Friday, February 29, 2008

Book worming

Your humble Devil has been tagged, by Katy Newton, with a book meme which runs as follows...
You will need: the book you are reading at the moment.

  1. Turn to page 123.

  2. Skip 5 sentences.

  3. Post the next three sentences.

As this requires very little effort, I have decided to indulge in this one although, like Katy, I have a tendency to read more than on book at a time.

I have now finished Iain M Banks' new Culture novel, Matter, but was still reading it when she tagged me so I include it here. Sentences 6,7 and 8, on page 123, read as follows:
Oramen had no memories of his mother, only of nurses and servants and an occasionally visiting father who somehow contrived to seem more remote than his utterly absent mother. She had been banished to a place called Kheretesuhr, an archipelagic province in the Vilamian Ocean, towards the far side of the world from Pourl. One of Oramen's goals, now that he was at least approaching the true seat of power, was to secure her return to the court.

Page 123 in Michael Frayn's Spies is, alas, blank and so I have moved to quote from nearest page with text, page 125, the relevant sentences of which are these:
His bottom was resting on the hard dust now hidden beneath the paving stones. His head must have been more or less exactly where those scarlet blossoms are now.
I gaze at them, baffled.

The third book was a Christmas present from my father's wife and may or may not represent some gentle hint, or possibly some more overt intimation of my failings; it is Debrett's Mannners For Men: what women really want! Page 123 is entitled Moving In Together, and so I must now relate the nuggets of wisdom thus imparted.
Of course it's lovely to entertain your friends in a proper home. And it's kind of cute the way your toothbrushes sit side by side on the bathroom shelf.

So what if the bedroom looks like Barbie's boudoir and there are bras drying on the bike rack.

Although, seriously, if I ever move in with someone and bring a fucking bike rack, I will not be the person that you all know...

Mind you, it is not a section that I have paid much attention to thus far: the chances of me moving in with anyone are, at present, utterly remote. I have been mainly concentrating on the sections that are marked with titles such as The Best Ways Not To Piss Off Your Girlfriend, When To Just Leave Your Fucking Mobile Phone In Your Pocket (When You're Pissed), The Most Grovelling Ways To Apologise, How Not To Be A Fucking Numpty and, of course, the rather vital How To Persuade Someone That They Want To Be Your Girlfriend In The First Place (this one comes just after Rohypnol: What Dosage And When?).

If anyone wants to take up this challenge, feel free (I mean doing the meme, rather than being my girlfriend. Obviously).


Anonymous said...

Okay, I'll bite. From The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency:

She could make out its embers through the spaces between the branches that made up the wall of the hut. Somewhere, far away, there was a grunting sound, but she was not afraid, and she walked out of the hut to stand underneath the sky and draw the dry, clear air into her lungs. And she thought: I am just a tiny person in Africa, but there is a place for me, and for everybody, to sit down on this earth and touch it and call it their own.

That last sentence is a hit with me, shame Mugabe and his fellow travellers across that wonderful continent - where I was born and raised - have fucked it up for everybody instead.

Anonymous said...

I was reading "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, but I can't be arsed to get it from the Bedroom right now because someone has a finger in my bottom.

I really liked "Spies". It seemed to me like it was all about pain and shame, and of course that wonderful state of childhood when the banal becomes a mystery and when every discovery is akin to the ascent of Everest. A very intimate take on the less obvious casualties of war. Excellent.

Prodicus said...

Mrs Prodicus asks me to say that if ever you do issue a 'challenge' (she finds the confrontational manner attractive, apparently) for anyone to become your girlfriend, she will leave me like a shot and be on your doorstep before you can say knife. Er - can I borrow your book when you've finished with it?

Unknown said...

It's interesting to follow the stated rules and read the excerpt. (My current book is George Dangerfield's classic "The Strange Death of Liberal England", first published in 1935).


"These questions were never settled; for, alas, the waters in which they found themselves were soon to be adventured upon by the whole of the western world, to be widely strewn with the wreckage of Liberal faiths, and to encompass us all today.

But the death of Liberal England - the various death of security and respectability - may not be considered simply as a loud prelude, passing suddenly into war. It was a brief but complete phase in the spiritual life of the nation."

Unknown said...

Whilst on the book meme, and this time Science Fiction rather than fact, I can highly recommend Peter Watts' book "Blindsight".

Just as a flavour of a tiny part, the use of "paleobiology" to resurrect an extinct hominid predator:


Katy Newton said...

Frankly, if I thought I'd seen you anywhere near a bike rack I'd head straight to the nearest neurologist on the basis that I was hallucinating.

Also, I might give Culture a try once I've finished the lumbering and truly execrable Eragon. IF I can bring myself to finish it, that is.

Anonymous said...

The letter from Casey became something of a legend within the Agency for both it's toughness and it's tone. " I worked closely with Casey for five and a half years " said Gates. " He never wrote a letter that strong to any other CIA officer ".

Sell Out : Aldrich Ames, the Spy who broke the CIA - James Adams

NHS Fail Wail

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