Posts Tagged ‘Guido Brunetti’

What books are next to your bed?

October 30, 2008

I found this set of questions on Sheila’s blog.

What was the last book you bought?

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Russian: Один день Ивана Денисовича Odin den’ Ivana Denisovicha) – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.  We are reading it in book club this month and I need to finish it by Tuesday night.  I am well known for not finishing book club books.  I get to choose the book we read next.  Any recommendations?

Name a book you have read MORE than once.

The Bible.  I generally don’t reread fiction (unlike MissN who rereads everything – which makes buying books for her a pleasure as I know she will have endless hours of pleasure and that my money has been well spent.  She is currently reading LOTR for the fourth sixth time.)

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?

What’s so Amazing about Grace by Phillip Yancey.  I was a very new Christian.  Wow.

How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews

Generally from recommendations or reviews.

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

I read more fiction but enjoy non-fiction too.  I read travel books, memoirs, biography.

What’s more important in a novel – beautiful writing or a gripping plot?

That’s sort of an either/or question. I prefer both/and.

Most loved/memorable character

Commissario Guido Brunetti – the hero of Donna Leon’s Venice crime novels.  I could fall in love with Guido!

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?

I finished The Shack by William P. Young this morning.  It was profound,  Flawed but powerful and moving. Now I can read John Mark Hicks’ blogposts on it!  Readers in the USA can order a free copy of The Shack here. I know the 2 friends I ordered it for were blessed by it, and they in turn have blessed others with it.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?

Many times. One book I tried to read so many times (it went on every holiday I went on for at least 5 years) was Peter Carey’s Oscar and Lucinda, which C gave me for Christmas the year it was published (1988 I think). I got halfway quite a few times but could NOT finish it. Now I have enjoyed the movie and won’t ever attempt to read it again. I was relieved when I met others who had the same problem with O&L!

Which book or books can be found on your bedside table at the moment?

ESV New Testament
Wilful Behaviour – Donna Leon (I have just 2 Brunetti novels to read after this – her 2 newest.)
Five Quarters of an Orange – Joanne Harris (borrowed from a friend at least 2 years ago)
A Bunch of EverlastingsF. W. Boreham (my Boreham collection is growing)
The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook – Ian Brodie
A Gathered PeopleJohn Mark Hicks, Johnny Melton & Bobby Valentine (we started discussing it in a Yahoo group I am in)
TNIV Bible Experience
The Scandal of the Season – Sophie Gee (one of my Christmas presents – haven’t begun it yet)

On the floor, next to my bedside table are:

The Gathering – Anne Enright (book club several months ago – I got to page 142)
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini (I gave it to C for Christmas because I knew I would enjoy it too – haven’t begun it yet. He enjoyed it.)
Cover to Cover – Through the Bible as it Happened (I need to pack this away – have tried using it twice but it’s too “bitty” – jumps around too much)
An Omelette and a Glass of Wine – Elizabeth David (now back in my cookbook bookcase – I did pack something away!) Elizabeth David is a favourite.  I have most of her books.
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth (a signed copy I bought in 1994 when I heard him speak at Writer’s Choice at Sydney Uni – I keep intending to read it.  I took it on holiday in December.  I think I need to pack it away! Or maybe just leave it out to take on holiday this December!)

There is also a (neat) pile of magazines but let’s not go there.
Or mention the books IN the bedside cabinet.

What books are next to YOUR bed?

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Ruby Tuesday #2 – Venezia

August 12, 2008

Today is Ruby Tuesday, which is hosted here and involves posting a photo of your own which features red.


Red is not a colour one normally associates with Venice…

laundry Venetian style

laundry Venetian style

This photo, taken somewhere in Cannaregio, evokes the wonderful few days we had in Venice on our last trip to Europe in 2006. We stayed in the most wonderful hotel, Locanda Orseolo, with the nicest people. We ate marvellously (not easy in Venice but we had the best recommendations from the Orseolo family – they would ask us what kind of dinner we would like, recommend a place, then call and book it for us, draw us a map…), saw some wonderful art (Titian’s Assumption in the Frari is one of my favourite works of art. I hope to see it again someday, along with the Bellini’s.  It was as good as I had remembered it from 1993.) We visited too many churches (according to MissN), but mainly just strolled the calle off the main tourist routes, had cafe in the campi, took photographs and enjoyed what someone we met on our first visit to Venice called “Disneyland for adults”.

I can’t finish a post about Venice without mentioning the books of Donna Leon.  (Thanks to my sister for recommending them to me).  I have read all but 2 of them.  Leon writes crime/mystery novels set in Venice, but that reduces to them to a genre where they don’t quite fit.  Her “hero” is Commissario Guido Brunetti who reads philosophy and ancient history for relaxation, can be described as “complex, moral, gracious, and fiercely loyal” and comes home to the smell of squid ink risotto or some other Venetian dish cooked by his university professor wife and worries about his children.  Guido and Paola have some interesting spiritual discussions.   This is a good introduction to the Brunetti novels. One can even do Brunetti tours of Venice!  I read each Brunetti novel with a map of Venice handy.

Ciao!