Well what’s one to do when Balzac takes a bath?

The other night I’d been enjoying a long soak in the bath engrossed in my book, The Chouans , the first volume of novels comprising Balzac’s The Human Comedy. Thus far, I’ve enjoyed it far more than I expected, what with the subject matter being both historical and military, neither of which particularly floats my boat. Anyway, when I could no longer justify hotting up the water just one more time, I summoned the will to climb out, but my foot slipped in the process and poor Balzac plopped into the soup.

proust and balzac

Here’s Balzac, on the left, pre-bath. Farewell flat cover, hello puffy pages!

Despite my lightening fast book-saving skills, Balzac was destined for at least a day or two’s rehab on the radiator to dry out, which was really annoying as I’d got to an exciting bit and had stopped reading mid-chapter. Luckily, a few days earlier, I’d been working just around the corner from Haverfordwest library and had popped down in my lunch break and found these beauties. Lucy’s recent review of Pomfret Towers had put me in the mood for some Angela Thirkell, so I was thrilled to find two I haven’t yet read.


I’ve also been longing to read Madeleine Thien’s  Do Not Say We Have Nothing ever since hearing that it was inspired by one of my favourite pieces of music, Bach’s Goldberg Variations. I nearly jumped for joy when I caught sight of it on the library shelf. Now I just have to ensure I don’t neglect Balzac once he’s dry, but with these three titles vying for my attention, I can see some rocky poly-reading chaos ahead!