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.