Porch Reads No. 2

Summer Reading 2

The Remains of the Day has been recommended to me over and over again. Finally, when I saw it at my favorite used book store, I picked it up and shelved it. Somehow, the book never made it to the top of my reading list, though. Despite my affinity for Downton Abbey and all manner of British period pieces, it seemed too blatantly Anglophilic for me. I don’t enjoy reading just anything written about British people, but I do appreciate that uniquely British pairing of scathing humor with unnatural, almost illogical, stoicism. That’s why I enjoy Evelyn Waugh’s books, for example, or the lovely gem that is William Boyd’s Any Human Heart—one of my favorite reads of the year. In more ways than I had expected, Kazuo Ishiguro’s book was different from my usual fare.

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She had always wanted words

“She had always wanted words, she loved them, grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape. Whereas I thought words bent emotions like sticks in water.”

It’s been about two months since I first opened “The English Patient.” In a masterstroke of stupidity, I picked up the book during final exam week of the fall quarter. Needless to say, I did much more reading than studying that week. Usually, I get the feeling of not being able to put a book down because the plot is exceptionally compelling, and drives me forward. This experience was different. “The English Patient” does have a compelling plot, but it accumulates slowly. Read more