It seems my move to York may have interrupted my little ol’ blog life a tad, which I am not complaining about, but I feel like I should maybe get my self back in the world of Books&this in the hope that I can still remember how to write things that are not just work centric.
So hello there.
Good day to you.
What have I been reading of late?… well, not enough if I am honest!
As you can probably see by my 2015 page, the list is not on a par with last year. I am going to blame this on an ever expanding social life (erm) and not just that I am sleepy of an eve and would rather just sleep.
Currently I am reading The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton but it seems to be a little slow going for my liking. This is not helped by the fact I bought a beautiful hardback floral copy which is a little cumbersome to carry around so it has not been glued to me like paperbacks often are.
However, it is a sunny day today and I have limited plans so I think a sit in the garden with a book and a drink* may be in order.
In other book news I did get a lovely surprise the other month! Harlequin Teen sent me a pre-sale copy of Robin Talley’s new offering, What We Left Behind, which I really enjoyed and must actually find words and write a review of… soon.
I’m going to try to be a little more present in future.
*gin, most likely. No judgement please 🙂
Following the discovery of Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye novel in a local charity shop I have been wondering which of her many novels to read next… and then MaddAddam came out to rave reviews and I thought that this could be the one. I have been umming and ahhhing as to whether I should read the other two in the trilogy first. It wasn’t until I read a review in The Times that I was persuaded it actually could be an experiment as to how well it stands alone.
So, I read the introduction and then the summary of the first book (Oryx & Crake), followed by the summary of the second (Year of the Flood) and went straight online to order them. I am not missing the chance to read two outragious sounding books just so I can read the last one ASAP.
Following finishing Dangerous Women Part 1, a collection of tales edited by George R. R. Martin & Martin Dozois, I will be picking up Oryx & Crake and enjoying the ride this triology offers.
I’m not going to lie, I’m a little excited!
A literary-minded witch gives you a choice: with a flick of the wand, you can become either an obscure novelist whose work will be admired and studied by a select few for decades, or a popular paperback author whose books give pleasure to millions. Which do you choose?
Ah now this is a predicament. One that has made me think and also made me WISH that either I was a literary minded witch or that I could meet one.
In my head she is petite enough to live in amongst the books in libraries and lost book shops slowly drawing folk to the books that will enhance their lives. She is the reason for the pull of a book and sometimes when she slips up (she is clumsy) a book literally jumps out at you…
Any way on to the conundrum that has been presented.
While I think everyone who has an appreciation for the great and good in literature will have some desire to be that profound, potentially misunderstood, author there must be something fantastic about being a prolific and successful writer person. Knowing that people are waiting with bated breath to read your next offering must be amazing and terrifying.
I guess for the sake of making a living (sensible) and making people happy (aw bless) I would ask my fairy witch folk to make me a paperback writer. It sounds like a lovely calling.
Today I am having a little think about why I have an account with Good Reads yet I don’t use it and know now that I have no intention of doing so.
I can’t deny that I do like documenting my reads, I have a journal into which I have written every book I have read since April 2012 in chronological order (I would save this from a burning building along with my signed copy of ‘How to Build a Girl’). I have also recently opted to ‘pin’ these books on a Pinterest Board for ‘funnsies’. Also if you are reading this blog it is obvious I like to ramble about/review/pontificate about some, if not all, of the books I read, so why not post them on Good Reads? Review them there?…
I don’t think I am confident in the reviews I write/ thoughts I have to see them lined up next to others. What if I have missed the point of the book entirely? Oh the shame!
Seriously, I cannot remember one more password! I don’t think I could get into my one time Good Reads account if I tried/wanted to. Again, shameful.
The recommendations you get from the books you have read are endless and beautiful but I really don’t think I can add one more book to the never ending pile of ‘to read’ in addition to the two books I am reading a month to review for work.
I may have to live forever just so I can read them all. Do I have a problem? Hell yes I do.
Procrastinate? Me? Surely not!
If university was to teach me anything it was that by avoiding the inevitable you can create a lot of fun, mundanity, eventful and plain old strange activities.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the time it involved me watching copious amounts of The Gilmore Girls reruns or sitting on the end of my housemate’s bed like a cat but it is something I have never ‘grown out’ of.
In fact, even as I type there are things I should be doing. The list today included applying for [new] jobs, making a life plan [one day…], reading the three books that have reviews due in the next month and brushing the scruffy looking old lady labrador who really needs to look more like she belongs to a loving household [she actually does but has a penchant for looking unkempt]
So that’s one thing. I write.
I also revel in Pinterest
And scroll and scroll and scroll away on Tumblr, something I never thought I would get into.
So the internet is there purely for my procrastinating purposes, right?
I am so glad you agree.
Not so long ago I threw my self into short stories mainly for a change of pace and also because I adore what is not said in a short story. Where your own brain takes you as the atmosphere of that particular tale lingers before you delve into another.
It was because of this that faithful Amazon* suggested ‘Olive Kitteridge – A novel in short stories’ by Elizabeth Strout. Intrigued was not word.
Anyway, long story short. I loved it. I loved the intertwined lives and the different perspectives of the cold and harsh Olive who in the next breath could be loving, forgiving and a desperately heartbroken woman.
So I was nothing short of giddy at the thought of HBO giving it a mini series.
Giddy does not cover seeing that BILL MURRAY, no less, has been linked with the cast.
I am waiting for a date.
*I will battle my Amazon demons in my own time thank you very much. When I am earning more than minimum wage I will no doubt make up for my betrayal of all things ‘indie book shop’.
Thanks to the fantastic @lettersofnote /www.lettersofnote.com the following obituary came to my attention earlier today (and considering I am still on a painful come down from yesterday’s migraine anything that makes me smile today deserves a post!)
So here is E B White (of Charlotte’s Web fame, amongst other things) writing about his dog Daisy and her frightfully complex personality and mannerisms.
It is a beautiful thing.
Daisy (“Black Watch Debatable”) died December 22, 1931, when she was hit by a Yellow Cab in University Place. At the moment of her death she was smelling the front of a florist’s shop. It was a wet day, and the cab skidded up over the curb — just the sort of excitement that would have amused her, had she been at a safe distance. She is survived by her mother, Jeannie; a brother, Abner; her father, whom she never knew; and two sisters, whom she never liked. She was three years old.
Daisy was born at 65 West Eleventh Street in a clothes closet at two o’clock of a December morning in 1928. She came, as did her sisters and brothers, as an unqualified surprise to her mother, who had for several days previously looked with a low-grade suspicion on the box of bedding that had been set out for the delivery, and who had gone into the clothes closet merely because she had felt funny and wanted a dark, awkward place to feel funny in. Daisy was the smallest of the litter of seven, and the oddest.
Her life was full of incident but not of accomplishment. Persons who knew her only slightly regarded her as an opinionated little bitch, and said so; but she had a small circle of friends who saw through her, cost what it did. At Speyer hospital, where she used to go when she was indisposed, she was known as “Whitey,” because, the man told me, she was black. All her life she was subject to moods, and her feeling about horses laid her sanity open to question. Once she slipped her leash and chased a horse for three blocks through heavy traffic, in the carking belief that she was an effective agent against horses. Drivers of teams, seeing her only in the moments of her delirium, invariably leaned far out of their seats and gave tongue, mocking her; and thus made themselves even more ridiculous, for the moment, than Daisy.
She had a stoical nature, and spent the latter part of her life an invalid, owing to an injury to her right hind leg. Like many invalids, she developed a rather objectionable cheerfulness, as though to deny that she had cause for rancor. She also developed, without instruction or encouragement, a curious habit of holding people firmly by the ankle without actually biting them — a habit that gave her an immense personal advantage and won her many enemies. As far as I know, she never even broke the thread of a sock, so delicate was her grasp (like a retriever’s), but her point of view was questionable, and her attitude was beyond explaining to the person whose ankle was at stake. For my own amusement, I often tried to diagnose this quirkish temper, and I think I understand it: she suffered from a chronic perplexity, and it relieved her to take hold of something.
She was arrested once, by Patrolman Porco. She enjoyed practically everything in life except motoring, an exigency to which she submitted silently, without joy, and without nausea. She never grew up, and she never took pains to discover, conclusively, the things that might have diminished her curiosity and spoiled her taste. She died sniffing life, and enjoying it.
My most recent read is The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.
I have spent the best part of the day trying to write about this book as I have for the past ~7 books I have read.
It is not that I don’t have anything to say, it is more that my brain does not seem to be in a good place to make complete sentences.
Bit of a nightmare really.
Must be one of them days.
I enjoyed it. I love Neil. Master of stories. Birds=evil. The Ocean is inspired.
Onwards and upwards.
As of January this year I have been working with this a nice shiny pile of books that I have yet to read or finish. Because I am amazingly lucky and because the list of books I want to read will never really go down my pileofbooks has increased! New to the pile is a bit of Sophie Kinsella! Not something I have ever really considered reading but I have been advised by a friend that ‘Got Your Number’ is a good idea. In addition this I have the new Dawn O’Porter book (Young Adult fiction is nothing to be scoffed at) and a Steinbeck I have not heard of before.
I shall be interspersing all these books with Kindle reads for the weekday.
New life rule:
Intersperse heavy and emotionally affecting books with light and potentially *fluffy books.
This rule joins others including the decision I made upon completion of my degree not to wear denim skirts anymore. This is a choice I will probably live to regret but heyho, 21 year old me didn’t not like me in denim skirts. 24 year old me is still not convinced. (I digress)
In accordance with NLR (new life rule) I opted for The Rosie Project. A sound choice even if I do say so myself. Initially I was not completely convinced that this would be for me but it really did grow on me. Don, initially reminded me of a combination of Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory and Abed Nazir from Community. I guess the thing they have in common is the potential for OCD and a leaning towards traits related to Asperger’s Syndrome. Don does, however come across considerably more real than either of these. My concern that this is a personality that may well have been ‘over done’ in current media was not correct.
It was nice to go on the journey with Don, upon meeting Rosie, that led him through a series of projects, in addition to his initial ‘Wife Project’. Similar I felt the same about Rosie, who clearly had her own issues that manifested themselves in their own way.
Nothing pleases me more than a happy ending so of course I was thrilled by this book as well as still being interested in the ‘Father Project’ until the very end.
I also loved the addition of the questionnaire and character inspired cocktails at the back of the book.
Huzzah, a grand old read to offset an emotional rollercoaster ride of a previous read.
*please note I do not use fluffy in a negative manner. The world often needs more fluff.