The goal: to read those books languishing on the shelves at home. You know those books you bought a while ago, which for reasons unknown get overlooked, replaced by the new. Maybe what attracted you to them – the mood, the feeling, the time – was of a time, and that time has now passed.
The year is up. Here’s my original list:
I’ve read all but two – Wolf Hall and Testament of Youth. Should I donate these two? Or should I hang onto them for possible future reading? Of the ones I read, I only disliked one – Gone Girl. (No, I do not want to see the movie. What is the point? The whole tale rests on the twist. If you know the twist, there is no point. And it was stupid and annoying the first time. Again, no I don’t want to see it. If I repeat myself it is because a friend asked me many times to go. How many times do I have to say no? Friend loved the movie, but then her favourite book is the 50 Shades series. Enough said!)
In the past 12 months I have bought other books – some now sitting on my shelves waiting to fulfil their purpose – which is to be read, not collect dust, after all. And I could have placed other books on the list – books that I bought before October last year.
My reading, like my writing, has slowed. Book club book choice for November was Evie Wilde’s All the Birds Singing. Structurally interesting, but too teenage angst-y for me.
I followed this with How the Light Gets In by M.J. Hyland. A double dose of teen angst. I realised I had read this before. And suffered the same misunderstanding then. I thought this was going to be about a young person caught in a cult. No such luck. That would be too dramatic. Just another self-involved teen hating the world and herself. (Apparently considered a female version of Catcher in the Rye. Hated that too. No need to be rude and totally selfish just because you’re a teen unhappy with your life.)
(Sorry about the size of image. The old WordPress app let me resize photos. Can’t find where I can do this on the updated – and definitely not better – app. And I only blog on my iPad, not the desktop.)
Ever thought a book was going to be about something else, twice? As in thought the story would be something else, read it, then forgot that you read it, only later to come across the book in a book shop and repeat the process, thinking it will be about the thing you thought before you read it the first time. No? Well, I did. Maybe I should just write the book I thought it was going to be? Would be so much more interesting, if so much worse in terms of style.
Don’t be fooled by both being such worthy books – one a Miles Franklin winner, the other worthy of being reissued in Penguin classic form. But then don’t be swayed by me. Many others love both books. And feel for the characters. And both are obviously literary and well-written.
On a much lighter note, I read Gilbert Adair’s The Act of Roger Murgatroyd . A pastiche of Agatha Christie, the plot almost directly follows a Poirot story of almost the same title. Such fun!
I think I read another book, besides the one which will get a post of its own (oh, yes it was THAT good that it deserves its own post and indeed its subject will be the subject of my summer – have I sparked your interest?), but I can’t remember. Maybe TopChook can help out?