Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How good a holiday was it?

It was this good: I read three and a half books!

I finished Three Men in a Boat, and read The Time Traveler's Wife, The Beach House and The Observations.

Three Men in a Boat was very funny although the author does have a tendency to wander off into the realms of poetic fantasy now and again. His descriptions of the now mundane-sounding towns along the Thames are a revelation. Definitely a different age but very entertaining.
I finally got through The Time Traveler's Wife. I'm assuming most people have already read it. I still don't get the time travelling thing but overall enjoyed it as a simple love story - except I didn't like Henry and wanted Claire to end up with Gomez - which is actually quite a major distraction.
The Beach House was good in that it made me think, 'My novel is better than this!' and decide to dust it off, revamp and try again with it. I still like my heroine and I think the story is good although I know there are weak points. So back to the drawing-board.
My favourite read was The Observations. Daughter read it and lent it to me ages ago, saying I'd enjoy it but for some reason I'd put off reading it. It's an unusual tale, narrated by a fabulous Irish maid-servant. it reminded me of the Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre type of stories, although I'm ashamed to say I've never read those, only seen adaptations. It's very readable and entertaining with mystery, ghosts and love all thrown in. I really didn't know where it was going but that didn't lessen the pleasure of it. The reviews suggest that Bessy, the narrator, could take her place with the Becky Sharps of the literary world and she certainly has a very distinctive and likeable voice. Yes, a bit out of the ordinary and definitely a good read.


Lia said...

Wow three and a half books in such a short space of time.
I have never read most of them, but it is interesting hearing your views on them. I alway prefer to hear the views of real readers.

I might try a couple of those now.
Thanks for that.

Much love'

Anonymous said...

Try 'The Alchemist's Daughter' by Katherine McMahon, Liz. I thought it excellent. Read it while you were away, in nine days actually -which is quick for me these days.

jmb said...

Sounds like the perfect vacation to me. I loved the Time Traveller's Wife. And I usually like Jane Green so if your novel is better when can we expect it please?

Ole Phat Stu said...

Unsurprisingly I had a visit next week from my long-time friend Jacob von Hogflume, who, as you may remember, invented time-travel in the fall of 2012 (coincidentally on the very day that the Mayan calender stops).

Jacob now has been awarded a plaque on the wall of a house in which he once will have lived, by the English Heritage association.

But let me report our short conversation we had next week verbatim, even if it was/is/will be a little out of sync ;-)

Jacob : "You mean when!"

Me : "Ooh! You surprised me! Where did you pop up from?"

Yes, when! You see, I'm Jacob von Hogflume, timetraveller.

When? And who are you anyway?

But you do. You've known me for years. You even murdered me, Stu, back in 1909, when I was 45!

I'm afraid I don't know you, Jacob. When did we last meet?

Yes, but you've travelled through time with me too, starting tomorrow. I invented time travel in 2012.

I wasn't even born in 1909, I was born in 1944. And when was time-travel invented?

No, you're not dreaming. You lived from 1944 to 2047.

So you lived from 1864 to 1909, but we didn't overlap, because I was born in in 1944 and am still alive. Or am I dreaming this?

I killed you because you'd murdered me back in 1909.

So I got to be 103. That's nice to hear. How did I die?

No, nothing, except you built the house I lived in sometime in 2063.

Will I do anything significant Jacob, before you killed me?

From YOUR blog article on June 29th, 2007.

And where did YOU get the idea from, when you invented time travel in 2012?

No, you were not charged with murder on the grounds that I was already dead. Pre-2012 people didn't understand time-travel because I hadn't invented it yet.

So I murdered you and you murdered me? At different times? Sounds impossible! Did I go to prison for murdering you ? Was I even charged with murder?

No, I was acquitted.

And did you go to prison, Jacob, for murdering me in 2047?

Acquitted on grounds of temporal insanity ;-)

jams o donnell said...

A holiday that gets 3.5 books is a holiday worth having!

CherryPie said...

The views kept stopping me reading on my hols :-) It sounds like you had a wonderful time :-)

sally in norfolk said...

Believe it or not but a few weeks ago i finished the first book that i have managed to read for months well maybe even a year and it was The Beach House :-) i enjoyed it so much that i went and got another one of her books ......and I am still waiting to start it :-(

Anonymous said...

I really must read TTW.
You enjoyed your holiday then? :0)

ChrisJ said...

Don't worry about not reading Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. (Though they are my favorites.) But I just can't get through "Three Men in a Boat." I've tried a number of times. I just haven't the patience with what seems to me to be silliness, though I know most people think it's funny.

But I can beat you in numbers of books read after this last visit to the library. How about seven full length mystery novels!! Of course my husband was away and I had time on my hands.

Liz said...

I'd recommend The Observations first, Lia.

I'll look out for that, aileni, thanks.

I've read other Jane Green books, jmb, but this one was very much telling not showing, if you know what I mean.

Oh good grief, stu!

It was, jams! Perhaps that should become a recognised rating!

Oh we did, cherrypie.

Some of hers are better than others, sally, so I hope you get time to read it soon.

a, oh, it was okay ...

It was my sort of silliness I think, chris!

NitWit1 said...

Alwas a good vacation/trip when you achieve high aims like books, as well as relaxation with loved ones.

Rose said...

I'm impressed with your reading three and a half books in such a short time, too--and still have time leftover to contemplate the meaning of life with Hermie! I still haven't read The Time Traveller's Wife, and I think I read a different book by Jane Green, which I didn't care for either. Just finished Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol; definitely right up there with The DaVinci Code!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

"The Observations" sounds intriguing.