Author Archives: bookbii

About bookbii

I'm an ordinary woman living an ordinary life in an ordinary place, and it is quietly wonderful

The Ideal Reader Book 14: The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard

The horror of the nineteen days it took us to travel from Cape Evans to Cape Crozier would have to be re-experienced to be appreciated: and any one would be a fool who went again: it is not possible to … Continue reading

Posted in exploration, memoir, science, The Ideal Reader | 7 Comments

The Ideal Reader: a refrain

Several months ago I took the decision to start tackling my book habit by finally reading all those books I bought for idealistic reasons; the books that defined the smart version of me, the well-read one, the one who had … Continue reading

Posted in The Ideal Reader | 11 Comments

The Ideal Reader Book 12: Germinal by Emile Zola (translated by Leonard Tancock)

“While Etienne lingered by the fire warming his poor raw hands, Le Voreux began to emerge as from a dream. He could now pick out each part of the works: the tarpaulin-covered screening shed, the headgear, the huge winding-house, the … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, The Ideal Reader | 9 Comments

Travels with Myself and Another, Five Journeys from Hell by Martha Gellhorn

“What has politics to do with real daily life, as real people live it?” Why have I never heard of Martha Gellhorn before? I’ve taken a short break from Ideal Reading having become a little worn out after the epic … Continue reading

Posted in Eland, non-fiction, travel | 9 Comments

The Ideal Reader book 9: The Story of the Stone by Cao Xuequin volumes IV and V (translated by John Minford)

“When grief for fiction’s idle words More real than human life appears, Reflect that life itself’s a dream And do not mock the reader’s tears.” One of the difficulties of reading the same book for 6 weeks is how it … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese, Classics, The Ideal Reader | 5 Comments

The Ideal Reader book 9: The Story of the Stone by Cao Xuequin volumes 2 & 3 (translated by David Hawkes)

Yes, I’m still working my way through The Story of the Stone, though I’m beginning to feel like I’m on the home strait. I’ve been reading for nearly 5 weeks now, which is an age, and I’ve got through about … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese, Classics, The Ideal Reader | 4 Comments

The Ideal Reader book 9: The Story of the Stone by Cao Xuequin volume 1 (translated by David Hawkes)

The Story of the Stone, perhaps more recognisably known as The Dream of the Red Chamber, is an epic work of Chinese fiction, my copy in five volumes weighing in at a massive 2480 pages long. I bought it ages ago … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese, Classics, Epic, fiction, The Ideal Reader, translation | 3 Comments