Saturday, November 04, 2006

books etc

After my crazy dash into the BC library and having made the receptionist sign me up for it, I had little time to look for books - but at first sight found the fiction shelves rather disappointing. I picked up two books and need to have more time to inspect the shelves - when?; maybe they have a half decent audio libary. The books were well thumbed (if there are not so many), and the choice is much much smaller than in Vilnius (where BC benefits from a better layout). But Tbilisi is twice as large as Vilnius....

Picked up a book by Martin Amis, just to read one of his books, since He Is Famous (Son of Kingsley Amis who wrote very wickedly amusing books and highly praised for his own books). I have looked at 'Time's Arrow' and it is dreadful. It seems to be about a guy who lives backwards; for example when he eats a meal he starts with the clean dishes in the dishwasher, which then get dirty, then the food comes out of his mouth, is arranged nicely on the plate and so on. Thankfully he only starts this description with the dishwasher - it could be worse. No doubt it is an interesting intellectual exercise to write a book backwards, much like writing a book in verse or something. Apparently Auschwitz comes into it. Hmm. Might have another look if I get Desperate.

Otherwise picked up Ian McEwan's 'Black Dogs'. Will report later.

Just now am finishing reading Alice Munro's 'The love of a good woman'. My mother had given it to me since she did not find it interesting. It looked ok at a first glance, but in general...it is a series of quite long short stories, some are connected, some not, all without a beginning and an end. Many are set in rural Canada (America?) and are written in a simple country folk style. They are probably easy to read for non-native speakers, too, but leave the reader often suspended in mid-air.

Today I found a video-shop that sells some English language DVDs, and those of a reasonable quality. Earlier it was very easy to get DVDs and videos in English, but now they are all dubbed so fast in Russian that it has become very difficult. Got three - I did not know one of them, and it turns out to be, according to the internet, a 'heartwarming story of a boy seeking God'. Might have a high puke rating....

Must go and watch one of these. Last night I watch a rather bad Korean copy of the 'Calendar Girls' about those WRI ladies who did the nude calendar to raise money for a cancer unit somewhere in Yorkshire. I now know the reference on my friend Ann's T-shirt where it says 'Don't touch the buns!'. A great English film, with all the female mainstays of English acting. Helen Mirren, who has played Queen Elizabeth I and II, is one of the main characters, and the one with The Big Idea. But where was Judy Dench? Maybe she was too posh?