Bookish News #2

I’m sure no one is surprised to hear that I’m massively behind with posting at the moment. I’m certainly not. I spent my morning off  bulk scheduling reviews and Top Ten Tuesday posts for the coming weeks (beginning with this review of Wide Sargasso Sea) so hopefully the radio silence shouldn’t continue for too much longer and I will soon be almost up to date.

I began Dr Zhivago three weeks ago and took it to France on holiday with the best intentions of doing a ton of sea/pool side reading while we were away. It just didn’t happen though, mainly because the weather was lovely and there was just too much to see and do (and eat); reading by the pool seemed a bit of a waste. I came home with a cold and in my germ ridden, brain addled state couldn’t face reading any more of it at all so it has been temporarily set aside in favour of The Cuckoo’s Calling which is an unashamedly easy read in comparison. Hopefully I’ll go back and finish Pasternak soon; I’m a little sad that I gave up so easily, especially because I was almost getting to a stage where I knew what the hell was going on at least some of the time.

In other Dr Zhivago news, remember that second hand copy of the book I lost back in January? I finally found it last week down the back of the bookcase in the spare room. The discovery couldn’t have come at a better time as I’m not completely in love with the translation of the text I’ve been reading. It’s a little clunky in places and I’m assuming it’s down to the translation and not Pasternak himself, although I guess I could be wrong about that and wouldn’t know. Once I’m back up to speed I’ll do a quick comparison of the two copies and see if the second hand one might be better.

Until the hiatus I’d been complementing my reading with the audiobook version of Helen Rappaport’s book Four Sisters which I’ve been listening to in the car on my home from work in the evenings. It’s a biography of Tsar Nicholas II’s daughters so it provides quite an interesting contrast to Dr Zhivago’s view of the times from the bottom up, a bit like seeing the revolution from opposing sides of the divide. Anyway, what I’ve heard of Four Sisters so far has been quite good but the narration of this particular audio book drives me mad and I have occasionally wanted to punch the car radio. It’s the voices that do it; it’s acceptable to adopt a funny French accent or an exaggerated pompous tone if you’re narrating a novel but in a non-fictional biography it seems out of place and adds comedy where there shouldn’t really be any. I’m finding it quite distracting.

That’s all my news for the moment but watch out for an influx of reviews over the next few weeks as I drag myself up to date.

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