One Book …

One book you’ve read more than once

Little Womenby Louisa May Alcott. After a long day, it’s always a comfort to return to the quiet little world of the March sisters. I don’t re-read this book very often though, so I always forget that Beth dies, and that Jo and Laurie don’t get married. It upsets me every time.

One book you are currently reading

Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. I adore good chunky books, because you can dwell in the marvelous world of the author’s creation just a little longer (escapism, I know). So far, Les Miserables has been difficult, but rewarding. Difficult because the font of my Wordsworth edition is abominably small. Rewarding because it’s just such a marvelous jumble of human nature. Just as I’m about to settle into the life of one character, he introduces a multitude of others. It’s still early days, and I’m not even halfway through the first part – Fantine – so I have a lot of reading to do.

One book you would want on a desert island

Harry Potter, because it’ll keep me entertained for a long time. And I mean a long time. Technically, since it’s one book, I would take Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It’s the longest one, I think, and also not as dreary/dark as the last two.

One book that made you laugh

I laugh my way through a lot of Jane Austen books – particularly Emma. Mr Knightley makes me giggle; he can reproach me for my manners any day. Silly Mr Woodhouse and Miss Bates always make me laugh too.

One really intense book

Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, which is smouldering with scandal and intrigue and intensity. I loved the dark glamour of the Ancient Greek class. The twins, Charles and Camilla, in their Gatsbyesque white attire. Quiet, reserved Henry with his outdated glasses. Eccentric Francis Abernathy. Even bumbling Bunny.

Does such a thing as ‘the fatal flaw’, that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn’t. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this; a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.

One book you wish you had written

A S Byatt’s Possession. Or perhaps Mrs Dalloway. Both books are so very clever, and very beautifully written.

One book you’ve been meaning to read

A Suitable Boy, by Vikram Seth. I’ve been meaning to get my hands on it for months, but the local library doesn’t have a copy and I can never find it at bookstores.

One book you would recommend to almost anyone

Almost anyone? I’d say The Count of Monte Cristo. It’s such a massive book, and it encompasses a multitude of genres/themes: adventure, history, politics, romance, crime, religion, mystery .. there’s a little bit for everyone. The literary snobs can be satisfied, because it’s a classic, and those who fear/abhor books need not fear – it’s extremely readable despite it’s size/year of publication. I think that covers “almost anyone”.

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