Here’s a round-up of my latest reads….
‘Night’ by Elie Wiesel (Penguin edition, translated from the French by Elie’s wife)
Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, this book by the Auschwitz survivor is on many reading lists in schools in the US – I’m not sure if that is the case in the UK, but in my view it ought to be right up there with Anne Frank’s diary. Written just after the war (and thereafter edited down to a shorter book) it is a powerful account and serves as exactly that.
‘The Grass is Singing’ by Doris Lessing
Rhodesia in the late 40s, a failing white farmer, colonial rule and attitudes. This was Lessing’s first novel and at one level – the portrayal of colonial attitudes – it still works today, reminding us of what it was like just a couple of generations ago. In other respects it didn’t quite work for me – the drawing of Mary (protagonist) was just too odd, though well observed.
‘The Wayward Bus’ by John Steinbeck
Chap in the bookshop told me that several local book groups were currently reading this. Well, I wonder what they thought? A disparate group of passengers arriving at a remote crossroads and gas station cum diner cum bus stop in California back when, serves as an ensemble for Steinbeck to explore lives, hopes, longings, and crises. Brilliantly observed, I enjoyed the book, although nowhere near as much as ‘Of Mice and Men’. I was left with the feeling that there was more to be told.