Friday 23 April 2010

Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany

So, my thesis is all handed in, and I'm taking the week off! I've amassed an implausibly high tower of books to read this week. I wonder how many I'll get through - since one of them is Jude the Obscure, I wouldn't be surprised if the answer is something around 'one'. There is (as my mother always told me) a time and a place for everything - and Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany is not the place to tell you all about the books I'll be reading. Look out for a picture of a tottering pile sometime on Sunday evening... and then you can weigh in and tell me the order in which I should read them.

Where were we? Oh, of course - the ole book, link, blog post malarkey.

1.) The book - is Ellipsis, arrived yesterday, and is a little unusual for these parts inasmuch as it describes itself as 'a disturbing thriller'. But I was intrigued by the blurb, and by the fact that the author (Nikki Dudley) shares her name with a girl who was at my school. I presume it's not the same person, but that's because I like to pretend nobody younger than me has achieved big things yet. Anyway, here's the blurb - it's not something the Provincial Lady would read, but perhaps intriguing enough to make a change?

"Right on time," Daniel Mansen mouths to Alice as she pushes him to his death. Haunted by these words, Alice becomes obsessed with discovering how a man she didn't know could predict her actions. On the day of the funeral, Daniels' cousin, Thom, finds a piece of paper in Daniel's room detailing the exact time and place of his death. As Thom and Alice both search for answers, they become knotted together in a story of obsession, hidden truths and the gaps in everyday life that can destroy or save a person.

I feel a little on edge just typing that... let's move onto a link.

2.) The link(s) - University Reviews Online keep emailing me, and at first I thought it was spam but now it looks like not. Persistance should be rewarded, should it not, so here is their link to 10 Important Writers Who Went To Jail For Their Work. Off the top of my head I can think of one (Oscar Wilde - yes, it was for 'immoral thought' in Dorian Gray not for, erm, anything else) but he doesn't make the list... and in fact I've not heard of any of them, but interesting nonetheless.

A few other bits and bobs to put under this umbrella, playing fast and loose with the normal arrangement of these weekend miscellanies...

---A new website called Books & Media has been set up by BDS: 'a new web-based subscription service for anyone who wants to know what the media is saying about books and authors'. There's a free trial period of two months on at the moment, could be worth a look. I'm not sure how useful this is for readers, as opposed to professionals, but... nice to know books are getting some attention!

---Carte Noire are trying to find their Ideal Reader. Not entirely sure how they're going about it, and I think - as someone who doesn't like coffee - I'm unlikely to be it, but there are more details on their website. I got side-tracked by watching celebrities read from the classics - fancy hearing Joseph Fiennes read Thomas Hardy or Dominic West read Pride and Prejudice? Well, there are some rather arty sepia-shots of them doing so (even if Mr. West wrongly states that Jane and Bingley were engaged before Bingley went off to London).

3.) The blog post - Danielle aka A Work in Progress is starting a read-along of Anna Karenina by Mr. Leo Tolstoy (are there two schools of thought on pronunciation of 'Karenina', or are my friends just wrong? I'm Kah-ren-ih-nuh all the way, none of this Kah-ruh-nee-nuh nonsense for me). See her first thoughts on it here... I'm tempted to join in, but with my pile of books to read next week... it'll have to go on hold for now.


  1. I hope you enjoy Jude the Obscure - it is one of my favourites. Read it when cheerful and preferably sitting in the sun with a good glass of wine/pot of tea otherwise it might make you feel quite gloomy!

  2. Congratulations Simon on handing in your thesis. It'll be wonderful to have some time to just read for yourself - although your thesis topic was pretty much your usual reading anyway! Jude is wonderful but bleak (I agree with Bloomsbury Bell about the sunshine & happy thoughts), maybe your tottering pile will have something a little more celebratory in it?

  3. Goodness --have you really handed in your thesis? and after the rock buns, too. Well done. I've just finished Jude and loved it despite its deep gloom.

  4. If it helps, in Russian it's pronounced AH-na Kar-YEN-in-a. :)

    Congrats on your thesis completion!

  5. How does it feel to be thesis free?

  6. Congrats on finishing your thesis--that's a huge undertaking! You definitely deserve to read at will now--anything and everything that appeals! Since you're going to read Jude the Obscure, I imagine Anna Karenina will be out of the question alongside it, but I highly recommend it when you feel the urge. I am enjoying it immensely! Enjoy your week off and I hope you get in loads of uninterrupted reading time.


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