Tag: Pleasure

Olga Tokarczuk – Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead | Review

Title: Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Author: Olga Tokarczuk

Category: Fiction

Page Count: 272

Rating: 4.5/5

This is potentially a late entry into my list of favourite books of the year, and so I’m definitely glad that I picked it up. I think I heard about it from BookTube, although I can’t remember where I first saw it. I mentioned it to my girlfriend in passing and then she grabbed me a copy for Christmas, and it turned out that Charlie Heathcote was reading it at the same time, so we did a buddy read.

It’s a Polish book that’s been translated, a sort of noir-ish literary fiction murder mystery, and it has some deep takes on life and philosophy that we can all learn from. It’s one of those rare books with a delicious mouth feel where for me at least, it was just a pleasure to read all of the way through. I didn’t want it to stop, but I guess eventually and inevitably, it had to.

If you’re looking for philosophical fiction with a poetic feel, you’re in luck. It also scores a few diversity points if that’s your thing, being written by a woman and originally in Polish. But those are all little bonuses, the icing on a delicious cake that I’m super glad I heard about.

I have no idea whether Charlie liked it as much as I did, but I’m sure he’ll be posting about it on Goodreads and on his BookTube channel, so you can find out there. Enjoy!

Learn more about Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead.

 


Tony Hawks – A Piano in the Pyrenees | Review

Title: A Piano in the Pyrenees

Author: Tony Hawks

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 312

Rating: 4/5

This non-fiction book tells the story of what happened when a middle-aged British comedian called Tony Hawks decided to buy a house in France, almost on a whim. He also decided to take his piano over there so that he could finally learn to play the thing.

It was a fun little book, and overall I found it to be a pleasure to work my way through it. My only real complaint would be that the pacing was a little off, in that it felt as though the whole book covered a period of just a couple of months or so.

Other than that though, there were some great little insights into French culture here, as well as a few smatterings of French dialogue that were enjoyable for me as someone who’s slowly but surely trying to learn the language. There were also some great little examples of culture shock or of misunderstandings, particularly when Hawks was trying to navigate the complicated French legal landscape to purchase properties and to build swimming pools, despite being utterly useless at assembling basic flat packs.

I’ve read a couple of Hawks’ other books at this point, and tonality and sense of humour wise, it’s pretty similar to those. That means that if you enjoyed Round Ireland with a Fridge, for example, then you’re probably going to enjoy this one too. Sure, his sense of humour might not be quite right for everyone, but Hawks has always made me laugh and he did so here, too.

There were occasional borderline sexist comments in it here and there, but then I suppose that gave it a certain sense of realness. He was a single bloke surrounded by Frenchwomen, after all. But overall, yeah.

Learn more about A Piano in the Pyrenees.