06 November 2017

Reading matter

For bedtime, bathtime, relaxonsofa-havealittlenaptime ... and of course for traveltime, but only if the book is small enough and/or light enough.

The first of Donna Leon's Brunetti series was an impulse-choice at the library - set in Venice's opera house, it slipped in as an adjunct to the online opera course I'm trying to keep up with. But the "hidden nugget" that interested me most was about the psychology of using hearing aids:

So much of what we hear, we don't hear with our ears. ... We do a good deal of lipreading, we fill in missing words from the context of the others we do hear. When people wear ... hearing aids, they've finally accepted the idea that something is wrong with their hearing. So all of their other senses begin to work overtime, trying to fill in the missing signals and messages, and because the only thing that's been added is the hearing aid, they believe it's the hearing aid that's helping them, when the only thing that's happened really, is that their other senses are working to their maximum to make up for the ears that can no longer hear as well.

What If?, it says on the cover, contains "serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions" - and is a lot of serious fun. The answers to the questions aren't the point ... it's the swerves through the byways of science that make this an unpredictable journey.

The Museum of Modern Love is a novel centred around Marina Abramovic's performance of sitting very still at a table while members of the public came and sat opposite her. I've been reading it off and on for months, reluctant to come to the end - it's rare to get so much  "art" in a novel.

All Change is the last of the five novels in the Cazalet saga, and here too I'm reluctant to finish, but fortunately Elizabeth Jane Howard has written other books, and an autobiography, Slipstream (2002).

1 comment:

Stitchinscience said...

Donna Leon, and Brunetti, what a treat. This is a wonderful series that I was introduced to by a friend who work sin publishing. Did you know that there is also a cookery book "A Taste of Venice" by Donna Leon that has many of the recipes for the food mentioned in the novels?