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Reading Life: 27th January 2017

A photograph of a pen resting on an open diary

It has been quite some time since I last wrote one of these posts. I think I got so caught up in ‘topic’ posts and using an editorial calendar that it got pushed to the wayside. Writing about your current reading doesn’t really fit the idea of planning ahead.

My reading so far this year has been minimal. I’m finding that January is a hit-or-miss month – some years I’ll read a lot, others not much at all (if I finish a few books it’s usually down to a last-week-before-February ‘rush’ wherein that last week is sufficiently far enough from the holidays to feel detached from them). Thinking back to years I read a lot in January, it was mostly down to Long-Awaited Reads Month. I considered doing it again this year, just me, but found I wasn’t in the mood.

So I’ve been in a slump but it’s coming to an end. It got to the stage where I had to read because of the books I’d taken on for review. The books have been good. The Stone Angel has a horrible heroine but the book otherwise has been a fair read. I identified with it, having known people like Hagar Shipley, and that made it easier to work out what was happening, what was really going on. The book I’m currently reading, Nicola Cornick’s The Phantom Tree, was one I’d been looking forward to in that way of a reader who loved the author’s previous book and doesn’t care what the next will be, they just want to read it. It’s in a similar vein to House Of Shadows but different enough – there’s a lovely difference between the narrative voices in the two books wherein Cornick has stuck to her writing style whilst delivering a new voice. Hopefully that makes sense!

I’m also slowly getting through Evie Wyld’s All The Birds, Singing. I’m not keen on it, mostly because there is no suggestion, other than name usage, as to when the narrative has moved back and forth in time. The effect is huge – what could have been an interesting, pacey, book, is rendered confusing because you often don’t know where you are until a couple of pages into each chapter. Wyld is, I believe, the fourth ‘Granta best novelist’ I have read and I’m finding it intriguing that three of the four authors have something confusing in their narratives, as though to be a Granta Best Novelist one must be very vague. Xiaolu Guo. Helen Oyeyemi. Evie Wyld. Even Zadie Smith, who isn’t confusing as such, can be rather experimental. I’m wondering if I should keep a look out for the Granta line on covers so that I’m prepared and can plan my reading accordingly; I wouldn’t want to give them up but they’re best left for those times you’re particularly motivated.

Lastly, I’ve encountered my first erroneous blank page in a book. I read about this happening and it feels almost like a rite of passage. It was an early print so I doubt many will find it, though I believe at least one of you will know which book it was…

How is your reading going, and have you ever encountered a blank page?

 
 

April Munday

January 27, 2017, 11:51 am

I once read a book in which the whole of the last quarter was a repetition of the beginning. It was fifty years ago, though, so I’m almost over it.

My reading is going very slowly this year. It’s my fault for starting the year with long books. I am enjoying them, though.

Stefanie

January 27, 2017, 6:20 pm

I haven’t encountered a blank page before but I did have a book once, and I can’t remember the title, that had about 100 pages repeat before moving on with the story.

Jenny @ Reading the End

January 31, 2017, 12:15 am

My reading has been going really well in January actually! I read one of the books that’s been on my TBR spreadsheet the longest, and that semi-broke my awesome reading streak, sob. It was really, really satisfying deleting that line from my TBR spreadsheet, though. :p

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