Friday, June 6, 2008

Today's Diversions

TV Series
Last night, I was watching an episode from the wonderful series Lewis, when what did I happen to see:



A character was clearly wearing one of those terrorist-supporting scarves! I was *shocked* I tell you, shocked! Other than that one disturbing incident, though, I really enjoyed the episode. The series is wonderful, particularly for its views of Oxford. I haven't seen much of the Inspector Morse series, but you don't need to have seen those to be able to enjoy this program on its own merits.

Book
I am currently reading the latest novel by Sophie Kinsella, Remember Me? This one is uncharacteristically hard going so far. I truly loved Confessions of a Shopaholic and Can You Keep a Secret, but The Undomestic Goddess was a mess. I kept wondering where the editor was on that one -- or did they just think that since the great reading public had so enthusiastically embraced her previous books that this one could just go out into the world "as is"? I truly hope this most recent book will pick up and show some of the charm of the earlier books. And while I'm on the subject, who though that setting the Shopaholic movie in New York was a good idea??? If the book had been set there, I certainly wouldn't have given it a second glance! I would go see a film set in London no matter how flimsy the story (yes, Killing Me Softly, I'm talking to you).

Audio Book
While between new audio books for a moment, I decided to give a listen to my favorite audio book of all time, The Wimbledon Poisoner. It is the hilarious account of a man who decides to poison his wife, but ends up accidentally killing nearly everyone in the neighborhood instead. The second part of the book (when he gives up trying to kill the wife) does drag a bit, but the first part more than makes up for that with gems such as:

(on a book the protagonist is writing being unleashed on the reading public) "There would be no escape from the great wall of knowledge being propelled in their direction."

(description of the action of a specific poison) "You experience vomiting, diarrhea, and then it's byesie-bye to your renal functions."

(on his overweight daughter attending her first funeral) "Maisie started asking what people generally ate at funerals, and if there was a lot of it."

Quite a lot of enjoyment comes from the outstanding reading done by James Saxon. I must to a little research and find out if he's read other audio books. I was pleased to see that The Wimbledon Poisoner is part of a Wimbledon Trilogy by Nigel Williams, although, sadly, the other books in the group all appear to have different characters. Still, I have placed my orders for the other two books and I can only hope they are half as funny as the first one.

Summer Reading List
I was pleased to see that several of my favorite authors are going to have new books in the stores soon, including Ruth Rendell, Marian Keyes, David Sedaris and Janet Evanovich. OK, so only one of those authors is British -- I have to occasionally dip my toe into other literary waters, although I try not to make a habit of it!

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