the problem with book blogs

is that most of the time, all you are doing is finishing books, and not posting about them! This is a hazard of the genre. I have been absent, but I am reading a great book: The Mirror at Midnight, by Adam Hochschild. Various family members have pressed me to read King Leopold’s Ghost by the same author, and I have not (yet), but I hear it is great too. The Mirror at Midnight is an account of Hochschild’s trip to South Africa in 1988, the 150th anniversary of the The Battle of Blood River. The book has a weird, time-machine quality, because it was written shortly after the trip, when the possibility of change in South Africa seemed distant. I have only just started the book, but it is odd to read a book that was written as a combination of history (the Battle of Blood River) and current affairs reporting (the political situation in South Africa in the 1980s), but the current affairs reporting has itself become an account of historical events. Memory and the selective nature of historical writing also seems to be a major theme. But don’t let that put non-historians off this book! It is very riveting and beautifully written.

Now just to find time to read the rest!

Also, in less serious news, I have been enjoying some knitting reads lately:

Gladys Thompson’s Guernseys, Jerseys and Arans

and

Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Without Tears

I hear you can’t make any sweater in the first book without using the shaping and construction directions in the second, so I’ll rely on the words of these two elderly eccentrics to get me through my next knitting project!

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