Time flies

Since early May I’ve read a lot of books and been dumb as an oyster about most of them. To give myself a chance to catch up I will therefore throw them all in this catch-up post and start afresh with the current read once I’ve finished that.

Having felt for a long time that I really ought to read some of the Moomin books, I read Pappan och havet, which is perhaps one of the darkest and least “children’s literature” of Tove Jansson’s great series. I then read three books in the Dot-series by Inge Møller that I picked up in a jumble sale – hardly great literature and not even the best of their genre, but not an unpleasant way to spend an afternoon.

I then got through Follestad and Ffforde, before embarking on P. D. James’ latest, The Lighthouse, which, fortunately, was every bit as good as one could have hoped. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time was next, a fascinating book, though overhyped, and also not at all what I expected (though I don’t know what I expected, to be honest, I just had no idea what the book was about owing to the fact that all I’ve ever done before is look at the front of the cover).

Next I picked Roald Dahl’s My Uncle Oswald off the shelf – I’d bought it a while back mainly because, well, it’s a Dahl and it also happened to be a first edition in good shape. This was quite entertaining, though I suspect the subject matter would enrage some people, but I wasn’t quite satisfied with the conclusion.

I bought The Wicked Winter by Kate Sedley at my doctor’s office (there’s a Lions’ Club book sale shelf there) and was entertained. It was pretty good as these things go – the main character, who is also the narrator, is sympathetic and the mystery had a nice twist at the end which I certainly didn’t foresee. However, not a likely candidate for a reread, it’s too… well, I suppose “simple” will have to do for a descriptive word – It’s too simple for that. Well enough written, though. So I stuck a bookcrossing label in it and left it in Britain somewhere. I hope somebody else will pick it up and enjoy it as much as I did.

I borrowed Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor from my father, who’s a fan, and enjoyed it to a certain extent, but it was not the sort of book I really wanted to read just now – I’ve been on the search for strong main characters and a make-you-turn-the-page-quickly central plot, and whatever Lake Wobegon‘s merits, those are not among them. So I turned to another rearead instead, The Fourth Estate by Jeffrey Archer. Not the best choice, unfortunately, as neither of the two arch rivals really manage to engange my sympathy in sufficient degree to make me care much about “who wins”. Still, Archer is always good entertainment.

Next was Hver sin verden by Marianne Fredriksson, which was almost good. Fredriksson ruined the book for me by making basic mistakes regarding Scandinavian/nordic history (assuming an Icelander with the surname Anarson must be a decedant of earlier Anarsons was the most glaring one) and by formatting the text very strangely. Instead of sticking to the standard paragraph indicator (indented first line) there was also a blank line between paragraph-lengths blocks of text. Mostly this was just a waste of paper and though it seemed unecessary, it could be taken to indicate a “break” in the narrative – replacing the line “Some time later” for example. However, it sometimes happened in the middle of dialogues or otherwise coherent episodes, and felt just as wrong as putting a full stop in the middle of a sentence. I came very close to throwing the book across the room a couple of times, but managed to restrain myself.