Books, braces and crosswords

WELL. Let me tell you, it WAS an issue with the FAT32 and NTsomethingorother. My laptop has taken surely a record breaking 14 hours to fix/set up an encrypted drive, copy files and get my Outlook working again <sigh>.
I think I might have mentioned book club before now. Book club consists of myself and 3 friends. We’re taking it in turns to pick books from Dr Peter Boxall’s “1001 books you must read before you die”  Now, I shan’t lie – I like to read thrillers. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I’ve only read thrillers apart from an occasional scattering of chick lit and self improvement books. To date, I have read for entertainment, to get absorbed in somebody else’s life. Book club has been an ideal opportunity to expand my repertoire. But since this club, I certainly don’t read for entertainment, and I couldn’t be less absorbed. I read for box ticking purposes only these days.  So yes, an ideal opportunity to improve my repertoire but yet, a completely tedious one.  I think I’ll hae to quit Book Club. 
The list so far has been (and I can feel the wrath of the educated reader as I write these evaluations!):
• Great Expectation by Charles Dickens: good plot, only could have been reduced easily to half the size.
• Money by Martin Amis: impossibly slow moving, boring with not a single likeable character – worst book I’ve ever read.
• Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell: my selection, and indeed a “thriller”, but I use the term loosely because little happened, what did happen wasn’t remotely relevant to the plot and the case was solved by pure chance independently of anything else that had happened in the book in about 5 pages at the end.
• Monkey by Wu Cheng-en: a weirdly immoral Chinese fairytale, again with no redeeming characters and a very odd sense of space and time and finally…
• Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald. Now, I haven’t finished this one – I’m only quarter way through but my initial feelings of glee at the large writing and pictures has now abated and has been replaced with concern that despite being a fair bit through, we still haven’t really moved off a running commentary on the architecture of railway stations.
I have a book about a guy that moves to Italy that my friend gave me for my birthday – I really want to read that but I can only manage one book a month at the moment. It’s my friend Ed’s turn to pick after Austerlitz – he was the one who picked Money. So, I think perhaps if I quit after this one, then at least I wont have to read his selection which I fear is bound to be tedious – in fact, he’s been taunting me about for a while now.  
What else about today? I spent a lot of the day fretting about my Italian lesson which was straight after work. It’s with an Italian lady called Sonia and we met in a cafe in Earls Court. I couldn’t make last week’s lesson and the week before was just horrific – I couldn’t get the hang of anything at all and I’ve realised that it’s because if I get something wrong, I get frustrated and angry with myself, and spend the rest of the lesson getting increasingly despondent about the whole thing which takes up all my energy. Anyway, today I gave myself a stern talking to, to be positive. And low and behold, it went well! We’re doing “future tense” at the moment – hard going but getting there.
I’ve just been to see my friend, who happens to be a dentist too. She’s been straightening my teeth – I’ve got invisible braces which are actually due to come off soon so she was checking up on them. And I got to check out her baby – cute, and I only made it cry once.
On a separate note, I’ve been missing my crossword buddy who helps with the evening standard crossword clues when I’m stuck. He’s been away. So, if any of you know the answer to Razor Sharpener, _tro_(5) then let me know.
Ciao i miei amici x
ps. on a separate note – I shall shortly be acquiring some example tenancy agreements 🙂
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