12.11.2007

What I'm Reading


Oh, I haven't posted much about books because I'm reading like a veritable demon! So, I thought I'd do a post about what I'm reading...

Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo. At the halfway mark. I loved it until Hugo just veered into lengthy descriptions of architecture and religion. I resent his interrupting the fascinating plot and wonderful characters, even if I do see why he is doing it.

A Child's Christmas in Wales,Dylan Thomas. I received this yesterday and tore right through it. (It is a children's book after all.) The illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman are truly dazzling -- they really make the book. I thought the text gorgeous in spots, and will do more on this post, but the first reading puzzled me slightly.

Out of Africa, the Untold Story, Linda Donelson. I found this in a used bookstore -- obviously it was marketed to capitalize on the film. But, I really enjoyed reading about Karen Blixen and her turbulent life. I think all of her travails with relationships somehow speak to me just now. To wit (and I paraphrase):

On describing the relationship between men and women, she says: "Men are guests and women are hostesses." And she asked a man, "What do guests want?" The man said, "We want to shine, to be welcomed, to be appreciated for who we are and to be given a chance to be at our best....what is it that hostesses want?" To which Blixen replied, "To be thanked."

Isn't that brilliant? I found another book on Dinesen: Isak Dinesen, The Life of a Storyteller by Judith Thurman. This book, which I've just started, gives more reference to Blixen's literary leanings.

All of which means, I have to dig out all of my Dinesen books: Out of Africa, Shadows on the Grass and (I think) Winter's Tales.

4 comments:

d. chedwick bryant said...

yes, women want to be appreciated. I like the hostess guest thought.

LK said...

I know! So simple, isn't it?

Stefanie said...

The books on Dinesen sound great. I love the guest/hostess quote.

Danielle said...

I think I'd like the descriptions of architecture in the Hugo book, maybe the religious diversions less so. What a fun book to read, though. I've wanted to read Out of Africa for a long time--she sounds like a fascinating woman!