April 23, 2020

#OAReads No. 2 - What's On Marshall and Jeannette's Reading List

Dear friends,

I feel that this enforced time at home is a gift – something we would never normally allow ourselves and full of opportunities. 

In terms of reading, Jeannette and I are enjoying exploring new publications and returning to old favourites. 

Currently, I am immersed in Mythos, The Greek Myths Reimagined by the great actor/comedian/writer Stephen Fry. 

L: Author Stephen Fry R: Mythos, The Greek Myths Reimagined, by Stephen Fry

Fry explores the stories he so obviously loves, from Chaos, to the Clash of the Titans, to the birth of the Greek Gods we are most familiar with today. Their relation to the universe and their relationships with each other and with mankind are examined with the sly, ironic humour of a consummate storyteller. 

I am reading a lavishly illustrated edition which I purchased from Ben McNally Books – Toronto’s most beautiful bookstore. I’m anxiously awaiting Fry’s companion to this edition which you can pre-order, titled Heros - both are published by Chronicle Books.

Ben McNally Books, exterior and interior.

Jeannette has returned to Nancy Mitford’s thrilling biography of Louis XIV, titled The Sun King. Mitford was already renowned as a writer of sophisticated, ironic fiction (Love in a Cold Climate, The Pursuit of Love, The Blessing…) when she turned her attention to the history she most loved – that of 17th and 18th century France.

Nancy Mitford chose to make her home in Versailles, which she felt was the most beautiful town in the world, and Jeannette and I have to agree. Her examination of Louis XIV’s life and the building of Versailles has never been bettered – written with love and humour. The Sun King has been reissued countless times and in every language imaginable! Jeannette is reading the 1966 luxury edition published by Hamish Hamilton, which you can easily find on ABE or Amazon. It will make you long for your next visit to France! 

L: Nancy Mitford, drawing by William Acton. R: The Sun King, by Nancy Mitford

Jeannette joins me in sending best wishes. Happy reading!