Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Reading on the Beach

I put this down as a record to myself really. A sort of snapshot of the Wheldon family's summer reading habits. I'd like to know others' experience of holi-lit.

So here is the context: we were in Spain for a week, near Almeria, hot as blazes. Too warm to do anything other than lie or sit on the beach. I finished Babbit by Sinclair Lewis, read Lustrum by Robert Harris, A Far Cry from Kensington (again) by Muriel Spark, and started Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin (the Spark was the most impressive of these books). DNM read Engleby by Sebastian Faulks (while setting up a number of shoots for the next couple of months). JAH read about 44 pages of Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis (but won several European Cups playing Football Manager on his iPhone). CGP finished The Last Kingdom (again) by Bernard Cornwall, The Amber Spyglass (again!) by Philip Pullman and all but 50 pages or so of For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway.

A word on the Spark: her books, like William Trevor's, are faultless. Her prose has the weight of the poetic, the sense that the story lies in the very fibre of its telling rather than in its mere pattern. And she is funny. Pisseur de copie. How I wish I'd remembered that phrase when thinking, writing, speaking about my father's biographer.

1 comment:

  1. CGP and I have very similar tastes! ;-) Sorry to hear DNM had to work--hope she got some relaxing in as well. I need new book ideas--I'll try Muriel Spark.