"In the countryside near Shanghai, almost all of the peasants could read and write, but here 90 per cent could not. I realized now that I had been lucky to have lived in such good conditions near Shanghai"
I read the sum total of one book in May. This book was sat on the shelf and I mistakenly thought it was one The Husband had purchased, but later discovered it was one we had been given in a box coming from a relative. I found it interesting, but hard-going. It is the autobiography of Anhua Gao, who grew up in communist China. It gets brilliant reviews elsewhere, so obviously many people enjoy it, but I found the writing a struggle. The history of China was fascinating and horrifying in equal measure, and the stories she shared of her experiences painted a desperately sad picture of life in those times. It certainly made me want to understand more about the cultural history. I found the structure of the novel difficult at times, key things seemed to be missed out and then mentioned much later. I can't honestly say I enjoyed this book, but perhaps that is a reflection on the dark content. I'd be interested to know what others think of it.
I've started reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley for June, and hope to get a few more books read too.
On a slight aside, and because I suspect book people are generally word people, have you ever seen this website? It is a website listing unusual and interesting words, and it is a treasure trove of fabulous terms and definitions. I was reading Lottie's post last night, and she mentioned once reading a word which was defined as the feeling of diving in to water, and never having been able to find it since. Being the person I am, that was all I needed to set off on a hunt to find the word, and I came across that site, and the word "curglaff" which means " the shock felt when plunging into cold water". I'm not sure yet if it's the word Lottie was looking for, but I love it. My favourite find so far though is the brilliant "chork" which is defined as "to make the sound that feet do with shoes full of water". It almost feels like an elaborate April Fool, but I sense many happy visits in the future finding weird and wonderful words.
Linking up with Laura's The Year in Books