Reading - July 2021

The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison (1961)
An old favourite, which I have had the great pleasure of introducing to Z by reading it to him every night. Simple fun, dated in places but nevertheless an involving enough story for Z to enjoy it - enough to want the next one now!
Guitar Magazine (August 2021 / Issue 395)
Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox (2009)
Not so much of a chronological autobiography as Lucky Man, this nevertheless tells the next seven or so years of Fox's life in a consistently interesting way. The main focus of his life is the work of his charitable foundation, and it's clearly been a success. I wouldn't be surprised if ultimately he becomes better known for this rather than his acting which, you realise, covered a surprisingly short period.
The Duke & I by Julia Quinn (2000)
This is the first book in the Bridgerton series, which has already been watched (and, partially, read) by a couple of other members of my family. I think what they were hoping for was more in the style of Jane Austen, and they've been disappointed in this. I can understand why: instead of something as classic as P&P or Emma, what you get instead is ISO-standard, fairly average, modern romantic fiction. Sure, there's a superficial smattering of period flavour when the author remembers, but basically these are modern characters, speaking in modern idiom about modern concerns. Quinn is from the US and sadly, it shows: it's a pantomime version of Regency England, for Americans, by an American, and bears about as much relation to Austen as One Direction does to Beethoven. But despite all that, and a number of other flaws, I enjoyed it enough to read it and finish it - if only because I am a complete sucker for a happy ending, as always.

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