What I'm reading - <i>The Third Translation</i>, <i>A Tale of Two Cities</i>

Let's read!

I'm zipping through Matthew Bondurant's The Third Translation, in which an Egyptologist trying to decipher a stela gets caught up in a theft of a scroll that somehow relates to the stela. It's far less of a thriller than you might think - it's definitely more of a "serious" novel than something like the Dan Brown books. It's much more about the protagonist and the mess he's made of his life and how this is his last chance to make his life mean something. It's a character study that happens to have this theft, which, 176 pages in, he's just getting around to trying to figure out. Underlying it all is the central tenets of fiction written by men: Middle-aged men (and probably all men, but middle-aged men are often the protagonists) think mainly with their penises, and women are not to be trusted. This doesn't automatically make the book bad, but it's strange how that's a subtext to a great deal of "serious" literature. Still, it's an interesting book.

For a few months we've been reading A Tale of Two Cities to my younger daughter (the one with the ninjas) at night before she goes to bed. I've never read it (the only Dickens I've ever read is Great Expectations), and it's not bad. My dad always made a joke about Dickens getting paid by the word, and reading this, it's totally believable. We're in the middle of reading the Harry Potter books to my other daughter, but she tends to be a pain in the butt at bed time, so it's going slowly. Norah simply settles down in Mommy's arms and lets me ramble on about Lucie Manette, Charles Darnay, Mr. Lorry, Dr. Manette, and all the damned Jacques. They just stormed the Bastille, so things are picking up!

What's warming the end table next to your bed this week?

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