Sunday Salon

70757~Cafe-Mocha-PostersJust two quick points today, quick because of the first of them.

I am having real problems with my server at the moment.  Just now I can get on line, but I don’t know how long this is going to last.  So, my apologies for not visiting around as much as usual.  Most days it just hasn’t been possible.  The engineer is coming to check the line tomorrow but this has been an on-going problem for the best part of a year and I suspect the answer eventually is going to have to be a re-wiring job.  I will post and comment from the University when I can, but if I’m sporadic for a while you will know why.

The second point is a reading one – proper material for the Salon:)  Yesterday afternoon, I picked the new Audrey Niffenegger novel, Her Fearful Symmetry, from the library and realised when I got it home that I was almost too frightened to read it.  I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife so much that even the possibility that this might not live up to it froze my hand as I went to open it.  Is this a common phenomenon or am I just being neurotic?  (Or, as The Bears would say, even more neurotic than usual!)

Talking of Bears, I have to tell you that I was driving back from Kidderminster on Friday afternoon when I passed a motorcyclist going the other way who had (and I kid you not) a life-sized Teddy Bear strapped to his waist and sitting on the pillion seat behind him.   If only I could have got a picture.  Mind you, my Bears did not approve when I told them about it; the Bear was not wearing a crash helmet.

Off now to do some visiting while I still have a connection.

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Published in: on October 11, 2009 at 9:18 am  Comments (14)  

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  1. I’ve recently read Her Fearful Symmetry, it is good but not quite as good as The Time Traveller’s Wife. You know know the whole intense build up towards the end of Time Traveller where you know something awful is going to happen, although there is also a build up of events towards the end of Her Fearful Symmetry, it’s not quite as intense, that’s the only real difference. Otherwise it’s a good book and I found it interesting how my loyalties towards the characters shifted throughout the book. And as someone who has visited Highgate Cemmetry and was completely blown over how beautiful the place was, it was lovely reading a book where it features so predominately.

  2. I often hesitate or take my time in reading a second book by an author whose work I had really enjoyed on a first encounter. Maybe it is fear it will not live up to my hopes or maybe it is in part savoring the anticipation of the reading of the new book.

    Sorry you are server problems-I know it can make you feel cut off from the world.

  3. Am I the only person who did not love The Time Traveler’s Wife? It irritated me although I thought it was clever. Maybe I was feeling grumpy when I read it!

    My bears are tiny bears – they would be scared of a really big bear!

    One of the things that bothers me about moving house is the internet connection – some places are not as good as others. I hope you get yours sorted out soon – very soon!

  4. Oh the pesky internet! Catching up here, Ann, after flu and the start of term. Glad you enjoyed Louise Penny – I have the third book in the series to read, which I found for a penny (very appropriate!) on the internet. And it IS difficult to approach a book when the first volume by that author might have set up tremendous expectations. But as I get older, I get more and more interested in the emotional patterns that structure life. To have big expectations that are hard to bear in case they are unfulfilled, well, that strikes me as a wonderful little insight into one’s emotional climate that might well extend beyond the realm of reading. Perhaps not, of course, it might be isolated, but reading teaches us so much about ourselves in so many ways and I’m always grateful to learn in its gentle context!

  5. Lacer, I have a friend at this end who loves Highgate cemetery as well. She’s a librarian and when we were all reading Tracy Chevalier’s Falling Angels she did a display in the library of the photos she’d taken there.

    Mel, I’m sure you’re right, there is a blend between the two emotions isn’t there? And yes, I feel totally isolated without my server. Ten years ago I lived perfectly well without one but now!!

    BP, it always encourages me when I come across someone who hasn’t loved a book that everyone else did. It means I don’t have to feel so bad when I’m in the same position. In theory there shouldn’t be an internet problem here. I think it’s my hub, but I may be being optimistic because that would be much easier to put right than hiving to have a re-wiring job done.

    Litlove, sorry about the flu? Are you well recovered? Did you see that they are suggesting that they have found the cause of ME? It would be great if that’s the case as then there might be a hope of sorting out how to treat it. I hear what you’re saying about the links between our attitude to books and to life, but I’m not sure what you’re suggesting. I don’t think it’s a compliment, is it?

  6. I think I might be the only person left not to have read Audrey Niffenegger’s first book yet, so I have no expectations at all. As a matter of fact I had not even thought of picking this one up until it came recommended from a few other bloggers. I do know what you mean though about loving a book so much you are afraid to read another by the same author! I look forward to your thoughts. Hope your internet problems are solved soon!

  7. I did hear about the likely cause of ME – it IS such good news! Oh and don’t for a second think that what I put wasn’t a compliment. It wasn’t supposed to have any particular bias. I just think that how we respond to books tells us something interesting about our characters and every single quality we have can be put to use in both helpful and unhelpful ways. I know that for me, anticipation is the obstacle I have to overcome because I spend much of my emotional energy on it. It means I’m very prepared for most things (which is good) but it also means I can think myself into negative spirals and experience much dread and anxiety when they are entirely unnecessary. It struck me that your own relationship to anticipiation might be significant, but I couldn’t speculate on how, exactly, because I wouldn’t know. So I wanted to suggest it was a point of inquiry but without going any further than that – ah another comment of mine that’s clear as mud! 😉

  8. Hope your internet problems are resolved soon. We just dealt with that a couple of weeks ago, so the memory the frustration is fresh in my mind! Her Fearful Symmetry does sound scary…I will read it, but may wait for the paperback edition.

  9. I haven’t read The Time Traveler’s Wife, although many people have suggested it. I’ll wait and see what you think of the new one and then decide where to start!

  10. Well, read on…though the reviews I’ve read are mixed, I look forward to yours. I listened to TTW and thought it really good, though I got impatient near the end when everything started falling apart for Henry. I thought the premise was terrific and Niffenegger did good by it. Not so sure about the twin premise–less inspired, but I’ll reserve judgement for awhile yet.

    My dad has two bears that sit in my parents’ living room and keep them company–Boris (as in Godunov) and Aloysis (as in Brideshead Revisited). Boris wears a tie, but Aloysis is less formal. Too bad you weren’t able to get a photo of the bears out for a ride on the motorcycle.

  11. Danielle, I really recommend ‘The Time Travelers Wife’. People who I would normally have expected to dislike it loved it.

    Litlove, don’t worry, I’m having a negative time at the moment and mis-reading everything.

    JoAnn, I’m not usually up for a ghost story, which is probably one reason I’m a bit apprehensive.

    Verbivore, I’m amazed you’ve got time to read at all at the moment. The baby must be very good.

    Jane, we have an Aloysius Bear as well. He is sending is love to your parents’ Bear even as I type.

  12. I’m sorry about the internet trouble! I don’t freeze up quite like you describe, but I do hate the feeling of worry that I might be disappointed, and I hate it when I’ve read and loved what everyone considers to be the best books by an author. When all I have left is the (potentially) second-rate, it’s really awful. It was a sad day when I finally got around to reading Northanger Abbey, because it meant there were no more major Austen novels to read. Sigh.

  13. Dorothy, one of the things I hate most in life is finding a writer and then discovering that there is no more to come. I think this is a fairly common feeling and is one of the reasons that the hunt for Shakespeare’s Cardenio is so avid.

  14. I’ll be interested to read your review of Her Fearful Symmetry. I really liked it, though not as well as TTTW. But for me it wasn’t a huge let down!


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