Monday, 4 August 2008

Book reviews

I've been doing a lot of thinking the last few days about the computer and the world of the internet and I've come to the conclusion that I need to revise the way in which I use them. It's hard to really get to know someone properly online unless you're exchanging real emails on a one-to-one basis, but it is easy to *think* you know people and then be disappointed and disillusioned. I need to withdraw from virtual worlds a bit, even if that means feeling a bit isolated for a while. Better honestly isolated than feeling the delusion of support.

And so to books. Reading and writing are huge parts of my life which I ahven't really alluded to much on my blogs up until now. So, more discussion of what I'm reading and writing. Recently, I read Living with Honour: A Pagan Ethics which was a very dense and thoughtful read and has caused me to reflect on some aspects of my life and think very hard about others. In broad terms, I generally agreed with many of the author's points as I have in her previous books. I've also seen her speak on various occasions so I felt her voice and her passion come through the text which may otherwise have become rather too mystic and abstract. I'm still struggling with some issues raised by the book, which is usually the sign of a good book - sanctity and the practical consequences of animist views are areas I've always struggled to get my head round, but I'd really recommend the book, not only to Pagans as many of the issues raised are relevant to any person of faith, especially perhaps the more environmentally-based faiths such as Buddhism and simple ones such as Quakerism.

I've just finished The Fourth Bear (Nursery Crime Adventures 2) which is the first Jasper Fforde book I have read. I've always been a science-fiction fan but this is different from most I ahve read before. I suppose the nearest other authors to compare it to are Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams in that it is stuffed full of puns, jokes and allusions to all kinds of literary and general knowledge. However, unlike those two authors, I felt that Fforde sacrificed characterisation and the flow of the story for this humour. The characters' post-modern awareness of being characters in a book and comments of the author's skill or otherwise was very jarring for me, as I like to lose myself in a book and its world. But it is a valid literary device which others may well enjoy, so for that reason I would recommend it.

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