Friday, August 23

The Reading Hour

It is hard to keep up with all the opportunties and events each week, but I like this one.  It is book week, though I confess I have not until now acknowledged it.  But I came across the information about The Reading Hour, and plan to at least read to me for an hour tomorrow night.

I will be on the Gold Coast - staying with a friend for two nights, and I will take the book that I have been trying to complete.  I confess that I have had my head filled with other things since I have been here, but I am trying to finish a book called The Binding Chair.

As my friends will know I have a love for China and I read quite a few books that are based on Chinese culture and events.  I read mainly biographies or travel stories.

Where this book came from is a mystery.  I found it at my daughter's place, in the bookshelf behind the guest bed that I occupy from time to time.  She thought it was mine, but I declare I haven't seen it and in the front it has the name of someone we don't know.  It is an old, slightly aged copy, but in good nick.

She thought she would give it to her 13 year old daughter, but I would not do so.  Some of the sex scenes are graphic, and quite extra ordinary.  I did not know until reading this that Chinese women used their feet (or the big toe) for sex acts.  Of course the whole idea of binding feet is so abhorrent to us - and surely was to Chinese women who had no choice.  Mothers and grandmothers insisted their offspring's feet were bound - it was a long and painful process that made walking painful and difficult for ever after binding.

At, the book is still available in paperback and the blurb about it is

"In poised and elegant prose, Kathryn Harrison weaves a stunning story of women, travel, and flight; of love, revenge, and fear; of the search for home and the need to escape it. Set in alluring Shanghai at the turn of the century, The Binding Chair intertwines the destinies of a Chinese woman determined to forget her past and a Western girl focused on the promises of the future."

Tomorrow I hope to read a lot more of it.  Maybe finish it?

Even if you read this after Book Week, take the time to read to a child.  It is so rewarding.

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