I received a couple of emails after my earlier blog about the thoughts on
the books I've been reading, saying how it's a long way to come to simply
get peace and quiet to read a few books, but the time and the relaxation to
do so is something that we appreciate here. The truth is, when we were back
in the 'real world', I struggled to find the fifteen minutes a day that I
need to keep the momentum of a book going. Here, I can get through a good
book in a rainy day or two.
In my last blog on this subject, I'd started reading Mein Kampf, and then
Postwar History of Europe. I managed to finish Postwar after about six
weeks and constant interruptions from other lighter reading, and Hitler
still sits on the shelf about half read. I will finish it, but I admit,
more out of resolve than because it's a good read. 'Cos that, it is not.
This morning I just finished The Flood, a novel based on the tale of Noah
and his Ark. I'm dead keen to know if the author (David Maine) is religious
or not (answers on a postcard, please), as his telling could be taken as
heavily blasphemous, or praised as bringing the word of the lord to the
common folk. The question that remains in my mind though- were their ducks
on the ark? Again, answers on a postcard please...
Back Home is an easy reading novel about a girl evacuated to the US during
the war, returning to England and finding her place and her family. A light
read- good book for night watches on passage.
I've just finished and now Helen is reading Girls of Riyadh. The blurb
promised a multiple of sins and scandal in Muslim Saudi, which
disappointingly doesn't go much beyond having text message 'relationships'.
There was more rutting in The Flood. All the same, the strictness of this
Islamic society is one of those subjects that is quiet alien to me, that I'd
love to see this story if it was ever made into a movie.
Helen bought me Understanding the English a Christmas or two back, a quirky
half anthropological, half humorous look at English habits. It made me
realise I'm a lot more English in my ways than I thought. Nick, I'm giving
this to you when I get back. The humour is right up your street.
Laith left a book of Su Doku puzzles on board, much against my protestations
at the time. I'd tried the occasional one in the back of the Gulf News, but
never really persevered enough to develop any sort of technique. But, I
picked it up and discovered the satisfaction in completing my first one. I've
completed the 'easy' section (admittedly, there were only four in there, and
Laith had already done one...) and now I'm ready to move up to 'mild' level.
They are quite addictive.
And lastly, Three Cups of Tea is a recommendable read about an American
climber building schools in isolated north Pakistan and Afghanistan. It
gets a bit political in places, but is a good read from a wannabe Sir Edmund
Hillary (one of my heros).