Currently I’m still reading SPQR by Mary Beard, the Kindle edition. I started this a couple of weeks ago and am reading it slowly. It covers 1,000 years of the history of Ancient Rome – it’s about how it grew and sustained its position for so long and confronts some of the myths and half-truths about Rome.
I’ve also started to read Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope. I’ve read the first two books in his Barchester Towers series and a year ago I thought I would soon be reading Doctor Thorne, the third book. Well, I’ve now got round to it, spurred on by the fact that ITV will be showing Julian Fellowes’ three-part adaptation of the book early in March and I want to experience the book through my own imagination first, without outside influence. I am enjoying it very much so far. I’m reading the free version on Kindle but I see that OUP are publishing a tie-in edition on 3 March, with a foreword by Julian Fellowes.
I’ve recently finished Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, a book I’ve had for about 8 years. Reverend John Ames, a 76 year old, dying of heart disease, is writing a letter to his 7 year old son telling him the things he would have told him if he had lived to see him grow up; the story of his life and that of his father and grandfather, and so much more besides. It’s not a book to rush through and I took my time reading this but still think I would get more out of it on a second reading. So I’ll be a while mulling it over before I review it. And I still have four other books I’ve read recently that I haven’t reviewed!
What I will be reading next – I never make up my mind what to read next until the time arrives to choose a book – and it could be a while yet as both the books I’m currently reading are quite long. I’m not sure if I want to carry on with the Ancient Rome theme by reading Catalina’s Riddle by Steven Saylor, or something completely different and much shorter such as Asunder by Chloe Aridjis, a book I borrowed from the library this week:
Marie’s job as a museum guard at the National Gallery in London offers her the life she always wanted, one of invisibility and quiet contemplation. But amid the hushed corridors surge currents of history and violence, paintings whose power belie their own fragility. There also lingers the legacy of her great-grandfather Ted, the warder who slipped and fell moments before reaching the suffragette Mary Richardson as she took a blade to one of the gallery’s masterpieces on the eve of the First World War.
After nine years there, Marie begins to feel the tug of restlessness. A decisive change comes in the form of a winter trip to Paris, where, with the arrival of an uninvited guest and an unexpected encounter, her carefully contained world is torn apart.
It does sound good – described on the front cover by the Independent as ‘Rapturous and enraptured reading‘ and by the Guardian as ‘Strange, extravagant, darkly absorbing.’
I’d love to know if any body else has the same difficulties as me in choosing what to read next?