24 Following

Austen to Zafón

Reading widely since 1972.

Currently reading

A London Family, 1870-1900: A Trilogy
Molly Hughes
The Cellist of Sarajevo
Steven Galloway
Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas
All the Names
José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Neil MacGregor
Down the Garden Path
Beverley Nichols
Virtue Betray'd, Or, Anna Bullen
John Banks
Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks
Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
Illusion in java
Gene Fowler
Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow - Jerome K. Jerome I read and loved Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat," so I picked up this series of his essays on a variety of topics. Pub'd in 1886, before "Three Men in a Boat," it was the intro by the author that sold me:

"One or two friends to whom I showed these papers in MS having observed that they were not half bad, and some of my relations having promised to buy the book if it ever came out, I feel I have no right to longer delay its issue. But for this, as one may say, public demand, I perhaps should not have ventured to offer these mere 'idle thoughts' of mine as mental food for the English-speaking peoples of the earth. What readers ask nowadays in a book is that it should improve, instruct and elevate. This book wouldn't elevate a cow. I cannot conscientiously recommend it for any useful purposes whatever. All I can suggest is that when you get tired of reading 'the best hundred books', you may take this up for half an hour. It will be a change."

I thoroughly enjoyed his humor and his insights into such topics as "being hard up," "furnished apartments," "dress and deportment," and "memory." Several times I laughed aloud. As you might expect, given the publication date, some of his ideas about women are a bit dated and sexist, but for a man of his era, I thought he was fairer than most.