A few short ones

>> Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TITLE: Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evie
AUTHOR: Marianne Stillings

The plot apparently includes a treasure hunt, orchestrated by a recently murdered mystery author in order to a) find his murderer (he knows he's made many enemies over the years) and b) determine who gets his fortune. The heroine is forced to team up with a childhood foe of hers if she wants to have a chance at the money.

I loved the idea of it, but the actual book, not so much. I read only the first 70 pages, and in them I encountered mainly forced humour and unbelievable characters. It's not that there was anything truly egregious, just lots of inane one-liners and bickering when no normal person would react that way.

This was one of the books in my Uruguayan TBR, and since I had given myself permission to drop anything that didn't appeal sooner rather than later, I did just that.


TITLE: Cold Comfort Farm
AUTHOR: Stella Gibbons

It's the 1930s* and Flora Poste's parents have died, leaving her with only a small allowance, not enough to live on very well. So Flora decides to move in with distant cousins, the Blackadders, who live in the country, and who turn out to be extremely strange. There's nothing for Flora to do but to use her modern woman's talents to sort them all out!

I've read a bit about this book now, and apparently, pastoral novels, idealising rural life were all the rage at the time, but after the brilliant send-up that was Cold Comfort Farm, the genre all but died. I think I probably would have enjoyed it more if I'd known more about what it was supposed to be parodying and been able to identify the archetypes, but I still enjoyed this quite a bit.

* Actually, I realise now that it was supposed to be set in the future, in the mid-1940s, I believe, but at the time I thought it was set in 1930, and was extremely puzzled by the mention of something happening in 1946, and the Anglo-Nicaraguan war, as well as by the way everyone seemed to fly off in private planes at the drop of a hat!


TITLE: A Long Way To The Floor
AUTHOR: David Byck

Lent to me by my yoga teacher, it's a practitioner's account of how he got into Ashtanga yoga and how his practice has developed. It was an interesting read. It's not going to get any writing prizes, but I found his experience useful to read about and enjoyed it. I especially appreciated the author's honesty. I know I'm not the only one who struggles with the "no ego" thing, but it was still good to actually read about someone else struggling not to compare himself with others and show off!



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