At the pool: Approximation of a playlist §58

27 10 2011

Songs referencing swimming, pools etc

Sex Bomb – Mousse T. and Tom Jones
Suzie Q – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Last nite – The Strokes

The Changingman – Paul Weller
Splish Splash – Bobby Darin
Pretty Butterfly – Andy Williams
Give Me Just A Little More Time – Chairmen Of The Board
Love On Your Side – Thompson Twins
Everybody’s changing – Keane
Water On Glass – Kim Wilde
Infinity – The XX
Slowdive – Siouxsie and the Banshees
Nightswimming – REM
Twisting By The Pool – Dire Straits
Slip Slidin’ Away – Paul Simon

Proper little Madame

20 10 2011

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert



Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent reader of sentimental novels, she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance, in voracious spending and, eventually, in adultery. But even her affairs bring her disappointment and the consequences are devastating. Flaubert’s erotically charged and psychologically acute portrayal of Emma Bovary caused a moral outcry on its publication in 1857. It was deemed so lifelike that many women claimed they were the model for his heroine; but Flaubert insisted: ‘Madame Bovary, c’est moi’.

The consequences are indeed devastating. Bovary is a fascinating character and it really is a tremendous novel and quite compelling. Slightly embarrassed that I started and gave up on this many years ago and have only now come back to. Highly recommended (especially if, like me, you failed to read it years ago).

No history lesson

13 10 2011

Zero History by William Gibson



Former rock singer Hollis Henry has lost a lot of money in the crash, which means she can’t turn down the offer of a job from Hubertus Bigend, sinister Belgian proprietor of mysterious ad agency Blue Ant. Milgrim is working for Bigend too. Bigend admires the ex-addict’s linguistic skills and street knowledge so much that he’s even paid for his costly rehab. So together Hollis and Milgrim are at the front line of Bigend’s attempts to get a slice of the military budget, and they gradually realize he has some very dangerous competitors. Which is not a great thought when you don’t much trust your boss either.Gibson’s new novel, set largely in London, spookily captures the paranoia and fear of our post-Crash times.

via Zero History eBook: William Gibson: Kindle Store.

First Gibson novel I’ve read and unfortunately I’m left rather disappointed. It’s all quite clever and mildly diverting in a high tech thriller kind of way. But I just found it really difficult to care very much about any of the characters and, ultimately, it all felt a bit shallow and superficial.

Missing you

6 10 2011

Missing by Karin Alvtegen


Can murder and mercy go hand in hand? In The Grand Hotel, a homeless woman charms a businessman into paying for dinner and a room. When his dead body is discovered the following morning she becomes the prime suspect. When a second person is killed in similar circumstances, Sybilla, having left her comfortable middle-class upbringing for the anonymity of the streets, becomes the most wanted person in Sweden . . . Missing is a gripping, multi-faceted thriller; more than a murder-hunt, it is also something more profound : an individual’s journey to self-awareness and hope.

OK, it is a bit more profound than just a murder hunt but let’s not go overboard here. Still Alvtegen is an accomplished writer (with a decent translator) and this a pretty good read. Quite compelling stuff and well worth a go.

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