Monday 15 July 2013

Chapter One we didn't really get along...

Our booklist.
Which art on the links on the right-hand side of this page.
Forgive me this day.
It's been sixteen months since my last update.

At some point around March last year, I updated the pointless list that catalogues the books that I've been reading so that it included "The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway.  An excellent book, by the way ("Wouldn't it be pretty to think so?" OUCH!).  I've just added about twelve books to the list to take us right up to my current To Be Read pile, featuring Neil Gaiman's latest and my first Robert Jordan, but I'm pretty sure I've left something out along the way.

It doesn't matter, of course.  If it really mattered, I would have taken more trouble to be a little more scrupulously meticulous about my cataloguing.... but I still feel slightly unsettled by the whole thing.

I suppose it boils down to the fact that I don't really like how little I've read in the last twelve months or so.  Oh, I've got excuses.  For a large part of that time, I was desperately trying - and failing - to keep on top of my subscription to the New Yorker.  It's a fantastic, nourishing read... but weight of pressure of a new edition coming out every single week, directly to my iPad, was simply too much to bear and I think I'm stuck somewhere around September.  I'll renew my subscription if/when I ever catch up with the backlog.

That's not the whole story though.  300+ hours playing Skyrim on the Playstation probably didn't help, but I've also annoyingly got stuck in two entirely different books.  I'm sure this happens to everyone: you start to read a perfectly good book, and for whatever reason you just stop picking it up.  I don't like reading lots of books at once, so getting stuck like this usually means that I just stop reading books and find something else to do.  The longer it goes on, the worse it gets as the book becomes harder and harder to pick back up again where you left off, but I'm usually reluctant to start something new.

For me it was initially Joseph Heller's "Something Happened".  It's beautifully written, but after a few hundred pages I just stopped reading and didn't pick up another book for months before I eventually started something else.  The same thing happened again a few months later with David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas".  I wanted to read the book before seeing the film, and I absolutely loved the first half of the book, but just at the point where the novel pivots, I found myself stuck in a section and unable to keep going.  That was in April, and I've still not managed to get any further, in spite of the fact that I know lots of people who tell me it's a remarkable book.

Well.  I seem to have unblocked and I've started ripping through books again over the last couple of days.  I started Ben Dirs' book on England Cricket's Barmy Army of travelling fans last night and I'm hopeful of finishing it in the next day or so (apparently we're in it when he describes the Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in 2005 where we were dressed as Spanish Cardinals and I missed perhaps the greatest catch in cricketing history because I was buying a round of bacon sandwiches).  Then it's Neil Gaiman, and I love his books so much that I don't imagine that will detain me for long.  I've got a book on Military Psychology to read, but I think I'm going to launch first into the first book (of fifteen, I think) in Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series.  Apparently they're splendid, so hopefully that should keep me reading for the next little while.

I love books.  I especially love it when you are reading a book so good that you find every opportunity to squeeze out another chapter or two.  That's when you know you're onto a good one.  I'm looking for that book.

I'm *always* looking for that book.

1 comment:

  1. I have had the exact same problem with two non-Catch 22 Joseph Heller books; Good as Gold and Something Happened. I'm not sure why but I felt like there is a thread lost somewhere in the middle. While Catch 22's accumulation of happenings builds to the climax within Yossarian, I feel the other books somewhat lack the feeling you go along.