Monday, May 10, 2010

Mystery book, Hell's Belles and archaeology.

1. We have both received emails from the library saying our reserved books are in, so we go down there together. The librarian tells me that they have a mystery book scheme on -- do I want to join in? Of course I do, so she hands me a mysterious bag. It contains Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow -- apparently all the books in the scheme have been chosen because they deserve to be better known. I enjoyed and was challenged by Bellow's Augie March, so I'm hoping Humboldt's Gift will  do the same. And if I don't like it? Well, I can always abandon it and take it back -- I didn't choose it, after all.

2. The other book I picked up at the library was the next Paul Magyrs book about Brenda and Effie, Hell's Belles!. Brenda is a large lady with an unusual past (she's escaping from it by running a b&b), and Effie is a witch in denial (she owns a junkshop). They live in the atmospheric Goth haven of Whitby, and they fight evil (particularly the malevolent Mrs Claus, who runs a perpetual Christmas at her cliff top hotel) -- it's a bit like Mma Ramotswe, but with monsters.

3. Time Team are digging up a rare Anglo Saxon hall. Two of the archaeologists are introduced to the joys of flyte, a ritualised insulting competition -- in this instance a sequence about shovels. Phil and Matt then spent the rest of the dig swapping jeers about their equipment (and if that made you snigger, you've got the basic idea of Anglo Saxon insults).