Books, life the universe

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Books read and reading

Lucy Kellaway's In Office Hours should be read by anyone who works, or has worked in an office. It is about two women at opposite ends of the office hierarchy at Atlantic Energy. Both for reasons, which are not always clear even to them, embark on affairs with colleagues. The reader knows at the start of the book that both affairs are over and both women no longer work for Atlantic Energy. The story is about how the affairs themselves and how they ended. Office life is well described and the intensity an affair gives to life in general. Stella - high flying economist - muses at one point that she has paid far less attention to her work than she has ever done and yet that is the time she is promoted. I chuckled over that because I could remember feeling exactly the same when I got promoted!

Mavis Cheek's Truth to Tell is a little different from some of her previous work. I've read all of her novels but did not enjoy Patrick Parker's Progress or Yesterday's Houses but this latest one is a return to her earlier form I thought. I read it in two evenings and really enjoyed. Nina decides to tell the truth at all times and as a result her husband Robert goes on a team building event on his own in Florida where she would normally go with him. Nina soon finds that always telling the truth turns everything in her life upside down. The story that follows, narrated by Nina, is amusing and well written with many literary allusions. I enjoyed it especially as the heroine was middle aged rather than in her twenties and her children are almost grown up.

I'm currently listening to Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey read by Juliet Stevenson which is really good as she brings all the characters to life. I'm really into complete novels as audio books and have just replaced by abridged version of Sense and Sensibility with a complete version. I am also reading Mansfield Park.

I'm just about to start reading Christobel Kent's A Fine and Private Place which is her latest book featuring her PI - Sandro Cellini - and set in Florence.

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