It was the evening on which MM Debienne and Poligny, the managers of the Opera, were giving a farewell gala performance to make their retirement.
The Opera of Paris is haunted. The ghost has killed a man behind some of the rarely used set pieces, taken over one of the boxes for every show (and leaves generous tips for the box-opener), and gives lessons to Christine Daae, an unassuming soprano whose true talent is unrecognized by everyone including herself. Christine believes the ghost is the Angel of Music sent to her by her dead father, but when the Angel begins to demand more and more of her time and affection, her lover Raoul becomes worried and tries to solve the mystery in time to save his beloved.
Kushiel's Mercy, Jacqueline Carey
There are people in my country who have never travelled beyond the boundaries of Terre d'Ange.
I have decided that I like the first Kushiel trilogy much better than the second. Imriel nowhere near as strong a character as Phèdre and there's not enough intrigue. In this volume, Imriel and the Dauphine Sidonie have gained grudging acceptance of their love from the rulers of Terre D'Ange, but they are still forbidden to marry because no one trusts the son of The Greatest Traitor. Meanwhile a delegation from Carthage arrives to arrange a political marriage between Sidonie and the king. To cement the alliance, the Carthaginians show the D'Angelines a marvel that ends up destroying everyone's memory of Imriel and Sidonie's relationship. Imri is forced to confront his mother and rescue Sidonie from Carthage. At least he doesn't whine as much as he did in the first two books.
How the Irish Saved Civilization, Thomas Cahill
The word Irish is seldom coupled with the word civilization.</i>
After the fall of the Roman Empire, education became a luxury few could afford. The only people who had any time to spare for reading and writing were monks. In remote Ireland, on the edge of the known world, the men and women of the Church developed a new model for monasteries, allowing them to devote their lives to creating beautifully illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels. Without their efforts, countless ancient writings would have been lost. A quick but fascinating read.
Fool, Christopher Moore
"Tosser!" cried the raven.
As every other review of this book has pointed out, this is a retelling of King Lear from the Fool's perspective. As a one-sentence summary goes, it's pretty accurate except it isn't. It's a lot of fun and very bawdy. It's also the first Moore book I've read--I'll be looking for his others now.
The Hours, Michael Cunningham
There are still the flowers to buy.
It is 1941 and Virginia Woolf has just committed suicide. Its is the late 1990s and Clarissa is preparing for an award ceremony for her friend Richard who is dying of AIDS. It is the 1950s and [??] is baking a cake for her husband's birthday. It is 1922 and Virginia Woolf has just written the first sentence of Mrs. Dalloway. The stories weave together to create a modern Mrs. Dalloway that I found much easier to read than the original. I got about forty pages into Woolf's novel before I gave up on trying to remember who was who and what the heck was going on.