I received two books as a gift, first the latest John Banville, April in Spain, in which the character of Quirke, part of the detective fiction series written by Banville under the assumed name Benjamin Black, returns with a new adventure in Spain. Reviews are generally good and the publication of this book prompted an interview with the rather elusive author. He said writers are monsters taking everything around them to write (okay enough with that), whatever needs to be done for a good paragraph! He lives in his bubble away from controversy and praise towards him, in love with the silence created by the pandemic. The other book, ordered, but not yet arrived, the latest Jonathan Franzen. I had liked Correction very much, but hadn't read anything from him since. He too lives more or less isolated from the world, sharply criticized when he refused the invitation of Oprah Winfrey to appear on her bookclub (he was considered quite snobbish), which would have actually made him a lot of money. As for me, someone who loves birds as much as he does, cannot be that bad. At the moment, I am reading the lates Patricia Lockwood, who is on the shortlist for the booker prize (I got it from the library which, in itself, is a miracle). So far, I like what I read. Finally, I have no idea how I came across this information about Lionel Shriver, whom I have spoken about twice on this blog (a book critical of the American healthcare system and another more or less about l 'money), which I like sometimes, for some reason, and sometimes not at all. In 2013, her exercise routine consisted of 130 push-ups, 500 sit-ups and 3,000 jumping jacks. This is how she ruined her knees among other things. I have to thank her for showing me what not to do.