Friday, March 02, 2012

Courtrooms, Antiques, Boating on the Thames, and More

After finishing the books on World War II that I mentioned in more detail in this previous post, I've been coasting along with several old Perry Mason novels (fun stuff), another couple of Jonathan Gash's Lovejoy mysteries and John Keegan's fascinating history/historiography, The Face of Battle.

As is my custom, they were all re-reads.

Also in the re-reading category was last month's Notting Hill Napoleon selection, Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat, and the quite daunting tome awaiting me for the March selection, Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind.

Many read Jerome's book while they were youngsters. But my pleasure was unfortunately delayed until just a few years ago when a friend and fellow Chestertonian James Woodruff gave it a very strong endorsement. I'm quite glad he did for I loved the book then, often laughing out loud during the reading, and I loved it again last week. In fact, because I was reading more carefully in preparation for our book discussion, the charms of Three Men in a Boat were even more pronounced to me. And that includes the sober, even poignant passages of what is generally a short comedy.

Oh yes, one other thing, this time around I read Three Men in a Boat via a Kindle. And, unlike Claire, I didn't find the machine very fun or easy. So from now on, whenever possible, I'll stay with the old-fashioned thing: a real, page-turning book.

But despite my hassles with the Kindle, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel itself and I join James in recommending it most heartily -- for all ages too. You just can't go wrong.

As far as the 1,100 pages of Gone with the Wind...well, that will be another experience altogether. But I'm looking forward to it. In fact, I have put the novel in our list of NHN recommendations for many years but it never passed. It never even came close. So, finally, I dropped it from this year's list of recommendations.  Ironically though, someone else tossed it into the ring at our November bed and breakfast meeting and it made the final cut!

Go figure. I'm just pleased that it finally made it -- despite all the things it will crowd out in March.

A review (and I promise it to be a quick one) will be forthcoming.