Sunday, April 08, 2012

The Prophet's Camel Bell

Not every second hand store has a book section quite as organized as the one at the MCC Thrift Centre in New Hamburg.  During last weekend's shopping adventure there, I came across a box of about 20 New Canadian Library books.  What I wanted to do was buy the whole box, despite the fact that I already have many of the titles sitting on my bookshelf.  The new covers are just so appealing!

The New Canadian Library (NCL) has been around since 1958.  It's a collection of the classics of Canadian Literature.  I like how all the books are the same size and style, so they fit together so nicely on my bookshelves.  However, the publisher keeps re-releasing the library with a new set of covers, so I have several mini-collections.  I know you can't judge a book by its cover, but I think you can justify having several versions of the same book on your shelf just because the covers are a little different.

I finally settled on four titles (but it was a complete exercise in restraint):
NCL editions, from oldest to newest.

Today, I started in on The Prophet's Camel Bell.  I actually read the first two chapters aloud to Dan while he did the dishes.  (I think I got the better end of that deal, but he says he likes hearing me read.)  Since it's a mix of Margaret Laurence's commentary on human nature (my love) and travel narrative (his), it was an enjoyable read for both of us.

Started: Sunday, April 8, with a mug of home-brewed coffee in hand (we will not buy Our Compliments Espresso again!)
Finished: in progress...

Manga Shakespeare - King Lear

After finishing, Fool, I looked up and saw a graphic novel version of King Lear on the shelf right above me.  This was a Christmas gift I gave to Dan this past December.  He's becoming a big fan of graphic novels; I enjoy them, but I feel that they flash by too quickly.  I need more words to help me slow down and savour the story.

This version of Lear has its appeal, though.  It relies solely on actual language from the most widely known version of Shakespeare's play.  Where it takes its departure is in the setting: this version is set in early days of colonization in America.

This would be a great text to read in parallel with the "original" (I use "original" for lack of a better word, because the version usually used is a conflation of two scripts).  I can see how the visuals would help a student better understand what was happening in the script version, but I can also see how the manga version on its own could be a little tricky to follow.

Started: Saturday, April 7th at Balzac's in Kitchener.  
Finished: Presumably later today. 

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Fool by Christopher Moore

Bawdy, bawdy, bawdy, bawdy, bawdy.  And hilarious.  Rather than reading one of the many "unreads" on my shelf this weekend, I went to the thrift store and The Book Vault and added several to my collection.  This was one of them.  I have seen Christopher Moore's books around all over the place, but I assumed they were all vampire novels.  Guess I'd never seen this one before!

Fool is a retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear from the perspective of Lear's fool (jester), Pocket.

Started: Saturday, March 31 at Balzac's in Stratford.
Finished: Saturday, April 7.  Ah, Easter long weekend: long stretches of time to lounge on the couch with a book.