Oddly, after so many Twitteratures of mostly non-fiction, this time all I have is fiction...
Neglected child, cared for by a migrant worker woman, grows into a woman who feels she's an outsider everywhere. How does she become an old pastor's wife in the small Iowa town called Gilead? Will she find her identity, and a way to feel at home?Now this was a good book, and I tried to enjoy it slowly. Lots of food for thought. And now that I have some inkling of what Lila might be thinking and feeling, I want to re-read Gilead, too.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky: The Idiot
A naive man enters society in St. Petersburg (in the late 1800s, I assume). He's so trusting, open and candid that he's quite a puzzle to everyone he meets.
The book is a witty social commentary mixed up with emotional instability, downright madness and volatile, self-destructively impulsive people - well, there are many sorts among the large cast of characters, but the impulsiveness made the biggest impression on me.
I read this because it was chosen for an online book club, and many people in the online book club have enjoyed it. I wasn't thrilled with it, but having started, I persevered.
And I just have to give kudos to the Finnish translation by Olli Kuukasjärvi. So good!
Earlier this autumn, as I was dragged down with a persistent cold and cough, I went on a comfort reading binge of my favourite detective novels.
First, a bunch of my favourite Dorothy L.Sayers books:
The Nine Tailors
Murder Must Advertise
I love these more for their settings - the Fens, a 1930's advertising agency and a fictitious women's college at Oxford respectively - than their plots.
(I have a feeling I could say this for all the detective novels I love. Because I love them as novels, not as detective stories.)
Though I like Sayers's detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, a lot, I enjoy the other characters at least as much. The inimitable Bunter. The entire village of Fenchurch St. Paul, especially their enthusiastic vicar. The colourful bunch of people working at the advertising agency. The dons and students at Oxford. Gaudy Night is mostly Harriet Vane's story and POV, and that makes this book special, too.
And, lastly, a book that I have read many times before, too:
Josephine Tey: The Daughter of Time
A bedridden police inspector and his "looker-upper" aka research assistant investigate the case of Richard III's nephews. Was Richard III really the monster that popular history had painted him through the centuries? What really happened to the young Princes?
I don't have the words to express how relevant this story is in our time, when the Internet and social media have opened up the way for anyone and everyone to write their own version of history. What is reliable? How is it possible to evaluate how people's perspectives, sympathies and wishes influence the way they tell a story?