Friday, July 06, 2018

Freedom. And something to read.

Today was going to be a day off but then I went out to pick some raspberries and strawberries for breakfast and noticed the blackcurrants were ripe. Ah me. I need to pick them and make jam and freeze the rest, before they shrivel in the heat.

Dave just set off early for a long bike ride and on leaving, he asked me what I was doing today.

On 'days off' I don't like to specify. I like to hang free and be unaccountable. That's part of the chill. But there is a list in my head apart from fruit picking - submit to a new literary agent, renew the house insurance, check the price of heating oil, ring the Home Office for a friend. I refuse to list anything else. That's already too much for a day off.

Life has been so hectic, and I've been wanting something to read to relax. I had four books on my to be read pile:

I picked them all up in turn and read the first two pages and not one of them was right for my mood. Do you ever feel like that? You have good books to read and you don't fancy any of them? And this was after I'd started and given up on Reservoir 13

Then a friend lent me this:

which turned out to be hugely important. I recommend it, and this comes form a person who generally can't read non-fiction. Even so, on one really bad day I stalled, desperate for something escapist but intelligent. So I bought this:

It's been a page turner, a good thing to read on a hot afternoon in the shade when I've needed a rest.

What have you been reading and enjoying lately?


Anonymous said...

‘Moon Tiger’ by Penelope Lively - Booker prize winner in 1987 that I’d somehow never come across.
The cover blurb describes it as ‘a haunting story of loss and desire’ - it’s more than that though, with a unique angle on life.

Sue Hepworth said...

I must read it. I like Penelooe Lively.

Phoebe said...

I loved Lively's According to Mark which I read many years ago; I remember the enjoyment so clearly. Warlight was very good. Sing Unburied Sing was beautifully written but the content is a major down, maybe it's not a summer book. Re Eliigible: it got good reviews and friends have enjoyed it. My views aren't particularly idiosyncratic but I found it so very ugly, hideous really. Life d'affirming, to coin a neologism. But if the pages turned for you, so much the better.

Sue Hepworth said...

Hi Phoebe, there was one bit in Eligible near the beginning when I thought - is THIS really necessary? I don't like THIS. but having got past it, I enjoyed it. It was a page turner. The fun for me was in wondering how she was going to play out the Pride and Prejudice story in that setting. I shan't be reading it again and I wouldn't give it 5 stars, but it was what I needed at the time - it made me relax. Have you read her American Wife? It's excellent, and I have been recommending that. I must say - the glowing reviews from all and sundry for Eligible do surprise me. I don't think it's top notch.
As for Lively, I've read lots of hers and really enjoyed them and am now ensconced in Moon Tiger.

Phoebe said...

I enjoyed the beginning of American Wife, it was so interestingly detailed, but when she met W I couldn't go on. Maybe I can pick it up again seeing as how he now falls within the less competent range of mainstream presidencies.

Sue Hepworth said...

It tails off to the end and I skimmed it, but overall I was impressed with her writing.
I'm sorry not to respond sooner, Phoebe. I no longer get notifications of comments on my blog.