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People say life is the thing, but I prefer reading*

One Book Woman

I used to be a one-book-woman. I'd start one book, and I wouldn't crack open another until I had finished the first.

These days though, I'm much more promiscuous.

I currently have three books on the go - Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (which I carry back and forwards to work with me because it's a good handbag-sized book), The Old Curiosity Shop by Dickens (which sits on my bedside table), and the first part of The Lord Of The Rings (which also sits on my bedside table).

I read Gulliver's Travels when I was little, but it must have been a childrens version. I remember being fascinated by the illustrations of the tiny Lilliputians clambering over Gulliver when they discover him asleep in the countryside, but that's really all I remember. So when I started reading it again recently, I was a bit taken aback. Swift apparently wanted to piss some people off with Gulliver's Travels: 'to vex the world rather than divert it'. The blurb on the back cover, which I am just reading now, explains my feelings exactly: "'Gulliver' is a book to which the adult reader comes back with surprise and a fresh respect". You said it mate. It's not a kiddie's story about tiny people and giants - it's a satire. And a good one too.

The Old Curiosity Shop is my 'serious' reading. I am woefully ignorant of many classic books that I should have read long before now, so I'm trying to read as many as I can.

But I often feel the need for a bit of escapism at the end of a long day, which is where The Lord Of The Rings comes in. It's World Book Day today, and to celebrate the 10th anniversary they have compiled a list of 10 Books You Can't Live Without - LOTR came second.* Higher than the Bible, which came 6th. I've never read the bible, but I've read LOTR many times, and I suspect I'll read it many more times in my life. So I suppose it is one of the books I couldn't live without.

I do still get a wee twinge of guilt that I don't focus completely on one book any more, but if I'm going to get through the books on my shelves by the time I collect my pension (which will be a loooong time yet the way things are going in this country) then I'm going to have to step up the pace.

Maybe a book in each hand...?

*And I see the people who compiled this list are unable to spell 'Tolkien' properly. Good stuff.

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At 2.3.07, Blogger Drama Queen said...

So for escapism you read LOTR? I read chick lit. LOTR is high brow for me. I really struggle with it. And all that referring back to the map. Grrr.

I did read adult Gulliver though. Turned my childhood memories on their head.    

At 2.3.07, Blogger Teeny said...

I've read it so many times now that I don't have to refer to the map... Does that make me a nerd? Actually, don't answer that.

Grown up Gulliver has been a revelation to me!    

At 2.3.07, Blogger Lynda said...

OMG I just looked at that list and I have read all of them EXCEPT the Bible! I'm a heathen bookworm! How are you finding The Old Curiosity Shop? I find myself wanting to slap the (usually female) characters that Dickens portrays as the goodies - Esther in Bleak House - and Little Nell in TOCS was no exception. I'm pretty sure that's not the reaction he was after!    

At 2.3.07, Blogger Drama Queen said...

Actually this and the bible are the only uncharted areas for me. . .

His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

Not (too) bad.    

At 2.3.07, Blogger Teeny said...

I've not read Jane Eyre, which is shameful. I own it though and it's next on my reading list now! I haven't read His Dark Materials either but it looks quite good.

I am enjoying The Old Curiosity Shop but finding it a bit hard going at the same time - in contrast to Great Expectations, which totally gripped me. Quilp is a great character though - he really is grotesque.    

At 2.3.07, Blogger SpanishGoth said...

Read them all except Harry Potter which appeals to me about as much as a hole in the head. Never seen the films either and thanks to that Harry Potter picture, never bloody will either.

Current reading, usually 3 books at any time on the go,

The Plot Against America - Phillip Roth

Girl With a One Track Mind - Abby Lee

Caractères - Jean de La Bruyère

(in between a shit load of blogs of course)    

At 2.3.07, Blogger Random Reflections said...

Hmm I have read just over half of them:

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
To Kill A Mockingbird
The Bible
Nineteen Eighty Four
Great Expectations

Most of them were because I had to read them at school, which out me off pretty much all "classic" literature, although I am trying to rectify this now. I obviously fall into the less heathen category and have actually read the Bible.

I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books mainly because I tend to be disappointed by books that are majorly hyped, but I am waiting for them all to be published and may then try them because I can read the whole series from beginning to end if I am hooked.

I want to read Gulliver's Travels now.    

At 3.3.07, Blogger Barbara's Journey Toward Justice said...

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The only thing that saved him from the Death Penalty was a lone vote from a juror. Dennis Fritz was the other Innocent man mentioned in John Grisham's Book which mainly is about Ronnie Williamson, Dennis Fritz's co-defendant. Both were exonerated after spending 12 years in prison.

The real killer was one of the Prosecution's Key Witness. Read about why he went on a special diet of his while in prison, amazing and shocking. Dennis Fritz's Story of unwarranted prosecution and wrongful conviction needs to be heard. Look for his book in book stores or at Amazon.com , Journey Toward Justice by Dennis Fritz, Publisher Seven Locks Press 2006. .
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At 3.3.07, Blogger Cat said...

I feel very low-brow. I am currently between Ulrika Johnsson's autobiography and 28 Barbary Lane - Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin.    

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*Logan Pearsall Smith

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