Bookish selfie…

A snapshot of my recent reading in quotes…

….…you could tell by her eyes that she was losing interest and Iain was looking warningly at his mother but she didn’t pay too much attention to that for after all didn’t he have to be saved from himself. How could this girl, so pale and fashionable, milk the cows, cut the corn with a sickle, plant potatoes, carry the peats home and do all the other jobs a woman had to do?
….Unless, of course, Iain went to Glasgow.
….Hadn’t she done everything for him, even when her mother had been screaming inside her that she must be strict with him? And now this girl, hatched heaven knows where but quite suited to Glasgow with its lights like the fires of hell, had come to her home and was only half listening to what she had to say. And looking so confident though she was only seventeen, and casting around very likely to see if there were any mirrors in the room and comparing this house to the great houses in which she was used to staying. I do not like her, she was saying to herself, as she took back the scone which had been barely pecked at (but perhaps in Glasgow they had finer food than that and something called coffy which you could buy in a dish).

~ Consider the Lilies by Iain Crichton Smith

* * * * *

….I forward the file to her, and she opens it on a computer display, clicking on PLAY. All we see is darkness, the muddy image of the road leading to Colonial Landing’s walled brick entrance.
….At 5:13 P.M., something is pulled over one camera, then the other, making a quiet crinkly plastic sound exactly as August described. Two minutes later, Gwen Hainey’s code, 1988, is entered, and the entrance gate slides open. There’s no car engine, no sound of anything driving through.
….Just the wind and rain, then the faint strains of organ music getting louder, crescendoing like The Phantom of the Opera. But what we’re listening to isn’t Andrew Lloyd Webber.
….“Next you hear the entrance gate close, and then nothing,” I say to Lucy. “Apparently, all was quiet until fifty-two minutes later.”
….I fast-forward the recording almost to the end. We listen to the noise of the metal exit gate opening. Then the same eerie musical theme is playing again, and it’s enough to make one’s hair stand on end.

~ Autopsy by Patricia Cornwell

* * * * *

….To look at Montmorency you would imagine that he was an angel sent upon the earth, for some reason withheld from mankind, in the shape of a small fox-terrier. There is a sort of Oh-what-a-wicked-world-this-is-and-how-I-wish-I-could-do-something-to-make-it-better-and-nobler expression about Montmorency that has been known to bring the tears into the eyes of pious old ladies and gentlemen.
….When first he came to live at my expense, I never thought I should be able to get him to stop long. I used to sit down and look at him, as he sat on the rug and looked up at me, and think: “Oh, that dog will never live. He will be snatched up to the bright skies in a chariot, that is what will happen to him.”
….But, when I had paid for about a dozen chickens that he had killed; and had dragged him, growling and kicking, by the scruff of his neck, out of a hundred and fourteen street fights; and had had a dead cat brought round for my inspection by an irate female, who called me a murderer; and had been summoned by the man next door but one for having a ferocious dog at large, that had kept him pinned up in his own tool-shed, afraid to venture his nose outside the door for over two hours on a cold night; and had learned that the gardener, unknown to myself, had won thirty shillings by backing him to kill rats against time, then I began to think that maybe they’d let him remain on earth for a bit longer, after all.

~ Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome

* * * * *

Nor were they entirely safe in the city: in early April 1986, after two performances of a piece titled The Idiot President, Diciembre’s lead actor and playwright was arrested for incitement, and left to languish for the better part of a year at a prison known as Collectors. His name was Henry Nuñez, and his freedom was, for a brief time, a cause célèbre. Letters were written on his behalf in a handful of foreign countries, by mostly well-meaning people who’d never heard of him before and who had no opinion about his work. Somewhere in the archives of one or another of the national radio stations lurks the audio of a jailhouse interview: this serious young man, liberally seasoning his statements with citations of Camus and Ionesco, describing a prison production of The Idiot President, with inmates in the starring roles. “Criminals and delinquents have an intuitive understanding of a play about national politics,” Henry said in a firm, uncowed voice.

~ At Night We Walk in Circles by Daniel Alarcón

* * * * *

So… are you tempted?

31 thoughts on “Bookish selfie…

    • Three Men in a Boat is wonderful, and Ian Carmichael is the perfect narrator for it – I’ve been chuckling and guffawing my way through it! Hmm… don’t be too fooled by Autopsy – it took me a lonnnng time to find a halfway decent quote to include… 😉

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    • I love Three Men in a Boat and often dip into it when I need a bit of laughter. And Ian Carmichael is the perfect narrator for it – I’ve been chuckling and guffawing my way through it! 😀

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  1. I do love Three Men in a Boat, but I’ve never listened to it as an audiobook! I think it’s the only book I have more than one copy of – my childhood copy (too sentimentally attached to throw it out, even though it’s beginning to fall apart), plus a lovely illustrated edition I found in a charity shop a few years ago – which indicates just how fond I am of it.

    I am also quite tempted by At Night We Walk In Circles. I quickly abandoned the Peruvian novel on my TBR this summer for playing too fast and loose with its tenses for me to follow (also way too much swearing), and I’m after a replacement to read while I’m there. This sounds like it might do the trick!

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    • Three Men in a Boat is one of the wonders of the world! Ian Carmichael is the perfect narrator for it – he’s had me laughing and chuckling all the way through – pure joy! 😀 My childhood version had illustrations but it seems to have gone missing somewhere along the way and I’ve never been able to find another one with those same illustrations. I can still see them in my head though!

      I’m enjoying At Night We Walk in Circles more than I expected to, although I’m still in the very early stages. I’m no sure how accurate it is about Peru – it gives me the sense of being a generic South American country rather than a specific one, which may be why he’s left the country unnamed. But since I know nothing about Peru I could be wrong!

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  2. I have to admit, FIctionFan, I’m not a Cornwell fan. I’ve read a few of her books and just… never got into it. They felt a bit ‘same-y’ to me. Three Men… interests me; I hope you’re enjoying that one. I’d also like to read At Night…. All in all, I’d say you have some pretty interesting reads there!

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    • Well, I tried really hard not to abandon the Cornwell, but nope – I just couldn’t stick it any longer. I’m afraid I thought it was pretty poor – I don’t think I’ll be giving her any more second chances. 😦 Three Men in a Boat is wonderful and Ian Carmichael is the perfect narrator for it! And I’m enjoying At Night more than I expected to, though I’m still in the very early stages of it…

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    • Ha, it must just have been the quotes I’ve selected because actually only Autopsy is really dismal – the others are all reasonably light, so far at least! But any excuse for Wooster works for me… 😀

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  3. I’m glad I have Three Men in a Boat tagged at the library. It sounds good. And…. I hate to admit the Cornwell sounds good, too. I’m not about to go back and try to catch up on hers, so you’ll have to let us know if it can be enjoyed on its own. (if you like it, that is)

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    • If you can get hold of the Ian Carmichael audiobook of Three Men in a Boat, I highly recommend it – he’s perfect for it! The cat is getting very fed up with me howling with laughter! 😀 Hmm… don’t rush into anything hasty with the Cornwell – it took me a lonnng time to find a bit worth quoting… 😉

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        • Hmm. Christine listened to the Steven Crossley version and really enjoyed it, and I’ve loved some of his other narrations. However in truth I don’t feel he’s right for this one. I listened to the sample and he sounds too serious. I feel it needs to be read by someone who sounds like Bertie Wooster! So I think reading is probably the way to go if you can’t get hold of the Ian Carmichael version, but as I say Christine liked the Crossley narration. Depends who you trust… 😉

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          • I’m going to sidestep that “trust” statement and just stick with my original plan to read it. 😉 Accents can sometimes trip me up a bit anyway.

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            • Haha, smoothly negotiated! Yes, I’m the same when listening to American narrators – sometimes it can feel like hard work. Hope you enjoy it – no pressure, but it might break my heart if you don’t… 😉

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  4. Only Three Men in a Boat appeals to me, which I have never read but want to. I read Cornwell many years ago and haven’t tried any recently and haven’t wanted to. I saw your latest review and see that you did not care for it, so … no need for me to try it.

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    • Three Men in a Boat is wonderful – right up there among my favourite books of all time! Yes, the Cornwell really didn’t work for me at all. I enjoyed the first few many years ago but I think that was because they felt original at the time – sadly, this one doesn’t even have that going for it.

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    • I read several of the Kay Scarpetta series back in the day but eventually tired of them. They were original at the time, but they were never particularly well written and they got very repetitive. As you’ll see from my review of this one, they haven’t improved! 😉

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