The bookstore recently received the Penguin Great Loves series: 20 titles -- novellas, excerpts or short stories by famous authors that centre on love. You have Thomas Hardy, Anais Nin, D.H. Lawrence, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov -- and surprise, surprise, Sigmund Freud.
I was attracted to the covers, but will probably pass on most of them. I would prefer the story in its entirety, rather than the excerpts packaged with a pretty cover. I'm picking up two of the Russian novellas for my A Year of Russian Reading challenge next year though.
Incidentally, while I was picking through the titles on what to buy, Boo came along and picked out Stendhal's Cures for Love. She waved it at me, and remarked how it reminded her of blood cultures or something you find under the micro-scope.
I was highly amused, especially with the title -- Cures For Love.
"Do you think we can be innoculated?" I asked. Falling in love has caused me a few unpleasant pains through the years. Somehow an innoculation against love seems like a good idea.
Boo and I chortled. The truth is, neither of us are the cynics that we would like people to believe. Only someone who believes in idealised love can grow cynical about love; it's impossible to disappoint someone who never had hope in the first place.
And a collection of great love stories is a dangerous collection indeed, for failed romantics like myself (or Boo.)
So, I'm a sucker for the Penguin Great Loves afterall. I'm picking up two of the titles, which I will purchase when I receive my next paycheck. (When one has limited income, one has to stagger the purchases, and try to keep below the budget -- in case of any last minute expenses.) Just for fun, these are the books I have lined up for purchase for the month of September:
- First Love (Penguin Great Loves)
By Ivan Turgenev
Translated by Isaiah Berlin
- The Kreutzer Sonata (Penguin Great Loves)
By Leo Tolstoy
Translated by David McDuff
- The Summer in Paris
By Abha Dawesar
- The Book of Air and Shadows
By Michael Gruber
- Three Bags Full
By Leonie Swann
I read Abha Dawesar's debut novel, Babyji last year and I found a smart young writer whose wit sparkled on the page. I had my eye on this book when it first came out in hardcover last year. I wanted to see if she has developed as a writer since Babyji. Now, it's finally available in a more affordable paperback.
I've read some of Michael Gruber's earlier supernatural thriller. He's good at creating suspense and developing some really memorable characters. Book of Air and Shadows is a conspiracy thriller about a possible lost Shakespearean manuscript.
This one is really fun: A shepherd is murdered and his sheep -- these are intelligent sheep, mind you. One of them is even named Miss Maple (get it?) -- set out to solve his murder. Everything through the point-of-view of the sheep. It's so absurd I need to read it.