I made the (understandable) mistake of assuming that the weather would be atrocious as usual and therefore did not give much thought to packing some decent reading material before we left. The result was that I:-
1. Finished 'Any Human Heart' by William Boyd.
2. Read 'Case Histories' by Kate Atkinson
3. Read Irish versions of the Sunday papers, Times, Observer and Telegraph
4. Read Colm Toibin in LRB on Catholic Church
From this I have learnt that William Boyd is very clever and book clubbers, sorry I missed the discussion on this because I can now see that it would have been interesting.
Case Histories was a find because it's good of course but also it's the first of a series involving Jackson Brodie, private investigator. I love it when I discover something I like and that there's more to come. I suspect that the author has constructed Brodie as a sort of fantasy ideal man but what's also interesting about that is that the stories are about to be filmed, and Jason Isaacs has been cast in the lead role. Okay, he's easy on the eye but there's always a difficulty when a prose character becomes alive on screen. I suppose we'll have to wait and see and in the meantime, I can now look forward to 2 more books in the series!
Irish papers and radio so far as I could tell, were full of stories of petty and not so petty political corruption - no change there then. As long as I have been aware of Irish politics, there was always a whiff or stench from Dublin. What's different about the stories last week was the fact that corruption had been uncovered in local councils up and down the country. Certainly no poverty of ambition on the part of those involved, in the scale of what passed for political favours.
Finally Colm Toibin on the Pope wearing Prada - that's not a joke, he actually does. Read it on the ferry coming back so technically still part of the holiday and it did take my mind off the crossing. CT carries on the debate that Andrew Sullivan and others have been having for some time now about the complicity of the Church (ie the institution) in the abuse scandals which seem to be never-ending not least because of the Church's badly botched PR operation. Beautifully written piece whatever about the subject matter.
Pretty heavy going really. I need something human and lighter over the next couple of weeks - must find the new Barbara Trapido or maybe Anne Tyler. Will keep you posted.