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Another year, the same challenge.

This time I must be better at writing up and recording. I have a few to add to the list and a lot to comment on and several unfinished. My god daughter has the same challenge which may give me an incentive to keep up. However I have down loaded War and Peace which I fear may take me a little longer than a week.

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Well …

I didn’t achieve my goal and I am blaming moving for that but I did read some interesting books and a wider range than I might otherwise have done. I haven’t stopped reading but life has been eventful and nomadic lately. I have also been doing other things such as resuming knitting and family history.

Heft – by Liz Moore

This ought to be a depressing book. The protagonists are an ex-academic as much a prisoner of his mind as his vastly overweight body, a pregnant teenager and another in imminent danger of going definitively off the rails and his drunk mother the catalyst we only really see through other eyes. It is a story of broken and dysfunctional families, failure, lost hopes and isolation. Yet it is ultimately hopeful. A case of getting what you need perhaps not what you want.

The characters are vividly written and despite their frailties sympathetic and psychologically believable even if the circumstances are a little contrived. The writing is good and the story rattles along ending almost too soon, though enough hints are given of the future to satisfy.

The only niggly critiscism is that especially when the narrator is Arthur, the ampersand is used in place of “and” in full, but not consistently. If there is a purpose to this, it is a distinction too subtle for me – I merely found it irritating and a distraction from an absorbing and thoughtful novel.

Oh this is dreadful….

My last post in September and November nearly out? Well I have been working and the house sale is finally happening to complete in the new year so I do have some excuse – especially as at time of writing I haven’t found anywhere to buy.

I have read a little…. though perhaps nothing much to write home about. I had to read Stoner for book group and was hugely disappointed. It is possible I would have liked it better had it been about a dopehead written by the guitarist: it would have been hard to like it less. Goodness knows macho can be too mucho but never have I been more tempted to use the phrase “grow a pair” in response to the protagonist’s relentless, almost cowardly passivity. Some admired his stoicism but when the casualties included his daughter as well as himself it was unforgivable let alone admirable. If that truly “the best book you have never read” I could rest easy knowing I wasn’t missing much. Dreary, depressing and turgid.

Doing better with the reading than the writing up…

My pile of unread books is reducing but my list of write ups increases proportionately. Since my last post I have read The Book thief, The ninth life of Louis Drax, a very disappointing Tolkien biography, Bring up the Bodies and Dominion.

Louis Drax may not really count as I have read it before but could remember virtually nothing about it save that I enjoyed it. Anyway.. will update my list and try to come up with some thoughts..

Yes, I know….

I am very behind but I have been selling a house and am still working through clearing a house and trying to look for a house and so forth so reading has been at a low priority (I even completely missed book club because I misremembered the date. So completely that I hadn’t even got the book let alone read it… hey ho.

However I have managed to finish “Can you forgive her?” which probably counts as two or three books really and have also read Regeneration as a book club book I remembered!

I enjoyed Can you forgive her?, I do like Trollope and he writes beautifully and writes women with a sympathetic understanding which is remarkable, particularly if you consider the times he lived in. However while it was enjoyable, it was also a very long haul for so little relatively to happen. I haven’t exactly dived straight in to “Phineas Finn” ..but I may yet. I have continued with the Regeneration trilogy and am well into “The eye in the door”. Not enjoying it quite as much so far because I find Prior less interesting than Rivers.