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Reading diary: Catching up (3 texts)

I've finished two more Maigret novels: Maigret et l'affaire Nahour and Maigret hésite, both great reads. I came across an article recently that described the novels' setting as :

Simenon wrote of a Paris — of its bistros and quartiers, of its Chief Inspector, criminals and policemen, and of its landladies, shopkeepers, and waiters — that did not exist. But it is patterned on a real world; the archetype is Paris of the 1930s. So this Paris is frozen; it is the same a decade before World War II as it is just after Viet Nam. It is a Paris that existed only in memory for most of the years that saw the publication of the Maigret stories. Dennis Porter, writing about the detective novel genre, calls this "unchangeability in radically changed times."

I suspect that as I work my way through the rest of the novels I'll gain a better understanding of why I enjoy them so much. Part of it is the slow pace of reading forced on me by having chosen to read them in their original French. Another part has to do, I'm sure, with the comfort of visiting this 'unchangable" world.

Another book I finished back in January was Roger Deakin's Wildwood : a journey through trees, a collection of essays about trees and wood. Although the chapters that were set outside of Britian were less interesting to me, I found the book was an interesting look into to the life of and around trees. I also found the author and the people he spoke with very inspriring.

Aside from that, I haven't done much reading in the past 4-6 weeks, or rather, I haven't finished anything. I've started a few books but they all sit in a pile in the living room, bookmarks a few chapters in. Hopefully I'll do better in the coming weeks.