Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Monday, August 22, 2005


I was amazed at the many entries when I logged on today. They made interesting reading. It’s good that you are finding the time to log on. I’m at page 400 of 1313 of The Cairo Trilogy (Naguib Mahfouz)and thoroughly enjoying a powerful story. There is not much action, but the story of a strictly Muslim family describing the daily life of living with a father who maintains an iron rule, in spite of being at a time when women in Cairo were becoming a little more liberated is powerfully written. The story is continuing with the events in Egypt following the end of the 1st world war and the attempts to oust the English.

I am making a list of the recommendations you have given, and hope to try some. I think that the idea of discussing films is great. I haven’t seen many recently, but with so many books to read, if the film is recommended, maybe that will suffice.

I do have comfort reading, Emily, although I have not previously thought of it as that. A good whodunnit/adventure will fit the bill. Recently that would be Henning Mankell, Ruth Rendell, John le Carre and the first James Bond type of book, Riddle of the Sands (Erskine Childers). Others have been Hotel du Lac (Anita Brookner), Notes from a Small Island (Bill Bryson) and Toad of Toad Hall.

I’m impressed that Val can read so many again and keep abreast of the current as well as work paaaaart time. Although, having just re-read ASB after 10 years, I’d forgotten so much that it seemed quite fresh.

Notes from a Small Island I found hugely amusing too. He seems to have met my family! I also giggle at the memory of Scoop (Evelyn Waugh) although the rest of the reading group also trying it couldn’t see the joke at all, so am loath to recommend it. I would like to re read Three Men in a Boat to see if it is still as funny as I recall.

I think that the power of All Quiet on the Western Front, a fairly short novel, shows that length does not indicate good writing and sometimes the briefer and sharper , the better.

‘Chick Lit’ is a marketing headline that does not deserve to be repeated, as it means little and probably describes a genre that couldn’t be classed as literature! Or am I being sniffy?

I have also lost bold as have cut and pasted. Sorry.