…but I’m terribly unsettled in my reading. It took me real, concentrated effort to finish Day by A.L.Kennedy, a book I’d been very much looking forward to. I usually do so well with Costa winners (Stef Penney, William Boyd) and expected to enjoy this Second World War themed novel, but it was such hard work to read that it was like trudging uphill whilst wearing a particularly heavy and bulky knapsack.
But I’m also worried about writing too many negative posts in quick succession, so I have been trying to pick my next read with care. After years of treating him coldy I’ve started flirting again with Will Self. After buying my copy of The Book of Dave I sat down to read it but I’ve realised that it’s still too soon to get back together with him; the experience wasn’t the pleasure it might have been. I closed the paperback and put it aside for another day, like ruefully putting the cork back into an ill-chosen bottle of wine.
Panic set in. I started J.G.Ballard’s The Drowned World last night. Although it wasn’t quite the sobering Self experience, the important work meeting I had looming the next day spoilt my enjoyment of the book, and then proceeded to spoil life itself until I’d got it out of the way. What to do? A trip to Borders this afternoon saved the day. Following the meeting from hell (a.k.a Stephen against the world – alternative a.k.a Stephen comes out quite well after a potentially confrontational and nasty meeting) I decide to treat myself to a few new books, including Essays in Love by Alain de Botton.
Sitting in the school library as I wait to pick my daughter up from netball I dip in to de Botton and he’s a joy to read. I feel no heavy burden. The wine is nectar. Choosing the right book shouldn’t be so difficult, I shouldn’t ponder on it as much. Do you really want to know? But when the pleasure of reading kicks in there’s nothing like it, so I feel that I need to tell you. And I bought the Duffy album too, which helps to calm the mood. A review of Essays in Love coming soon…