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Reading Life: 24th January 2020

A macro photograph of the side of a blossom

Whilst I’m currently in the middle of writing a couple of further thoughts type posts, one in particular that I thought would take only an hour or so and then ballooned in the research department, I thought I’d have a think on what I’ve been reading so far this month, though not everything because that would make this post very long and I don’t want to descend into naval-gazing. As I said on Monday, it’s been a fair amount, and I hope to finish at least a couple more. It’s also been immensely satisfying.

I started the year by finishing a book I’d carried over, Sherry Thomas’ Delicious. This is different for me as I like the idea of that first book of the year, a brand new page. But I did find that finishing a book you’ve carried over feels the same as if it were new, which was a nice discovery – I know, it probably should have been obvious. This all said, whilst it was a carry-over, I was only a quarter of the way through it, and this was because I was finding it difficult. I’d read three of Thomas’ romances before, liking two a lot and disliking the other, so I knew it was possible I’d like this next one.

(I’ll say here that I’m specifying Thomas’ romances because whilst she is known as a historical romance writer, in recent years she’s written Young Adult fantasy which I want to read regardless of the general ratio I find in regards to my enjoyment of her romances – her use of language has always been stunning.)

I found Delicious difficult because it was confusing, at least to me – perhaps if I’d read it quicker, with fewer breaks for other books, I’d have been less confused, but the basics of the plot are that a woman has relationships with two brothers, and she feels she has to hide her face from the second years later because it had up to then been a one-night stand and awkward. She also seems at the start of the book to be some sort of ex-Lady, which was also confusing at that point.

Anyway, over all I liked it enough. Subjectively I suppose it was always going to be less successful for me because it’s about a cook and I can rarely get into fiction books where food is a big feature. But I’m glad to have finished it. I will try another of Thomas’ books at some point, I might just double-check the storyline.

I’ve read Table Manners and The Forgotten Sister as you know, and I read E C Fremantle’s The Poison Bed.

Then I have my bedtime read – the short story collection Reader, I Married Him – which is a concept I’ve essentially instigated because I’ve been having trouble sleeping; I suppose Christmas hasn’t quite worn off. I picked a book I’d had for a while in the hopes that I wouldn’t be too excited about it – when thinking about the recommendation of a bedtime routine to foster good sleeping habits, I have to pause at the advice to read as a way to calm down. It is great advice, unless you like to write notes, or review, blog, and so forth. How am I to relax and get ready to sleep if I’m needing to make notes in the book or, in my case, note down anything I should remember for a review? Reading is relaxing, but not as much as I expect the people who write these guidelines expect it to be. Needless to say it’s not working as I’d hoped – I hope that’s a not yet – but it is at least enjoyable; I like that I have a book I’m reading in the evenings followed by a change to another book. It’s an unintentional nicety but I reckon switching books during an evening helps keep away any burnout, and the effective procrastination I’ve found previously when trying to change books for whatever reason doesn’t happen when there’s a routine reason for the change.

I don’t think that’s what the original advisors were imagining when they came up with reading as an aid to sleep, but it’s been an interesting experience.

Reader, I Married Him is effectively what you would expect it to be – a collection based on Jane Eyre, and the sentence in all its emotions and meanings. Some stories are quite distant to the classic text, others very close to it; this is to say there’s a fair amount of variety in it. I’m enjoying it – some of the stories I’m not quite ‘getting’, I believe, but it’s fun. It’s also more lengthy than you might think when picking it up, the differing subjects perhaps adding to the length as you have to ‘reset’ your thoughts ready for a different location, time period, and author.

So it has been a good month so far – I hope I can add a few more books to it.

Completely off topic, Lit Hub has compiled a list of the many literary adaptations coming to screens this year and it is worth a check if you haven’t seen it already – there are tons and a variety of genres are included. I’m looking forward to David Copperfield with Dev Patel myself.

Do you read before bed?

 
 

Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

January 24, 2020, 4:01 am

I’ve always liked that line, “Reader..I married him” (even though she shouldn’t have lol).
I think that need to reset is part of the reason I avoid short story collections.

Glad you’ve had a good month

jessicabookworm

January 24, 2020, 5:53 pm

I do read before, in fact its the main time I get to read and it helps me to unwind.

Kelly

January 24, 2020, 7:36 pm

I read before bed and it’s the only way I can successfully wind down in order to fall asleep. Then we have my husband who says “it’s time for bed”, turns off his light, and proceeds to fall asleep within seconds. If only.

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