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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
The Rector of Justin - Louis Auchincloss I was reading Auchincloss's obit in the NYT recently and I realized that I hadn't read any of his books. Many critics consider this his most ambitious novel. I must say I enjoyed it. It was dense and intellectual and it sent me to the dictionary many times for such words as athwart, encomium and epicene. It also challenged my knowledge of philosophy and literature, assuming I knew more about Plato and Samuel Richardson than I really do! I like a book that pushes me in this way. It started out a bit slow, but became more engrossing as the details of the life Dr Prescott, headmaster of an elite American boys' school, piled up and we got to see him from many different perspectives: from his daughters, his friends, his students. I think many would say this book is dated, concerned as it is with the upper class New England life of the early 20th century, but ultimately, the book is about human nature, religious feeling, loyalty, cult of personality, striving for lofty goals, and failure. I don't think those things are ever dated.