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Reading Life: 22nd February 2016

A photograph of a white and pink flower

I’m still suffering the slump. So many books are just not keeping my attention at the moment and my tolerance for poor development and errors has lowered as a result; it’s getting quite silly really. At this point I’m looking to older books to help get me back in the swing of things. Tender Is The Night is my current choice; Rosemary’s not Jay or Daisy but I’ll give it several more pages before I make the final decision on whether or not to continue at this time. I’m also mulling over the idea of Cranford – I may not have enjoyed North And South but it didn’t put me off wanting to try another Gaskell and I’m wondering if now’s the time.

Thanks to gift cards I’ve a copy of The Ballroom by Anna Hope. I’d say it’s 95% likely I’ll love it so if all else fails on the classics front of this slump battle I’ll be turning to the early 1900s. I’m kind of banking on the promise in her surname!

I recently talked to my dad about Edgar Allan Poe. One of my favourite musicians has written songs inspired by his work and the sheer weirdness of them made me want to ask Dad if he’d read any Poe (after a short inquiry I discovered Dad’s where my interest in the classics comes from). Well he promptly got out a 1970s collection and lent it to me. I’m pretty worried, to be honest – this paperback is in excellent condition and the pages are still white! I’ve got to get myself some doors for my bookcases to emulate the darkness he’s kept this book in. We’ve agreed that once I’ve read a few of the stories we’ll have a chinwag (is that a British expression?) and compare notes.

I may be having trouble but my nephew isn’t; his reading is coming along splendidly and the beautiful Narnia edition I’ve had ready for him since he was born looks a possibility this year. He won’t be able to read all of it but hopefully enough that it’d make a nice dual-reader bedtime story series. I’ve learned that, contradictory to my expectations, the books I read when I was his age are still being published; a lovely discovery. I suppose they were more popular than I thought.

How is your reading life?



February 22, 2016, 2:22 pm

Slumps are awful! I hope yours ends soon. I’m in one myself, but I started reading a short book on art today and it’s giving me hope for change. I should be reading some NetGalley books but I can’t concentrate on them.

It’s lovely that the books you loved as a child are still in print, if only to have the joy of sharing them.

Laurie C

February 22, 2016, 2:45 pm

I don’t get in reading slumps, really, just reviewing slumps! I did agree to a lot of review copies in a moment of weakness, and need to get to them, instead of reading other stuff. Hope your slump ends with one of your current choices!


February 22, 2016, 4:43 pm

My reading has actually perked up a little bit recently – due to the fact I have managed to read several easy and enjoyable books in a row.

I hope these classics help you get out of your reading slump! I recently got my hands on a copy of Cranford which I can’t wait to read.

p.s. ‘Chinwag’ is definitely a British term :-D

Booker Talk

February 22, 2016, 7:59 pm

Cranford is distinctly different to North and South so it depends what you didnt like about the latter whether you’ll enjoy Cranford. Personally I thought Cranford was too light and frothy and I loved the realism of North and South. If you want a middle ground try Wives and Daughters


February 22, 2016, 9:06 pm

I hope you find the right book to get you out of your slump soon. The Ballroom sounds wonderful and should be a good choice if you decide not to continue with the classics. And I love Edgar Allan Poe! I received a copy of his complete works for my birthday a few years ago and was surprised by the variety of different types of stories and poems he wrote.


February 23, 2016, 1:06 am

Good luck rekindling your reading! Slumps are the worst!


February 29, 2016, 1:40 pm

Alice: In this case definitely pick the art book over the NetGalley; choice over choice-but-now-task.

Yes. I’ve just got to remember he won’t want just old books I used to like!

Laurie: I’m incredibly jealous! Reviewing slumps are difficult, too – best way out of that, at least as far as getting them done if not feeling motivated is to just do it. (I find that’s an easier method with writing than reading.) I’ve not finished a single book yet this month so I’m viewing this leap day as a boon and planning a reading evening.

Jessica: Good to hear :) That’s key, isn’t it? It’d make an interesting survey – if the books we read always turn out to be good would we ever have slumps? Cranford’s been a hoot so far – too many lines that beg reading aloud to people.

Thank you for that. It certainly sounds very British!

Booker Talk: I’m definitely finding that to be the case. You’re right about light and frothy, there’s nothing concrete to it, but it’s good if that’s what you’re after. Certainly North and South has more substance – whilst I’m loving Cranford I can imagine North and South is quite a surprise if it’s read after it. I’ll look into Wives and Daughters, thank you. That’s the one that was left unfinished, isn’t it?

Helen: It’s still there waiting; I’m trying my best not to use it as such, would rather it was a choice away from this particular slump if that makes sense. I’m happy to hear that, both that the collection is still printed and about the variety. My Dad, though I’ve since realised he hasn’t read much, told me it was all weird, erring on the psychological, but nothing about variety.

Kailana: Thank you. You’re right!



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