Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm back from Indonesia.

And I'm not going to finish my Montserrat book in time. Thought I might, but it's less easy reading than I thought.

On the topic of that, I've learned from experience that the following books are not easy reading when you're suffering from inexplicable diarrhoea in Yogyakarta:

1. Mark Twain's Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
- His last full-length work, and the one he was proudest of. But not funny at all. Not even trying to be. He wrote it more or less as a hagiography dedicated to his daughter, who died at the age of 17.

2. Naomi Wolf's The Shock Doctrine
- Rather sensationalistically, Wolf pairs torture policies with destructive economic corporatist policies. But reading about the CIA's sadistic psych experiments on Canadian citizens is not gonna soothe your tummy.

3. Isabella Bird's The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither
- Fairly innocent stuff, but it gets dull after a while. And laughing at 19th century racial perspectives is less fun when you're sick and your Indian boyfriend is actually hurt by any sharings of said anecdotes of "the statuesque Klings".

Luckily, the 1001 Malam Hotel had a selection of books, so I eventually resolved on spending my time in the loo reading Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife, which my sister recommended to me ages ago. (The movie didn't feature the bit in which he sexually experiments with himself as a 15 year-old. Obviously, an extended cut must be made.)

Still not feeling that great, but the obvious symptoms have gone. Back to work.

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