enchant me please

I've been searching for some enchantment, a.k.a. I've been wanting some new books. I did manage to snag Salman Rushdie's new novel, The Enchantress of Florence today along with a copy of Jeanette Winterson's The Passion (which by the way according to the author's website Miramax just bought the rights to and Gwyneth Paltrow and Juliette Binoche have signed). But before I can get any more new books I seriously need to finish everything listed to the right save for I, Robot and Timbuktu, those are checked out from the uni and aren't due till July. I actually need to read all those books if possible by the end of next week, because if all goes well I'm supposed to be leaving for London next Saturday but am definitely leaving for Rhodes the following Wednesday. I'd like to get caught up on my reviews too before I leave... lots to do!

But first, back to that book coveting...

  • I've never read anything by Rushdie before, but the bright cover of The Enchantress of Florence caught my eye in the bookstore last week. And upon reading the description on the inside flap I knew that I had to get my hands on it. So here's hoping it's good!

  • Danielle's review of Ice Land has convinced me that I must too read this book and I'd really like to check out the author's other novel, The Bounce which has been described as a book about "lion-taming, cross-dressing, lost mothers and lost innocence set in the glamourous and squalid world of the Victorian circus" and it's supposed to be spine-tingling!

  • As some of you know I absolutely loved G.W. Dahlquist's The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters (see my review) and the sequel, The Dark Volume was released today! Unfortunately the library copies are still on order and the chances of me getting my hands on one, as only 3 have been ordered, and reading it before next week are quite slim. But it'll give me something to look forward to when I return.

  • Karen Maitland's Company of Liars has been described by the Daily Express as "A richly evocative page-turner which brings to life a lost and terrible period of British history, with a disturbing final twist worthy of a master of the spine-tingler, such as Henry James". I believe it's supposed to be about the plague. I quite like the cover as well, not that I'm judging based on that or anything.

    There are many others which hopefully will be read all in good time. Something else I've been thinking a lot about is Paris. Not just because I recently finished Les Misérables but because there's just so much I want to see there. So many things to do, like sit at the little café next to Notre Dame and read Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Could you imagine? Sitting there sipping a latté reading The Hunchback in the shadows of Notre Dame? And then entering the cathedral and climbing to the top to look out over Paris? I've got a copy of the book, I just need tickets... and I'm seriously thinking about going before I leave. I actually took the picture featured at the beginning of this post from the top of Notre Dame when I was there in 2005. Unfortunately it's the only one I have at the moment, I found it floating around my flickr page, must have been going to use it as a headliner for my blog at one point. The hundreds of other photos I took are on a disc at home.

    I'd like to spend a good week there, visiting the Louvre. On my previous visit half the Egyptology exhibit was closed so that right there is a major reason to return. I want to read in the Jardin du Luxembourg, walk along the Champs-Élysées, return to Père Lachaise and visit all those graves I managed to miss the first time. Can you believe it I did not kiss the tombstone of Oscar Wilde? But not to worry I'll pack my brightest red lipstick and see that the deed is done. Though I did pay my respects to Jean-François Champollion, the man who translated the Rosetta Stone and thus led to the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs. I never did to make it out to Versailles and I so wanted to and I also managed to miss the Panthéon where Voltiare, Rousseau, Emilé Zola, Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas lie among many others.

    Thinking about Paris, makes me think of what other books I might like to read while there. Perhaps Henry Miller's scandalous Tropic of Cancer which was banned both in the UK and the US for 30 years after its publication. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice, Michael Musmanno wrote, "Cancer is not a book. It is a cesspool, an open sewer, a pit of putrefaction, a slimy gathering of all that is rotten in the debris of human depravity". Hmmmm... could be fun, no?

    . listening . if you were there, beware . arctic monkeys . favourite worst nightmare .

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    posted by Ashleigh @ 12:33,


    At 1 May 2008 at 17:59, Blogger Danielle said...

    That's a great photo--but then I'm not sure it's possible to take a bad photo when the Paris skyline is the subject. When I went to Pere Lachaise the only grave I visited was that of Jim Morrison--it was a phase I was going through! To think of all the literary places in Europe I missed! My library doesn't have Bounced so I will have to look for a used copy--now I have to check out the other books you mention.

    At 3 May 2008 at 12:31, Blogger Heather said...

    I've only read one Rushdie...Haroun and the Sea of Stories. It's more of a children's story, but it's excellent. I have not yet read any of his other books...although I do have Shalamar the Clown. (I think I spelled that right!) I love the cover of that book!

    That picture of Notre Dame is gorgeous. I love the gargoyle in the forefront.

    I'll have to get my hands on The Dark Volume! I remember we both loved Glas Books of the Dream Eaters. I'll be interested to see where he took those characters now. I'm sure it will be one wild ride!!

    I'm almost through the first book of Les Mis. It's just as good as I remember it, if not more! I read the abridged the first time, so I'm really enjoying the added depth in the whole one. I'm thinking of rereading Hunchback when I'm finished. I just love Hugo! And I'm totally jealous you've been to Paris. I would love to go there some day.


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  • random field notes

      ashleigh (ash'lė) n.
      1: egyptologist; currently living in the uk attempting to obtain a phd in egyptology, hoping in the end there will be a job.
      2: literary; reading to escape reality, to improve conversation, for inspiration.
      3: crafter; crocheting and needlework, creating heirlooms, keeping the world warm.
      4: dreamer; head in the clouds, full of fantasies, wishing to be someone else, somewhere else.
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