The year has got off to a fairly slow start for me in the reading stakes; last night I finished my fourth book of the year with the feeling that I have been reading quite slowly, although with great enjoyment, of those four books, two have been stand out five star reads, which at least bodes well as a start.
The long dark nights, post-Christmas/back to work grumps have seen me watching quite a bit TV– and struggling to motivate myself to get down to blogging. The last couple of reviews I wrote were quite simply a mammoth effort – so please bear with me while I sort my woolly head out.
The #TBR20 challenge has really brought out the fickle reader in me. There I was all set to read mainly out of the pile – when I realised I wanted to read almost everything that wasn’t in the pile. As readers, I think we can be a pretty fickle bunch, one minute we want to read one sort of book, with just moments later our eyes travel to something entirely different on the book case, while our hand hovers ominously close to the buy button on various online booksellers. As I finished The Small Widow, which I had enjoyed so very much, I decided to read something rather different to it, partly to provide a good contrast and partly because I have had it over a year and it was given to me by a friend. So I sat down to read Nightwoods by Charles Frazier published in 2011. I loved Cold Mountain when I read it years ago, the images stayed with me for years after I finished the book, helped in part perhaps by the excellent film that was made of it, but – while, I didn’t, not enjoy it – I was a little underwhelmed by Frazier’s second novel, Thirteen Moons, and remember virtually nothing of it. I wonder if that was just a case of a novel too long anticipated, I really can’t remember. I’ll review Nightwoods in a day or two – sleepy, woolly, cold threatening brain permitting, but I certainly enjoyed it more than Thirteen Moons. However, my old friend fickle rose its ugly head half way through and I began to want to read something else, I’m glad I persevered though; the writing is really very good, and it did provide a good contrast to other things I have been reading.
The Seven Ages of Women list is calling to me, and I fully intended to read No More than Human by Maura Laverty, which is handily on The Seven Ages of Women list and in my #TBR20 pile too, but I hadn’t reckoned on my old friend fickle. Discussions on the Librarything Virago group made me want to read a book from the childhood section of our lovely list. So that is why I am stepping momentarily away from my official #TBR20 pile to get started on the challenge with An Episode of Sparrows by Rumer Godden from the childhood section of the list. Rumer Godden does childhood so well, that it feels like a perfect place to start – NB it is a Virago title but I have a nice old Pan books edition with a nice jolly cover.