Thursday, 17 April 2014

Recent reads (Twitterature link-up)

I'm not going to list all the books I've read since the last book post, but just the ones I want to comment. So I'm skipping the travel guidebooks, writing guides and books in Finnish...

Again, linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy's Twitterature link-up.

Alister McGrath: C.S. Lewis: A Life
An interesting biography. There were many aspects of Lewis's life that I had not known about before. I've read Surprised by Joy, as well as a lot of other books by him, and I've seen Shadowlands ages ago - and I actually liked getting the not-so-romantic aspects of that story in this biography. More balanced, like.

Richard Askwith: Feet in the Clouds. A Tale of Fell-Running and Obsession
I like to read books about running, even though I'm not much of a runner myself. Askwith is obsessed and enthusiastic, and this book lauds all the amazing and fantastic qualities he sees in fell-running and especially fell-runners. Sometimes it feels like he's trying to make fell-running larger than life. Maybe it's how he really sees/feels it.
I'd recommend this book to people who already have an interest in running and extreme endurance sports - and who are not looking for an easy-reader intro to the subject.

Malcolm Gladwell: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
The main point of this book is that things perceived as strengths might actually be weaknesses when seen from a different angle, and perceived weaknesses can also be strengths. Many of the examples in this book are fascinating. Who knew that it might not be a good idea to go to the most prestigious school you can get into?
My interest in this book was sparked by knowing that Gladwell re-discovered Christian faith while working on this book (or that's how he wrote about it in this article). Not surprisingly, the interview he mentions in the article was one of the most touching and memorable parts of the book.

Marlena de Blasi: A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance
All the ingredients of a great story: romantic love between an American chef and a Venetian banker. Venice and food. Wedding arrangements in Italy. Intriguing local characters, an outsider discovering the charms of Venice also off the tourist-trodden paths. Dramatic incidents galore.
For some reason, though, I wasn't totally drawn into the story. Perhaps this would have been better as relaxing holiday reading, not when I have lots on my mind and only short intervals of reading time.

Anne Bogel: How She Does It
A concise, practical book on how different women in different circumstances combine flexible work schedules with family time. I loved the examples, and I really like the premise of finding the solutions that work best for your family - and being open to review your systems as circumstances change.

Anna Elliott: Georgiana Darcy's Diary
My monthly dose of fiction accomplished. :)
This was a good read. I liked the characterizations, and if/when there were anachronisms, they didn't disturb my enjoyment of the story.
This was one of the best continuations I've read.  As an Austen fan, I understand both the boom of fan fiction and the industry of publishing Austen-related stories. I used to read quite a lot of Austen-related fiction, but these days there are so many that I don't even want to keep up any more.... Some continuations of Austen's novels really exasperate me - usually because characters and plotlines are so far from what I would have considered plausible for Austen's characters. (As in, I  read it and say out loud "He/she would NEVER do that!") I didn't get that exasperation with this book, and it's also well written - so I might even consider buying the rest of the series for holiday reading at some point.

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