Friday, May 19, 2006

Books and stuff

As promised, I paid a little more attention to things non-knitting-related last night.

Currently on my bedside table:
J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the century, by Tom Shippey.
I bought this for research for my masters, and I still have some of the post-it tabs in the book, which makes me vaguely nostalgic. I've read it many, many times before, and while it's not exactly a book you dip in and out of, it's a good scholarly read. I think I chose it because we were thinking of watching The Return of the King - which we finally saw, and thought was quite good, even though the book was better.

Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe, by Bill Bryson.
If you haven't read Bill Bryson, you're really missing out. It's kind of travel writing, but with a twist: he sincerely loves or hates the places he writes about, and he kindly and politely takes the piss of anything and everything.

Oh crap, I can't explain it really - just read one of his books and you'll get what I mean. Anyway, this is The Trouser's birthday book from my parents, and I'm reading it because I love Bryson's writing, introduced The Trouser to him, and also because I was sick on Monday and there was nothing else that felt like the "right" book to read.

London: The Biography, by Peter Ackroyd.
I think this was a Christmas or birthday present, and I'm slowly picking my way through it. It's very different from the super-character-driven London (which I also loved), but it is a big, fat, satisfying book to read.

There are 3 or 4 other books, but I can't remember what they are. Really, I need a wide selection of books on the go at any one time. Other people have different music for different moods: I have books. Since I finished studying, I've most often been in a Marian Keyes sort of mood, but as the non-studying years go by, I'm getting back into more cerebral books.

Ooh! I know - another book I'm reading is Thackeray's Vanity Fair. I'm not wild on many aspects of the book (the style - a narrator trying to involve you as a contemporary bugs me, even though I know it was the style at the time of writing; the characters' stupidity; and the slightly crappy edition that I bought on sale for about $3), but it's a classic, and once I've read it I'll feel free to never read it again.

Aside from looking at my books, I also managed a bit of knitting time. Quite a lot. The cold weather made me do it!

However, I also made mocha panna cotta. It was a really simple recipe, though the whisking every 10 minutes got a bit old. And who has instant coffee? I couldn't find ours, so I used this instead. The bits left over on the bowl tasted pretty good - I'm looking forward to trying the results for dessert tonight!

And in a final note: I am wearing my Forecast today. It's warm and lovely, even if my shoulders look kind of massive in it. Will get The Trouser to take a pic tonight, so I can post it here, and at the Forecast knitalong. How lovely to finally have some new knitwear!


Blogger Violet said...

I'm a huge fan of Bryson. He writes really great books on linguistics too, in his usual entertaining style.

I often wish I had done more literature in university - then I'd be able to explain why I like or dislike a book. As it is, I usually stick to "It's great!" or "It's crap!".

12:24 pm  

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