stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
I disliked this book. It presented the way that I experience and think of the Divine in such an irritating manner that it half convinced me that my hard-won understanding of God is New Age woowoo. Some of this book was New Age woowoo. Some of it was potentially very useful, but I am not sure that I care to wade back in to sort out the wheat from the chaff. The author is addicted to exclamation marks and gender essentialism, and, while projecting a (probably genuine) aura of love and tolerance, conveys the idea that anyone who disagrees with him is unenlightened.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8017707/
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
I wish I'd read this when I was sixteen. I was very much into tragic love triangles and courtly passions at that age. Even now, I could appreciate this as a lyrical retelling of an old, old story.
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
I liked this book very much. The first image that Winterson evokes is that of sedimentary rock, layers upon layers of history, of stories, laid down on top of each other. And her book is like that. On one level it is simply what it says on the tin: the myth of Atlas and Heracles, of how one of them had to hold up the universe while the other did what he had to do. But there is more to it than that: there is the standard Greek mythology, yes, but there is also something that might be autobiographical (one can never quite tell with Winterson), and there is lovely physics stuff - look:

When the universe exploded like a bomb, it started ticking like a bomb too. We know our sun will die, in another hundred million years or so, then the lights will go out and there will be no light to read by any more.

'Tell me the time' you say. And what you really say is 'Tell me a story.'

Here's one I haven't been able to put down.


What pleased me most came very near the end, so I won't say what it was and spoil you - I will just say that it was very unexpected but yet perfectly logical. I loved the blending of ancient and modern ways of understanding the universe. Recommended.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8017721/
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
This has been on my conscience for years - I got it as a review copy from Penguin when they were doing a giveaway to bloggers, and failed to review it. Here I make some attempt, however belatedly, to do so.

This is part of the Penguin Epics series, a modern prose version by R. K. Narayan, and only a fraction of the whole story of Rama and Sita. Prose or no prose, the epic mood is very strong, the sense that here is a story that has been told for generations and generations, and, indeed, as the afterword points out, is still being told. The characters are engaging and larger than life; the settings vividly described. Here is a single episode of a long, long story, embellished with digressions and decoration, picked out and presented in 200 odd pages.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8042359

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