I was away from the Salon last Sunday, but I did lots of reading - although it wasn't my usual choice of book - to my granddaughter, mainly Dora books, which she loves, oh yes and Peppa Pig.
It's been a mixed week for reading. On Tuesday I finished reading C J Sansom's Revelation, a marvellous book, possibly the best in his Shardlake series. I wrote about it here. After that every book I picked up seemed a bit flat and I struggled to come up with another book to read. I'm still reading Eat, Pray,Love. It seems as though I've been reading it for ever as I'm only reading a few pages a day, probably not the best way to read it. So far I have mixed feelings about this book. This morning it made me smile though. Elizabeth Gilbert is now in Bali with Ketut,the elderley medicine man who she hopes will teach her to find God through Balinese meditation. She has spent months in India studying Yoga - intense and heart searching - and now Ketut tells her
" ...Yoga too hard. ... To meditate only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy."
It took me until Friday to decide that Hilary Mantel's Giving Up the Ghost was the right book for my frame of mind; it's a complete contrast to Revelation. I think that when I've read one book that makes me 'live' in the story I need something completely different, so I've moved from historical mystery to present day memoir. In Hilary Mantel's book she looks back over her life, so different from mine and from Elizabeth Gilbert's too. This is one of the things I like about reading - the access that it gives into other people's lives, thoughts and experiences. Some would say that it's not real life and you should get out and live life rather than read about it. As for me I'd rather read about Hilary Mantel's experiences with her family, school teachers and doctors than live them and I'd much rather read about life in an ashram in India than go there myself, but it's good to know about these things.
I read yesterday that Melvyn Bragg has published a new book - Remember Me .... You can read a review of the book at the Times Online where there is a link to to Melvyn Bragg's talk about Remember Me ... at The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival.
This is the fourth novel about Joe, now grown up, based on Melvyn Bragg's own life. The first three, The Soldier's Return, Son of War and Crossing the Lines, tell the story of Joe from age 6 when his father returns at the end of the Second World War up the time he left home to go to Oxford University. As well as beng good stories these books bring to life what it was like living in the post war period. I'm looking forward to reading Remember Me ... with eager anticipation.I hope everyone has a good day today - keep smiling!