Monday, August 19, 2013

What Did You Read On The Beach?

Or what are you planning to read if you haven't had your vacation yet?  Perhaps I should ask some of you what you would read if you ever had time off for it.  Sigh.

This is supposed to be a jolly and light-footed post.  That could describe most of my summer reading, except that it doesn't.  For instance, I read the Detective Novel With The Most Miserable Atmosphere Evah, which is Henning Manckell's  The Troubled Man.  If your most fervent desire in life is to get terminally depressed over looming  old age (and it will loom for all of us lucky enough), have a nice long wallow in that book.

While still on the Nordic gloomy side, Camilla L√§ckberg's The Stonecutter is a little less depressive.  It's also a good mystery.

I also re-read Martial's Epigrams.  It's hard to tell if his thinking was advanced for 80 C.E. or so.  That was an era when Romans had slaves and had the right to treat them as they wished.  Women's rights were severely limited and social class differences were huge.

But there are aspects of his writings which sound utterly modern to me.  That's not the case with the somewhat later New Testament, for instance.  I'm not sure what that might mean if anything.

At places Martial's more obscene epigrams sound like lot of the stuff on today's  Internet, by the way.

I also read a few history books, including a book about women during Renaissance and stuff about World War II.

The hotchpotch aspect of this list is because I didn't choose these books or buy them but read whatever happened to be available wherever I happened to be at some particular need-to-read time.

The stilted writing is because I seem to have aimed at the proverbial what-I-did-during-my-summer-vacation children's essay.