Cecily's book reviews

In general I've written reviews of every book I've read since I joined GoodReads (RIP) in May 08, along with one or two I read prior to that. More recent reviews tend to be longer (sometimes a tad too long?). I always carry a book, though I don't get as much time as I'd like to get engrossed - life is busy, but in a good way. Too many of my favourite authors died without writing enough! Apart from reading, and writing about reading, I enjoy Scrabble, good restaurants, woodland, and attending the theatre.
Franz Kafka: A Biography (Second Edition, Enlarged) - Max Brod, Richard Winston, G. Humphreys Roberts Biography of Kafka by his best friend and literary executor, whose adoration shines through. Reveals a much happier and more positive aspect of his character than might be assumed from his works, although it also mentions his negative thoughts and feelings (especially re his father, anxiety and mixed feelings about marriage, and feelings that his writing was not good enough).

Also explains the Jewish subtext of some of his works (especially The Castle) and the effect of his relationships on his writing, especially with Felice, Melina and Dora.

Kafka loved Flaubert and Goethe, but generally preferred biography and travel books. He trained as a lawyer and worked in the civil service - very much reflected in his novels. He tried to live a very "natural" life (veggie, no medicine if poss, outdoor swimming etc).

See my Kafka-related bookshelf for other works by and about Kafka (http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/1199525-cecily?format=html&order=a&shelf=kafka).

Currently reading

The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy
Sebastian Peake, China MiƩville, Mervyn Peake
Gormenghast
Mervyn Peake