Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More reading at the lake

We spent only a long weekend at the lake this time, so not quite as many books for me.

I had tried to read the first book in Jasper Fforde's Nursery Crime series and couldn't get into it; I think mostly I just wanted it to be a Thursday Next book. But now that Thursday has finally returned, I was able to really enjoy The Fourth Bear. Fforde tangles a twist on Goldilocks with cucumber intrigue and an intriguing nod to The Picture of Dorian Gray. (As with the Thursday Next books, The Fourth Bear makes me feel that my literary education is woefully incomplete.) I think Jasper Fforde has to be up there in the top five of unusually funny yet highly intelligent people.

The requisite Agatha Christie: Dead Man's Folly. I spent the first part of the book trying to remember if I had read this one before, then finally decided I hadn't and it just reminded me of Hallowe'en Party. A satisfying mystery -- I came closer than usual to figuring it out, though of course I'll never actually solve it before Poirot.

I think the movie of Chocolat must be very, very loosely based on Joanne Harris's novel, or perhaps I just don't remember the movie well enough. The book has much more psychologically complex characters than I remember from the movie. The chocolate, on the other hand, was deliciously depicted in both versions. (It was challenging to read this without snacking.) The descriptions of food and people are really what make this book so enjoyable; everything and everyone is so clearly rendered that the pictures in my head are staying with me longer than the story.

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