Monday, 28 November 2011

Back to the Books

After a break from blogging of 2 weeks, I've recently finished my latest round of reporting - completing over 200 reports and the marking and comments that accompany all that, along with the writing, checking and editing - so I now find myself retuning to some books that have been on hold and make mention of some that have vanished off the shelf and have been replaced by others.

I finished reading the Thames and Hudson Dali, a small paperback version which proved to be a major disappointment.  Initially it read well, with good background info on Dali's childhood and student days, but quickly descended into a laborious series of quotes from letters and journals with little insight into the artist's sense of vision. Illustrations were good and included some I had not seen before, but the book very quickly glossed over the last 40 years of Dali's life and I could not recommend it.

I've replaced it with a recently purchased version of Taschen's Dali which seems to have greater integrity and I hold out more hope from it. The Taschen series have been excellent with the ones I have purchased and although only $20-$25, they offer great value. If its anything like the Taschen book on Rothko I read last year, I'll be more than pleased.

Of course, now the administrative side of teaching is out of the way (more or less) I'm hoping to relax with some reading that provides pure entertainment... so who could be better than the Grand Master of the crime caper, Donald E Westlake?

Watch Your Back has been sitting on my shelf for about a year and this week I've dusted off the cover and started on the latest John Dortmunder crime caper. All the old friends are there and Westlake's writing has improved with age. It's a great shame he is no longer with us, but he has left behind a wonderful body of work under his own name as well as the Parker series under his pseudonym Richard Stark. I read Westlake for two things only : great plots and laughs. This one is shaping up quite nicely and all going well I should polish it off in the next few days. Keep your eye on the blog for a fuller review.

Burn brightly, Pete.

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