Saturday, 1 March 2008

This week has been quite busy, although not on the reading front. However, I have managed to finish Philip Pullman's Northern Lights, the first book in the trilogy His Dark Materials. Ostensibly a children's book, I enjoyed it up to a point. The main character Lyra I found interesting and sympathetic,the events in the story made one want to read on to find out what happened, the other characters were of interest, but...there still seems to me to be something not quite satisfying about reading a book written for children when an adult. The slight simplification of emotions felt by the adults in the story, perhaps, or the particular use of language.

On Saturday afternoon I attended a talk by Louis de Bernieres in Winchester, and visited the new Winchester Discovery Centre for a quick look round. Some of the ideas used there I used in the Shirley Library in Southampton 3 years ago; however the extension of the building is very successful and links into the older part very well. The refurbished building is much lighter and brighter than its former incarnation., which was very dingy. The Louis de Bernieres talk was both very informative and also very amusing and well worth the trip. It is satisfying to see a writer who one first came across years ago and thinking at the time that he had some interesting stories to tell and an individual way of telling them and seeing one's expectations come to fruition, as it were. I haven't yet got hold of his latest story, The Partisan Girl, but his talk has made me want to. I certainly enjoyed his last book, Birds Without Wings more than Captain Corelli's Mandolin, and I really liked that too.

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