Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mind over...something

My ritual is in full progress and I am, as promised, making my way through Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World. After some very annoying new agey mumbo jumbo about ancient wisdom and everlasting happiness, the authors thankfully get down to business, and spend some time explaining the SCIENCE! of it all, which I did appreciate. Then they introduce chocolate. So far, so good?

The other book on the burner, going up in slow, licking flames, is Omweg naar Santiago, a lovely, slow book, full of obscure detail and warm prose. Spain twenty years ago - it is like a wormhole, but then I guess that all books are wormholes, so this one doubles up and removes one to another place entirely swiftly but gently, like the nurse at the end of The Streetcar Named Desire, it's here to take you away. You get to go home again only because Franco is dead and Nooteboom mild-mannered.

Cees Nooteboom, by the way, is the best living author writing in Dutch, and if you get half a chance - much of his work has been translated - you should stop for his books like you would stop for your first gothic cathedral on a trip through Europe. He has exceptional control of his language, and no one else that I've read can even approach his standard of travel writing.

Finally, there is the audiobook for Privilege of the Sword, with its Austen-meets-Wilde cynicism. I love how unpredictable she is, how she consistently refuses tropes. It makes for  pleasant change from the endless series of formula-bound fantasy books.

Not a bad little harvest from my combine of a reading mind.

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