You know those phases when writing and blogging don’t seem to gel? I’ve been in one of those funks all year. I’m reading like mad, choosing books I want to read, for pleasure. And if I’m not enjoying it, I stop and move onto something else. But the though of writing about them, makes me want to go ‘meh’.
Writing, the thought of it and the doing, is driving me spare. I’m not inspired or feeling creative.
Every now and again, I have a nice little writing run, like when I wrote my recent response to The Death of Noah Glass. I enjoyed writing and researching it and I felt satisfied when done, but it has been quite a while since I’ve had that feeling.
So in an attempt to tidy up my thoughts and desk, I thought it was time for a list or two.
List #1 – What I’m Reading Right Now
My main read is How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn, interspersed with chapters of Accidental Feminists by Jane Caro. Loving both.
List #2 – Books I’m Struggling With – Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Don Quixote – This is my chapter-a-day readalong book but I’m just not finding it funny or even amusing. It’s absurd, ridiculous and convoluted. I had heard that Part 2 was more interesting than Part 1, but so far the first few chapters of it are not inspiring me either.
Sad to say, but Becoming by Michelle Obama has now hit a wall. I loved hearing about her younger years growing up, going to school, family life, meeting Barack, but her work life dilemma’s are not so interesting to me. I’m reluctant to pick it up now.
The Dark Interval: Letters for the Grieving Heart by Rainer Maria Rilke
List #3 – New to the Pile
Writing the Country – Griffith Review 63
Memories of the Future by Siri Hustvedt
The Complete Stories by Anita Desai
This is not a Border – Reportage & Reflection from the Palestine Festival of Literature
Curiosities and Splendour – An Anthology of Classic Travel Literature (Lonely Planet)
List #4 – Books I’ve Finished But Haven’t Reviewed
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata.
I loved this quirky Japanese story and will try to respond more fully here, since it’s my book club book for April, but for now all I want to say is how much I enjoyed it.
The Skylarks’ War by Hilary McKay.
Fabulous historical fiction for kids and adults. I couldn’t put it down last weekend. This will win more awards I’m sure.
The Novel of the Century by David Bellos.
A fascinating insight into all things Les Miserables – glad I saved it for the end days of last year’s readalong though – lots of spoilers.
Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India by Shashi Tharoor.
Narrow Road to the Interior by Basho.
Oku no Hosomichi is the title of Matsuo Basho’s classic travel journal (奥の細道, originally おくのほそ道). In translation it can be either Narrow Road to the Interior or The Narrow Road to the Deep North. It’s a genre called haibun, a Japanese literary form blending memoir, prose and haiku. According to wikipedia, Richard Flanagan’s Man Booker prize winning book took it’s title from Basho’s work.