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Beach Bum

Your description of this book (which I haven't read but want to) makes me think you'd like "West With the Night" by Beryl Markham, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.


I have this book and have not been able to get into it. I may need to give it another go. While no stranger to 'deeper' literature, sometimes I like to be able to turn my mind off a bit and escape with a book. Somehow I don't think this one falls into that category!


@ Beach Bum: After looking up Markham on Wikipedia and reading what Hemingway had to say about her in one of his letters, I will definitely be reading that book:

"Did you read Beryl Markham's book, West With The Night? ... She has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But this girl, who is to my knowledge very unpleasant and we might even say a high-grade bitch, can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers ... it really is a bloody wonderful book."

@ Rachel: I read the first sixty pages of The Golden Notebook a few months ago, couldn't get into it, and set it aside. I decided to give it another go recently, and forced myself to reread the first sixty pages to reintroduce myself to the characters - rather painful. But after the first 100 pages, it really is quite engrossing. Agreed, not an escape, but I think well worth it.


From the video, Doris Lessing reminds me of my Grandmother.
I am intrigued with the gentleman along with her and his holding onions in one hand and an artichoke in the other.
I will check out the book.


This was one of my most favorite books ever when I was in my twenties, but I'm afraid to pick it up again or recommend it to anyone for fear that I (or they) will wonder what the hell I was thinking. Glad to hear it holds up.


I am having a very similar experience with a South African book called "Agaat" by Marlene van Niekerk. It's long (694 pgs) and challenging and captivating. I've been working away at it for 8 weeks, but I just can't read it faster - or give it up. Sometimes those tough reads stay with you the longest. I just ordered The Golden Notebook - I'll let you know how the battle goes. :-)


I watched the video - she's a bitch. (but I did have quite a chuckle).

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