Thursday, 18 December 2014

A Massive Tome and a Very Funny Book

The daily Penguin challenge is heading along nicely. Two days closer to Christmas.
Days 17 and 18 are coming up now.

Day 17:  Funny book- When I think about it I don't read a lot of funny books. Maybe I should what with the recent news of the world being so depressing. We need something to take ourselves out of daily life in the world.

I have two books that recently made me laugh out loud. The first was Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. I didn't think I would enjoy it but I certainly did.  The characters were quirky, I cared about them and I always wondered what was going to happen next. It was a laugh out loud at times funny book.

The second was a Bill Bryson memoir The Lost Continent-Travels in Small Time America. Some of his memories were pure hilarity. He was remembering visiting his grandparents in Iowa when he was young. He and his older brother explored a house they believed to be haunted across the street. His brother often set him up and this was no exception. He talks about creeping up the stairs of this old, decrepit house and his brother is at the top of the stairs. Suddenly his brother yells out "Here he comes!" and begins running back the way he came.....down the stairs. Bill Bryson said as a 4 year old he ran sprinting down the stairs as fast as he could go, squirting urine at every step.  I read this about two o'clock in the morning and started laughing so hard I couldn't stop.  The image in my mind was incredibly visual and it struck me as very funny.

Day 18: Massive tome- Well there are two of these that come to mind. One I have read and one is on my TBR pile.  The one I read was Middlemarch by George Elliot that I really loved. I would like to read this again.

The one I have not read and has been on my TBR  pile for my entire life is Andersonville by McKinlay Kantor. It is the story of the American civil war and the Andersonville prison in Georgia.  I have visited this site and found thoughts of it to be quite disconcerting.  I have always wanted to read this book but did not have a copy of it. Then one day I was foraging around in the tip shop for old Penguin books when I found a battered old hardcover copy. I picked it up to see what the name of it was and found I was holding an old copy of Andersonville. Of course I brought it home. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1956. Maybe 2015 is the year it gets read.

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