søndag 15. juni 2008

A House in Fez

Travel books are always on top of my reading list, and one genre of travels books is books written by people who have followed the adventurous road to a house or a place in another country. For me it started with Frances Mayes and her Tuscany home, books I read over and over again, and from there I have been to quite alot of new countries and places.
The latest bud on the rosebush (for me) is Suzanna Clarke's A House in Fez. Quite interesting, though by no means it can be compared to Mayes and her writing. Here we meet Suzanna and her partner, and Australien couple who fall in love with Morocco and the old town Fez, and end up buying an old house which is in need of total renovation. Too much of the story is about problems with Moroccan bureacracy, all seen through a pair of modern, western eyes. We do get to know a little about the history and traditions of Fez, and that's what made me finish to the last page.
The book is now in my basket of books to give away. Anyone interested?

søndag 1. juni 2008

Another Persephone

Some time ago I discovered by chance the Persephone books and I ordered the two first one, i.e. no 2 and no3 (the first one seems to be out of print). I read no 2, Mariana by Monica Dickens right away and also planned to read no3, Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple. But my pile of book is high, I always buy new ones and I always want to reread old favorites, so somehow Persephone hid herself. Untill a couple of weeks ago that is. I was tidying my studio, and there, on a hidden shelf it suddenly smiled to me. And as soon as I started to book I put all others away. Not that Someone at a Distance is the best story I've read, far from, but Whipple's reading has its own charm which made me read the story right through, I had to know what happend to Ellen and Avery, their children and Louise, the French temptation.
First published in 1953 this is a story which could never been told today, never been lived today. Alot happens in 50 years, and we tend to forget our past, or rather the past of our parents and grandparents, but by remembering I believe we make our lives richer.
My next step now will be to order more Persephone books. They are good.