Tuesday 4 March 2008

Books of an insomniac

The good thing about being unemployed (or a teacher) is that you have plenty of time to read, and you can read during night time. Which is what I am doing right now. That's one of the little pleasures of life. I think reading is an activity which comes more naturally when it is dark, something to do with the relative quietness of the outside world. And it cannot get any quieter than here.

I don't know if I will have finished reading From Whom the Bell Tolls tonight, I don't think so, but it will not be for much longer in any case. I am hesitating about my next book. I received the first book of The Best of Robert E. Howard at Christmas (from PJ), read two stories and a poem so far. It's quite entertaining, but I want some meatier works to go with it. Thinking about it, I have This Man and Music (a rarity, and such a fascinating topic) for more intellectual books, so I guess I can enjoy Robert E. Howard and some crime fiction (maybe a James Bond novel? I still have a few to read) with a guilt-free conscience. I haven't read a French novel for nearly a year. Last one was Le Sang des autres by Simone de Beauvoir, because I gave a lecture on it. I loved it (the lecture, and the book). But anyway, that's another reason for me to be guilty (problem with being a Catholic, even a lapsed one, is that you get stuck with guilt from the craddle to the grave): I read almost exclusively in the language of the invader (invader from a Quebecker's perspective, as I am a foreigner in the invader's country). And even if I was in Montreal, I would be more eager to get back the Anthony Burgess novels I left there than getting my hands on some francophone lit. I am officially culturally alienated. Sounds good for an entry title.

And when I can get my hands on it, I want to read some Calvin and Hobbes. It's just so hilarious. I cannot expect to find any in the local WH Smith though. Or anything really.

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