Sunday, 30 March 2008

If Hell exists its not other people...

Its having a cold. Seriously. I caught the cold from hell at the beginning of the month from a generous friend. The combination of the constant cough, the inability to breath or clear my sinus and the headache was torture, in fact so much that on a couple of days death was a viable cure - no it wasn't flu, I had that once and on the midst of the horror death was the only cure. And this cold goes on forever.

I've also been working like mad, this is generally my busiest time of the year as everyone wants to film in the summer so I've been trying to get everyone set up with everything that they need. We don't film because the weather is good, no one here is that stupid sunny days are always a bonus, its for the long hours of daylight, although its not really daylight when you can't see the sun and the rain is beating down. People wonder why I chose an office based job! I know the world thinks that the British are obsessed with the weather, but as on any day you can easily see three or four different weather conditions, its always a debate as to how to dress in the morning!

I have been reading constantly through the month, although the cold slowed me down somewhat and there are a couple of books on the list that I need to shout about:

I love Zimler's writing and this book is no exception as it is superb evocation of the events before, during and after the Lisbon massacre of 1506. But atrocity and its aftermath are only part of this story, what Zimler is really concerned with is humanity, however it is expressed. I am really looking forward to reading the other books in this series.

If you only ever read one book by Agatha Christie read this one. It is rightly considered her masterpiece as she subverts the genre without comprising the narrative. I don't want to give too much away, but read it and enjoy!

I read this in one sitting. This is a superb memoir as Ballard recollects aspects of his life. The descriptions of his childhood in Shanghai are evocative and I found his feeling of alienation from Britain when he arrived here in the late 1940s fascinating. The passage about the death of his wife is moving without being sentimental and what is particularly lovely is that as much as Ballard reveals he conceals - it is clear that his children are important to him, but he doesn't feel the need to reveal all about them.

I'm spending today catching up with the news by reading everyones blogs I usually read and am really looking forward to seeing how you all are.


Cailleach said...

Great to have you back! I really hope you start to feel much better soon - don't know how you pack in all that reading on top of a full-time job as well... but I always love your recommendations.

Mid-lifer said...

It's awful when you feel ill and have lots to do! Thanks for the reading tips (NOT that I should be reading anything other than academic stuff), I really fancy the Ballard one.