Reading machines

I would love to have updated more regularly, but I don’t have wireless internet access and so my iPhone and iPad are not connected to The Cloud. I have written another post about Sweden (also about travel plans for SOUTH KOREA after Taiwan!) but I’m hoping I can get my pictures uploaded for it before I hit publish… so, about READING instead.

During the last week I’ve been GLUED to my iPad and have read perrr-lenty — Room (Emma Donoghue, who wrote the excellent Slammerkin which I read in France a couple of months ago) and The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (Laurie R. King, as spotted on Book and Biscuit) on the Kindle app, and yet more classics/children’s books on iBooks: Barchester Towers (Anthony Trollope), Au Bonheur des Dames (Emile Zola – yay for getting my French classics for free!), The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett), The Jungle Book (Kipling of course), and The Black Robe by Wilkie Collins. I can’t wait to get wireless access again… I’m worried it mightn’t be for another week or even longer, and so I am saving The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (Kate Summerscale) and a couple of Trollope “paves” for my flight to Taiwan. Currently reading: The Lost World (Arthur Conan Doyle) which was a childhood favourite. Oooh I need to look up Jules Verne!

Kindle (as an application on my iPad) is pretty much the best thing that every happened to me. If I want a book, as long as I have a WiFi connection, I can have it in as long as it takes to locate it on Amazon and click DOWNLOAD. The books aren’t all that cheap, but it’s still cheaper than buying the paperback and a lot cheaper than books in Australia (maybe $5 instead of $20) or Taiwan. On my current downloads wishlist*: more Mary Russell adventures (the sequels to The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie King) and more Zola, whose Rougon-Macquart family histories I devoured in their entirety when I was a teenager, but hadn’t looked at again in over 10 years. He really was the most fantastic writer, and I’m always so glad that I can read my French classics in French so as to truly appreciate the writing. I once tried an English translation of L’Assommoir, and it was horrid. It’s quite interesting to contrast Zola’s writing with that of Trollope (which I am entirely new to), seeing as they were more or less contemporaries who wrote about their respective countries’ social issues in such different styles. Au Bonheur des Dames is a particularly enjoyable read for a reformed (hem) shopaholic woman such as myself… plus it actually ends well so you don’t feel like jumping off a cliff afterwards (a common issue with French novels I find, no matter when they were written).

And how delightfully bitchy is Trollope? Can’t believe I’ve spent 20+ years being aware of Anthony Trollope (and how could anyone in my family not be aware of him, given my mother’s addiction to his work), but never reading his books. I suppose the time just wasn’t right before. Now, as it stands, I’m so glad to have 3 or 4 of them downloaded on my iPad for when the going gets tough and the tough need stuff to read (aka, when I have 4 flights scheduled over the space of 24 hours).

The downside of all this reading is that I have completely and utterly forsaken my Chinese revision… only a couple of weeks till my placement test in Taipei! Oops.

*Another guilty confession: on my wishlist there are of course a few other titles… including If you have to cry, go outside: and other things your mother never told you. I’m not sure I will buy it, as I tend to be disappointed by self-help books (beyond the juicy case stories, they always forget the chapter which actually tells me how to deal with my own little life dramas). But I am intrigued, and I do really like the title, because I was ALWAYS crying at work. Constantly. Waterproof mascara was mandatory! I’ll report back…


2 thoughts on “Reading machines

    • I really enjoyed it, it was a great tip! When I was looking at the series on Amazon, I wanted to get them all, but then thought I should perhaps see how I liked the first one. I almost picked up the one about their adventures in Jerusalem anyway, as it was cheap on the Kindle, and now I wish I had… I like Mary, she is such a great character, not at all annoying despite all her talents, and I think a far better “clever clogs heroine” than for example Hermione Granger. Obviously the intended audience is more mature than Harry Potter but I think I would have loved this just as much (if not even more!) aged 8, as aged 28…


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