Café Conversation ~ August 25th

Well, that’s the Summer School over for another year.  In some ways I think it was probably the best ever, although it was also the most tiring ever too.  When I came home on Friday evening I was more exhausted than I can remember being in a long time.  Fortunately, I now have a week with almost nothing in the diary, by accident rather than intent, so I can put my feet up and for the first few days, at least, read what I want to rather than what I need to.  I do have a book group meeting to prepare for a week on Monday, but it’s a re-read and I’m not leading the discussion so a quick skim will probably suffice.

I think the reason the Summer School went so well this year was because both the subjects and the themes that the books dealt with were all so closely integrated. Some years the novels have been much more loosely linked, say with just the setting being the same, but the three texts we discussed this year were all to do with the victims of war, justice and narrative truth and so by Friday we were tossing around ideas that came from all of them and conversation got very deep indeed.  It’s going to be a hard act to follow next year.

Now I’m looking forward to getting back to reading through the pile of books that have amassed while I’ve been so singularly focused.  Each of the Summer School novels was part of a series and so I felt obliged to read much more widely than usual in order to be able to fill in necessary background.  I don’t seem to have had a free choice of what I picked up since the middle of July.  I had a trip to Oxford (for Oxford read Blackwells) a couple of weeks ago and came back with Anna Hope’s Expectation and Naomi Wood’s The Hiding Game, so both of those are near the top of the list.  I also have a copy of the new Louise Penny Gamache novel, A Better Man, from which, very resolutely, I have been turning my eyes for the past three weeks.  Such fortitude deserves to be rewarded, so I shall probably start there.

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12 thoughts on “Café Conversation ~ August 25th

  1. A Life in Books August 25, 2019 / 1:20 pm

    I’m glad to hear the summer school was such a success. That kind of tiredness is often quite satisfying, I think. Hope you enjoy both the Hope and the Wood as much as I did.

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  2. Kat August 25, 2019 / 3:13 pm

    I always love to hear about your summer school. A lot of work for you, but well worth while. Glad you’re having a chance to take some time off, though. I’m looking forward to the new Louise Penny, too!

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    • Café Society August 26, 2019 / 12:35 pm

      I’m half way through Kat and it isn’t disappointing.

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  3. Jeanne August 25, 2019 / 9:39 pm

    I am in awe of your fortitude. I usually start reading three books at once when in that situation.

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    • Café Society August 26, 2019 / 12:37 pm

      I’ve never been someone who had two or three books on the go at once, Jeanne. Being a Bear of very little brain, I can’t keep more than one storyline in my mind at the same time.

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  4. heavenali August 26, 2019 / 11:39 am

    So glad to hear your summer school was such a success. I keep hearing and reading about the Naomi Wood, it’s one I might be interested in. You have been definitely earned a restful week.

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    • Café Society August 26, 2019 / 12:37 pm

      For once I am just so glad I don’t have to look forward to a new term starting next week, Ali. I hope yours goes well.

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  5. Liz August 28, 2019 / 8:20 am

    Congratulations on a successful week – I hope you have had a well-earned rest in the last couple of days. I am still working my way through the Brodrick so it is a good job I joined you only virtually. It’s a great story, but I find his writing style very spiky and rather difficult to follow at times, so my reading pace is very much below average. It is a testament to the power of the story that I am determined to keep reading, and to finish the other two, plus the Marks!

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    • Café Society August 28, 2019 / 8:26 am

      You will find the other two and the Marks ‘easier’ reads Liz. I know what you mean about Brodrick’s style and yet the moment I move from one of his books to someone else’s work I have the feeling that, whoever it is, I am dealing with a lesser writer.

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