Monday, April 27, 2009

Thats What Friends Are For

Isn’t it odd how you can be given book advice from the people that you least expect? I know today should be my review of the Savidge Big Weekenders but once again I haven’t finished the book (are you all loosing faith in me yet) and so am thinking of doing the Savidge Big Reads instead, less pressure and if I just say which days we will discuss it then you can all join in… would that be a better idea?

Anyway I would normally have had the review ready yesterday as I like to be a day ahead. However Umberto Eco’s masterpiece The Name of the Rose and I weren’t really getting on. I managed a just under a hundred pages of wonderfully written but never ending descriptions and scene setting and Catholic history in the park in the Sun on Saturday morning and into lunch. I then didn’t pick up the book again until Sunday afternoon. I kept finding that I had something more important to do like Hoover the lounge, de-fluff the sofa, Hoover the lounge… again, clean out the fish you name it I ‘needed’ to do it.

I then packed it in my bag for the tube ride to town to meet some friends. I worked with G a few years ago and we became like one unit, she is a wonderful blunt beautiful Italian lady and myself, the non-reader, G and her husband were meeting for dinner and to organise a trip to Rome in August (they have houses there so really it was more to organise flights). When routing through my bag for my diary G shouts “Umberto Eco… that’s a masterpiece… are you enjoying it? No? Oh its amazing you must, must try and read more you will be hooked.” Well coming from someone who doesn’t like books that was quite the accolade. So on the way home I picked it up and tried, and tried all the way into town again today, through lunch and all the way home… and now believe it or not I am hooked. Only about 200 pages in but as G promised I am hooked. So there will be a review but more like on Wednesday, tomorrow’s blog is already done.

I have asked G to recommend me some other Italian books for Rome and instantly she said The Women of Rome by Alberto Moravia I haven’t read any of him have you? Apparently it’s the perfect book for Rome. Any other idea’s for the perfect books set in Rome? I have until August but thought would ask now anyway.

But back to friendships and books, have any of you had any experiences of people you know aren’t readers suddenly telling you what to read or championing a book? Have you ever fallen out with someone over a book? I recently almost got put off being friends with someone as they only ‘read books which are movies, I always run out and buy one as its what everyone is reading isn’t it?’ Let me know. Right am off back to read about monks and murder in the 1300’s and revel in it.

Oh before I forget the next Savidge Big Reads blog dates for discussion and the books are:
Tuesday May 5th - Midnights Children by Salman Rushdie
Monday May 11th - Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
Do join in!


Anonymous said...

Not books for Rome exactly but I always try to read books set in the country I am holidaying in. When I was in Italy for two weeks I read:

Miss Garnet's Angel: Salley Vickers- v. good.
Under the Tuscan Sun: very bad!
Farewell to Arms: Ernest Hemmingway- brilliant.

I also carted The Name of the Rose around with me and got nowhere! But will have another go after todays post.

Im off to Croatia this summer and Im struggling for appropriate reading material- any suggestions from anyone?

I came to your blog thru Simon's 'Stuck in a blog' and i am really enjoying it.


claire said...

I'm so glad you pushed through with Eco, because, really, the last half is just amazing. And that is so neat about G. I haven't really fallen out with anyone because of what they read because I don't really have friends who read as much as I do (and as obsessed as I am lol). I have some who do read but they like a lot of books that I don't.

Candy Schultz said...

It's very sad but I truly don't know anyone who reads except those of you I have met online.

There are a couple of really good books on Venice, The Venetian Affair and The City of Falling Angels. I can't think of any Rome ones.

I envy you your forthcoming trip. Will you blog while you are gone?

Sandy Nawrot said...

I've never fallen out over a book, but depending on what they recommend, I might ignore their suggestions from that point on. I usually can figure out if we are on the same page after a couple of conversations. Unfortunately most of my friends are fans of bestseller trash novels, for which I have little patience!

Kim said...

Can't recall ever falling out with somebody about a book, but, do remember plenty of heated debates - especially with my son who is one of the few people I know that reads as much as I do (not including all the folks I have recently met through blogs, of course)
It's funny how some books do blossom after a dull start. I recently read Richard Conroy's "Our Man in Belize" which is his memoir about the time he spent in Belize as Deputy Envoy to the US during the early 1960's. I almost gave up fifty pages in but decided to read just one more chapter - so glad I did, the book turned out to be a gem.
It's the same with The Name of The Rose, I remember thinking there was just too much trudging through snow and too many monasteries on mountains for my liking, at first - but then it gets exciting! So glad your friend encouraged you on. Looking forward to your review, Simon.
Will give some thought to what you could read in Rome...

Dot said...

I don't think that I have ever fallen out with anyone over a book, although my partner and I often have cross-words about him using books as drink coasters!! You are so lucky going to Rome, it is my favourite city, I love it there!

Unknown said...

I've never fallen out with anyone over a book, but my husband gets pretty cross sometimes when I describe the books he reads as just being about 'wizards in woods' I don't know why he gets cross though - they are!!!