In the Mood: Books and Place

Posted: July 21, 2014 in Agatha Christie, England

51BCw8MGoXL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX385_SY500_CR,0,0,385,500_SH20_OU02_It has been a few weeks since I last posted due to another mini holiday break and some minor health problems.P1050107

I am a great believer that reading books or listening to music in the correct location puts you in the right mood to enjoy the experience.

I remember back in 1993 rushing into a book shop in Occoquan VA to purchase In The Electric Mist With Confederate Dead by James Lee Burke [and other books] as we drove to the Jefferson Davis Highway [Is that Highway One still named for the Confederate President?] and travelled south to Fredericksburg avoiding the busy Interstate 95. A couple of years before we had listened to Sibelius in Alvar Aalto’s beautiful Finlandia Hall in Helsinki with it -15 outside and thick snow, it wouldn’t have sounded as good in the Royal Festival Hall in London on a summer day. 

P1050055I had struggled with the Arctic setting of Olivier Truc’s Forty Days Without Shadow  during a warm spell, and I decided that although the current book I was reading was brilliant [more on that later] it was a 600 page hardback doorstop, and I was not going to carry it to Wiltshire and Oxfordshire. There was an obvious solution I took a shortish 301 page Colin Dexter, The Secret of Annexe 3, and although it is set in a snowy Oxford at New Year, the quintessential dated English setting meant I was in the mood and whizzed through this one, returning home a few days later to lap up the hardback. 

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    No doubt about it, Norman – Where you read a book can make a big difference indeed. That’s why I try to read about a place when I travel there if I can. Doesn’t always work out that way, but I try.

  2. Jose Ignacio says:

    Norman you have remind me I have in my Kindle some Colin Dexter books to read.

  3. I love to find a book set in a country I am about to visit – it adds to the experience. But I went a bit far when going to Cophenhagen. I read the book The Boy in the Suitcase on the train on the way there, and then had to use the very left luggage facility which is central to the plot. I was very wary indeed going down the quiet stairs, and made sure I used a locker near the helpdesk, not in any of the dark corners where a villain lurked in the book….

  4. jwoodham7 says:

    Or the opposite can be true, like reading a Henning Mankell to cool down when on holiday in sweltering Melbourne

  5. kathy d. says:

    I recommended Forty Days without Shadow to two friends who love to read about the Sami culture and peoples, as well as other Indigenous peoples. One has read it and gives it an excellent rating. The other will take it on her trip to Greenland and Denmark.

    Your excellent remarks motivated me to tell them about it.

  6. Had no idea, but very pleased you’ve had a holiday. Will be in touch soon. Take care.

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