Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A Trio of Books and Very Last Garden Bouquet

As I've said reading is like breathing to me.
 I used to have nightmares about losing my eyesight and how long would it take me to learn Braille so I could read.  Just how long would it take for the sense of touch to heighten like the stories I'd heard about one sense taking over the power of the lost one, I would wonder. Yes, as I've said, a born worrier am I too. 

 I'm lucky in that I love all genres; I read as many non-fiction as fiction. Recently Hubby dropped me off at the biggest library in Ottawa and I spent an enjoyable 90 minutes poking around.  At that library, there were people of many nationalities reading especially in the newspapers section. There are papers from all over the world and I thought that must be some comfort to be able to read a newspaper from your home country in your native language.

I've been on a pretty good streak with books lately and I hope it continues. 

I wanted to mention this book to you because I enjoyed it very much.
The Dinner, translated from Dutch, and written by Herman Koch is a cleverly constructed novel.  Two couples meet at a chic restaurant and during each course of their meal, we listen in on their conversation.  I thought at first we were in for family revelations regarding the two men who are brothers.  But the talk veers away from that to the topic of their teenaged children and something they have done and this is when as the cliche goes, the plot thickens.  I won't say any more, but I had to read to the end to see what was happening, it so thoroughly engaged me. I liked the food descriptions, the characters while unlikable, interested me, the whole exploration of how far we will go to protect our children, the idea of moral decay among even the so-called good people, all interesting food for thought (no pun intended).  I think it would be a good book for a book club to discuss.   

This was a quick read.  The book Ted and I by Ted Hughes' brother, Gerald is a lovingly written book recounting many fond memories of their youth and holiday times together over the years.  This is no 'tell-all' as Gerald is overwhelmingly positive and supportive of his brother and opted not to explore the drastic dark bits of Ted's life in these pages.  It was the first time, though, that I read about Ted and Sylvia's children, Frieda and Nicholas, as adults which was interesting.
I've always wondered why there isn't more information, photos, etc. available about them.

I've read all of Joanna Trollopes' books I think, and there are quite a few!  Joanna always writes about families and marriages and maintains a certain fine standard in each and every book...good characters and good plot, well written. I like how she portrays women as strong and intelligent, as well. 
Like all of Joanna's books, Balancing Act is not an action book, it is a people book. The lives of a family running a family business are the focus of this one. Of course there are issues and dilemmas they each face alone as well as together as a family. 
  One reviewer wrote about this one "Perfect with a coffee on a rainy evening after a hard day's work."  I'd have to say this could aptly describe all of Joanna's books.  

The second week in October I plucked what I knew would be the last of the flowers for a bouquet and it was a bit sparse at that.

But enjoyable, nonetheless.