Inspired by Dot Scribbles who has been posting regularly on the serialised version of Alexander McCall Smith’s The Dog That Came In From The Cold, I’ve started listing to the podcasts (or rather catching up!).
I thought I’d share a short snippet which made me giggle yesterday in which William, one of the residents of Corduroy Mansions is musing about a potential love interest – Angela, and whether her employer MI6 has a clear desk policy:
“He thought that they probably did; the sort of papers these people dealt with certainly could not be left lying about for the prying eyes of cleaners who might have been recruited by the other side. And it would be very easy, he reckoned, to recruit a cleaner; their weakness was tea, and they could doubtless be tempted by a large cup of Darjeeling …”
Chapter 4, The Dangers of Boeuf Stroganoff, The Dog Who Came In From The Cold, Alexander McCall Smith.
If you’re interested in listening to the Telegraph’s free podcasts like me or reading the daily chapters you can find them here.
This week my quotation comes from Plato’s Republic, which I am reading for a book group. I have to admit that I’m a bit daunted by all the philosophising, but I’m curious to give it a go and read the ideas. As I am only on the introduction right now, this quotation is completely random:
“It turns out, then, that people to whom intelligence and goodness are unfamiliar, whose only interest is self-indulgence and so on, spend their lives moving aimlessly to and fro between the bottom and the halfway point, which is as far as they reach. But they never travel any further towards the true heights: they’ve never even looked up there, let alone gone there; they aren’t really satisfied by anything real; they don’t experience steady, pure pleasure.”
Page 335, Plato, Republic (Oxford World’s Classics).
Have you read any philosophical writing? What do you think of the point made here?
“Here was all laughter and confusion. Here beautiful women, their hair dyed gorgeous colours, squashed soft, pale furs into golden chairs, bright lipsticked cigarettes into their mouths, and exhaled a heady perfume, while high above them the crystal chandeliers sparkled and tinkled in accompaniment.”
Page 37, The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy.
After getting thoroughly annoyed running around the shops at lunchtime trying to post a parcel and failing, I was cheered to see a parcel for me on my desk when I got back to work. Of course it was a book parcel and this time it was one that I ordered from a recommendation (thanks Homefrontgirl!) based on my glowing review of Neville Shute’s A Town Like Alice. I fancied reading more Shute and imagine my delight when the one that Homefrontgirl suggested, Requiem for a Wren was on eBay going cheap – a lovely 1956 copy with a pretty zodiac print cover:
So even though I haven’t started it yet, I thought I’d do my Tuesday Teaser from this one:
“I was intensly reluctant to open that case. To do so would clearly be an act in opposition to the dead girl’s earnest wish and one should respect the wishes of the dead.”
Page 47, Requiem for a Wren, Neville Shute.
I’m all intrigued now to find out what the case was and whether he did or not!
Has anyone else read Requiem for a Wren? What was your Tuesday Teaser?
“No matter what I’m asked to do, no matter what I’m ordered to do, all I can do is say yes, she realised. Miu gazed steadily at Sumire, still holding her hand. Sumire could make out clearly her own figure reflected inside Miu’s dark eyes. It looked to her like her own soul being sucked into the other side of a mirror. Sumire loved that vision, and at the same time it frightened her.”
Page 42, Sputnik Sweetheart, Haruki Murakami.
More Novel Insights Teaser Tuesdays: Armadale, Wilkie Collins (Classic Literature), Child 44, Tom Rob Smith (Crime / Thriller)
“‘Angry?’ he repeated, in his lowest, gentlest tones. ‘Angry with you? – Oh, my poor boy, were you to blame for being kind to me when I was ill in the old west-country inn? And was I to blame for feeling your kindess thankfully? Was it our fault that we never doubted each other, and never knew that we were traveling together blindfold on the way that was to lead us here? The cruel time is coming, Allan, when we shall rue the day we ever met. Shake hands, brother, on the edge of the precipice – shake hands while we are brothers still!’”
page 540*, Armadale, Wilkie Collins. Read Review.
*On Eucalyptus Reader App for iPhone
“The man’s face fluttered as if she’d tossed a stone onto the surface of his expression. For a moment she saw something beneath his bland, plump appearance something unpleasant, something which made her want to look away. But the gold kept her looking at him, kept her in her seat.”
page 157, Child 44, Tom Rob Smith.
Read Review. Book Event and Q&A.