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What are you reading?

Thanks GW, interesting.

I’m now reading A Time to Kill by John Grisham. An older book now & quite an interesting read in our time of racial equality. Some interesting words & terminology that are clearly unacceptable now.

Essex UK

One for Coolonespa: went to Leeds Museum today for a lunchtime lecture delivered by Leeds Uni. from a visiting Fellow in Literary Studies on "Classical Allusions of Names in the Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins" . A whole hour of classical references with regard to the many characters engaged in the enforced child conflicts of the 13 districts of Panem, described by the lecturer as George Orwell meets "Gladiator", which she described as being chiefly influenced by the Legend of ‘Theseus & the Minotaur’. Interesting fact: the working title of Hunger Games was "Artemis" the Greek Goddess of Liberty.

I took six pages of notes ( quite intriguing as only two people in the entire audience had even read the books – myself not included).

Basically there’s (amongst others) Cato, Brutus, Seneca, Titus, Katmiss, Peeta, Gale, Cinna and Glimmer all names with their own Classical references. The actual location of Panem et Cirences is Latin for Bread and Circuses one of my favourite terms ( still applicable today ) of keeping the public fed and entertained in return for their abnegation of all political responsibility. Heavy stuff for a readership of 11 – 13 year olds.

Hunger Games has in fact now outsold "Harry Potter" in copy sales. The session turned into something like a Trekkie convention with members of the audience asking impassioned questions over this or that character with page references and the speaker getting quite giddy and excited about it all…

Wakefield, West Yorks.

I’m reading India Knight’s "Comfort and Joy", and enjoying the humour, as I’ve always enjoyed it in her newspaper columns. Described as: "hilarious, bawdy…" and I agree.
Waiting in the wings is a Val McDermid, which a friend dropped off this afternoon: "Trick of the Dark". It’s a detective story, which I don’t often choose, but it’s also about Oxford, where we’ve had to spend a lot of time over a family bereavement this month, so I’m quite looking forward to it.

Nr. Seascale, Cumbria

Finally finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy. The third instalment "Mockingjay" was very good, better than the 2nd book.

Essex UK
The Titanic Enigma by Tom West. A thriller, clever idea but rather boring and with unbelievable characters. I’m ploughing through just to find out what happens and missing out boring chunks.

Got hold of a book called "Maiden Voyage" (non fiction) by Geoffrey Marcus (pub.1974) only because someone’s painted a beautiful watercolour on the inside back cover. Turns out it’s one of the first ever conspiracy theories on Titanic long before conspiracy theories were even trendy, with high-ups at the time suspecting cover ups and concealments over something other than an iceberg which took it down, even way back in 1912.

Wakefield, West Yorks.

Don’t know if you heard Fossil, Tom "Hunt for Red October" Clancy died yesterday aged 66

Wakefield, West Yorks.

"The Aztecs of Mexico" by __G.C. Vaillant 278 pages photo illustrated [Pelican 1950__] (non fiction). Original price : 6 shillings. One of the joys of living in the Merrie Citie is its Tuesday 50p market bookstall man. Allsorts of house clearance treasures from yesteryear, every subject under the Sun, a lot of which is probably still unavailable on Amazon, offered at a mere snip. I always think stuff written pre-1980 has a much more sober, plainer, thorough approach to it. I’ve only had this for an hour and it’s unputdownable. Probably way out of date (if that’s possible for history books) very well researched.

Wakefield, West Yorks.
Just finished Inferno by Dan Brown. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the others I have read.

That’s a shame. I think Mr Brown has lost the plot for writing gripping novels.

Just shows that writing skill is not a lifelong "given" for anyone. Daphne Du Maurier ( author of "The Birds") (Hitchcock film) plus lots of other good stuff, saw writing as a fairweather friend, she’d go for years and years and produce absolutely nothing. JD Salinger locked himself away for 40+ years after writing "Catcher in The Rye", the punk poet John Cooper Clarke ( now GCSE syllabus material) has just made a comeback after a ten year block. Herman Melville succeeded in working his way ‘down’ after his Great(est) American novel "Moby Dick", just jacked in authorship entirely and became Postmaster General instead. Ernest Hemingway blew his brains out with a shotgun when he had nothing left to write. Bram Stoker wrote countless novels which were all equally utterly dire before he hit upon Dracula.

Then again you get jobbing packhorse writers like JB Priestley, Golding, Fowles, DH Lawrence or even Terry Pratchet who were/are constantly writing throughout their entire lives with prolific output.

I get the impression with Dan Brown , having achieved a successful bestseller formula, will now have publisher box-office pressure on him to meet another deadline and it sounds like it’s showing.

Wakefield, West Yorks.

OK, ones to look out for.

Essex UK

You know, I’ve heard so much negative Lit. Crit. about the man from as far as Stephen Fry to Tony Robinson that I’ve never actually read one, even though the subject matter does cross over into my interests.

Didn’t think much of the film and to be honest, I think, ironically, he’s sensationalised what may be the most sensational hidden truth ever and in a way brought the whole subject of ancient mystery exposes into (action packed/car chase/shoot out) disrepute.

If you want the non-fiction equivalent look at the books of Robert Bauval & Graham Hancock ( Keeper of Genesis and Secret Chamber ) Far more in depth, well researched, but no less exciting to read…

…in my humble opinion , of course.

Wakefield, West Yorks.
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