Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Book Blogging on the 25th

C.S. Lewis.... loved the Chronicles, ate up the Space Trilogy, laughed through the Screwtape Letters and nodded incessantly with Mere Christianity. I read the introduction of the Four Loves with a big, "Huh?" (three times!)

So I have failed, or better yet, I'm-not-finished-reading-the-Four-Loves-and-cannot blog-on-it-adequately-today-so-I-will-leave-it-for-another-25th (I don't know when, maybe in 2008 but this book needs to be masticated slowly, too slowly for my liking, honestly).

So let's talk about book(s) you are currently reading.

Prior to picking up the Four Loves I read Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. Yes, that's his real name, and here's his bio:
Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) was an actor, teacher, and journalist before turning to writing books. After the success of Three Men in a Boat, Jerome and some friends founded The Idler, a magazine that ran pieces by Robert Louis Stevenson and Mark Twain. Jerome published an autobiography in 1926.
I was introduced to this book when I read Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog.

Jerome is hysterically witty, insightful and random. Three Men reads much like blogs today -- he's discussing packing for an excursion, the laziness of his companions, and then your goes into great detail over his tale of transporting stinky cheese from Liverpool to London.

This is one read when the best review to be said is, "Delightful!"

The gist of the story is three bored young men decide to take a boat up the Thames River for a bit of holiday. There only other companion is Montmorency, J's Fox Terrier. J tells of all their (mis)adventure: how to row, punt, sleep in the rain, find a decent (one with Wisteria draped over the front eaves) inn for the night, and how to make surprisingly good Irish stew. It's a quick read and you will find yourself chuckling quite often.

Some quotable lines:
It is not that I object to the work, mind you; I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.

People who have tried it, tell me that a clear conscience makes you very happy and contented; but a full stomach does the business quite as well, and is cheaper, and more easily obtained.

Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.

I can't sit still and see another man slaving and working. I want to get up and superintend, and walk round with hands in my pockets, and tell him what to do.

It is always the best policy to speak the truth, unless of course you are an exceptionally good liar.
What's on your nightstand?

P.s. The next read for October 25th is a bit more bookclub-ish: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Enjoy!


Suzanne said...

Wow Barbie....I feel so much better. I've written 2 checks dated the 25th..even thought Christmas isn't that far off and did not give a thought as to the book blog. Although last night as I was trying to continue to read the Four Loves I thought I'm not getting anywhere...there must be something wrong with me and life is too short. Also I'm old enough I don't have to read something if I don't want....that's just an excuss. Anyway I thought I'll wait and let Barbie digest it for me. Anyway this morning I put it back on the shelf and I got out The Great Divorce....someone referred to it recently. I'll see how that goes.
In the meantime I recently read The life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, A Memoir, by Bill Bryson..to quote... it's a vivid, nostalgic, and utterly hillarious memoir of growing up in the 1950's. It was delightful and good to remember simplier times.
Think I'll read Hosseini's second book, A Thousand Splendid Suns.
Thanks for being an encourager. Love you. Sz

Christina Dawn said...

I really enjoy Jerome K. Jerome. I first found one of his books while I was in France years ago and have remembered them with great fondness.
One book that I recently read and it ended up being a very quick read was Katherine Paterson's "Angels and Other Strangers" It's a collection of Christmas stories that she wrote for her husband to read at church on Christmas Eves.
Currently I'm reading Leslie Sansone's book on the six week makeover.

Marcie said...

Oh no! I just bought the book - do you think they'll take it back?

Actually, having just begun, I'm really enjoying the 4 Loves. The Greeks have the 5 types of love - so I have enjoyed reading Lewis' take on the subject from a Christian perspective.

On the whole, I think this book club by blog is a great idea - and I'm all about Jane Austen and the spooky tale of Northanger Abbey. So, with Austen on the way, I'm looking forward to next month's discussion!

In the meantime, my local book club is discussing Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes this Thursday.

BTW, Hello from Cuero!

Valerie said...

Marcie, Hello from Cuero? Isn't that the home of the chupacabra? I want one of those t-shirts!

I Was Just Thinking.... said...

Thanks for joining the discussion, Christina and Marcie.

Marcie - don't put down the book. if you can slog through it you can share with us what you think. I too, loved Under the Tuscan Sun but HATED the movie, so different, so wrong.

Viola said...

Barb thanks for this book idea. (Jerome K Jerome) Along with too many other books I need to read this one sounds like real pleasure. I am going to order it now. I think my husband will enjoy it too.

Marcie said...

Thanks for the warm welcome!

Yes, I live in Cuero, home of the chupacabra! What a way to be put on the map!

Regarding Valerie's comment, we do have a local businesswoman selling the shirts, she even has a website at www.cuerochupacabra.com . She has shirts for $5 and is expanding to koozies and more.

Regarding Under the Tuscan Sun - I was shocked to see the movie. The sad part was that I bought it before viewing - ugh! Whenever I tell others that I like the book, I feel I must tag on that the movie is nothing like it. I fear that people are missing out on enjoying a good read if they prejudge the book based on the movie.

Orrange said...

Let's see I read A Thousand Splendid Suns... great book. At first it was a bit harder for me than Kite Runner, b/c it focuses on Afghan women and I wasn't finding much to be encouraged about in the story but it turned out to be a fantastic book. I'm reading some adoption parenting stuff actually called "adoption parenting" but it's fantastic. And I just started Goodnight Nobody which is total chick lit poking fun at suburban uptight moms, it's making me laugh, which is definitely what I need right now.

Heidi said...

I love C.S. Lewis (especially the books you mentioned) but have never tried to read The Four Loves. Hmmm.

I read Three Men in a Boat this year and then read the Connie Willis book. It was so fun to read them both! Good stuff.

The Silver Chalice is my current read. It is the October selection for my local book club. So far I am loving it, but I read the beginning of it aloud to my husband while driving on vacation and now he has stolen it!