearly makes all the difference.  I’m reading it for the 1930 club which is running this very week so I’m struggling to get it finished and put together a few thoughts before Sunday.

 

 

What did you recently finish reading? It was a couple of weeks ago but I recently finished The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys.  I almost passed on this Pigeonhole read as I didn’t know the author and it is billed as a YA read which isn’t generally my choice.  But having read a little on Sepetys and her previous books I took the plunge and I’m glad I did.  It’s set initially in 1957 and built around a budding relationship between privileged Dan, son of a Texan oil baron, and Ana, impoverished Spaniard struggling with her siblings to keep themselves afloat and survive their past.  Through this lens I learned a great deal about the horrors of Franco’s Spain, brought vividly to the fore through the use of snatches from actual documents and accounts from the time.  It’s not a great book – the second half, eighteen years later – seemed particularly weak, but it’s far from a bad one and I’m mindful of the intended audience.  I certainly considered it worth reading for its historical context and I will look for more of her books.

I’m also mindful of Sepetys’ words when she was awarded the Carnegie Medal :

“As a writer, I am drawn to underrepresented stories and history in hiding. History divided us, but through reading we are united in story, study and remembrance. That is the power of books.”

Amen to that.

What do you think you’ll read next? I shall be finishing the short story collection, ‘The Starlings and Other Stories‘ in the next day or so.  And I can’t resist following it up witha re-read of du Maurier’s The Birds.  I won’t read it for purposes of comparison; it’s just that some things really have to be done.

Birds

 

41 thoughts on “WWW Wednesday 16/10/19”

        1. This week has turned into a bit of a slump on the reading front so I know it won’t be finished in time. The book itself has slumped a bit too which doesn’t help. But I’ll finish it eventually 🙂 (And the weather has finally turned here – sunshine forecast for several days in a row!)

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    1. It’s a fun read. Different to Signposts I think as she set out to appeal to the popular reading public and I think was uncomfortable with it in later years.

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  1. I saw a great exhibit at the Yale Center for British Art a few years ago on the Edwardians. It was fascinating and chilling at the same time to think of the contrast between the rich and poor. Rather familiar actually. I just finished “Warlight” for tomorrow night’s book group at church. I am eager to hear others’ thoughts on it. I wouldn’t have finished it save for the upcoming meeting.

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      1. I had to miss the discussion after all. It is a strange book with a narrator struggling to understand his mother. He creates a very convincing portrait of her life, but he is working from scraps and we have to doubt everything he tells us. More intellectually challenging than gripping.

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          1. The English Patient is probably his most known book. It won the Mann Booker in the nineties and was made into a haunting film. The book is haunting too. Not the easiest of reads but I’d happily read it again.

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  2. Well done, 2 posts this week! I want to read The Birds as well. Can you believe it; before the Daphne du Maurier week earlier this year, I didn’t know there was a book behind the movie… I am so ignorant. Since I loved the movie, I am curious about the story.

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    1. I know – 2 posts! And a third one that ought to be published by Sunday… I’ll need a lie-down after that! 😂 And you must read The Birds when you get the chance. Be aware though that it’s absolutely nothing like the film. I have a feeling you would like the story.

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    1. Maybe a little of both your suggestions, and the weather. I know I’m reading way more than I was this time last year. But really I think the reason is that I have too much time on my hands! 😂

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    1. It is! Very close to me in fact. There are occasions when the weather conditions are right and I’ll look out at a tractor trailing birds in its wake and I wonder …. 😱

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  3. I completely understand why you feel more like reading The Edwardians now that you have a Virago copy. I’ve often given up on a book when it was on Kindle, only to find it much easier going in paper format from the library.

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    1. Green-spined original Viragos are always a joy. I’ve become increasingly influenced by the look and feel of a book. And Persephones are just gorgeous to handle. I can’t imagine ever not enjoying a Persephone.

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      1. I think in the age of e-books, we come to appreciate beautiful books more, rather than just the cheap, wafer-thin paperbacks (especially the US ones) which I used to buy in bucketloads as a teenager.

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    1. Isn’t it lovely! The Edwardians is Downton Abbey in book form. Though the great house is actually Knowle – the ancestral home of Vita Sackville-West who adored it but couldn’t inherit as she was female. (The ‘entail’ – which is how Downton opened.) Of course, if you haven’t seen Downton Abbey you will have no idea what I’m saying, for which I apologise 🙂 😉

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  4. Ye gods, Sandra- I had forgotten the VSW novels- all read a long time ago, but I found that beautiful copy of The Edwardians lurking at the back of a bookshelf, and will endeavour to fit it into my reading schedule some time soon. ( And you’re right, of course, a beautiful book is much more pleasurable to read).
    I think the ability to write a good short story is the testing difference between a truly gifted writer and the rest! DDM is , I think, one of the best short story writers ever ( interesting to make a list of others?). I think ” Don’t look now” is my favourite of her’s: but I seem to recall a moving story about a swan which lingers in my memory. If you should come across it, please let me know. xxx

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    1. I certainly will, Pat 🙂 I’ve not read Don’t Look Now but I’ll remedy that eventually. I generally struggle with short stories but I’m getting better at appreciating them. And it’s an interesting point – can writing ability be ‘ranked’ by genre, length etc. I shall enjoy pondering on that one! The Edwardians is currently in a dip for me but I do love VSW’s writing. Have you read All Passion Spent? Her other most popular book and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. xx

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