So it turns out that yesterday’s ‘under the weather’ thingy seems to have been some sort of random sneezing, drippy-eyed thing that lasted a day.  I’m guessing it was some sort of hay fever that has passed overnight as the pollen (or whatever) has died away.
That means I’m actually here today and the topic I’ve chosen is multi-tasking.

Well, in fairness, it’s books again.
I may have mentioned it before, but I seem unable to read a single book at a time.  My currently reading list at Goodreads borders on the length of other people’s “want to read” list.  The truly embarrassing aspect of this is that I have more books partially read than that list includes, but I didn’t want to add them since it’s already ridiculously long as it is.

I hope I’m not the only person who ‘multi-tasks’ her book reading?  It’s nice to be unique, but not quite so much.

In addition to my multitude of physical books I am also adding, as of yesterday evening, an audiobook.  I’ve cracked the cover (or pressed the play button) on Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye and so far I’m enjoying it.  The narrator isn’t annoying me too much – which is always a worry with audiobooks – and I’m starting to follow the story along nicely.
One thing I’ve noticed is that it can be tricky picking up on descriptive passages depending on the manner of the narration and getting used to the way the story is being told.  I’m starting to think that I need to ‘get my ear in’ with some narrators more than others.  Have any of you noticed that, or is it just me?

It could be a cultural thing too.  I’m very tuned in to British accents and stories and a little less so with American ones.  This, despite a love of noir films and the Bogart era of hardboiled detective movies.  Oh well, I do love to stretch myself and this is a perfectly pleasant way to do it.

I’m now also picking that The Long Goodbye will end up being my next review over at the Book Blog as it is easy reading/listening.  Poor old Cat’s Cradle may have to wait it’s turn.

So ‘fess up… are you a multi-tasking, or a single-tasking book reader?

New to me

As I mentioned earlier, I am trying to ease my way back in to a reading habit that has foundered and pretty much drowned under the waves of winter.  Take a look at my 2015 Books read and you’ll see the gaping hole in the middle of the year.  I did start and not finish a number of books over those months, and naturally did read since I have small children who need their fix.  However, I didn’t complete a single book for my own pleasure in four months.  That is pretty close to a record for me – in a bad way.

Thankfully, since last month I’ve enjoyed visiting with Auntie Agatha, have ventured back down memory lane and in to history with dear Jane, and have detoured to India and Tuscany with Ms Lynch.  Now it’s time to stow the favourites and light & easy reads and try something new to me.

I have picked up a number of books from the library that fall in to this category, including two by Kurt Vonnegut and one by Don DeLillo.  And today I’ve picked my winner.


I’ve already read a little bit of the introduction, to get a feel for the time and place in which it was written and I’m looking forward to comparing his vision from the Cold War era with that of John Wyndham.  I suspect it will be similar in many respects, but probably a lot darker.

If you’re a Vonnegut fan, let me know what you think of it.  Just don’t drop any spoilers.

The Classics

EIt’s been quiet around here and over at the Book Blog through the winter, which means that I suspect myself of being a hedgehog through the colder seasons. Without fail I seem to retreat in to a sort of creative hibernation.  Others probably just associate me with the prickles and a tendency to roll up in to a ball when confronted with a scary experience.

That aside it is now a case of the sun showing itself more often and for longer, and so it is time to dust off the winter sleepiness and to start building up to a summer of reading, writing and general creative expansion.  My first steps out of winter and in to spring will be bearing fruit over at 1001 Books in November when a review of Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is published.  I’ve long been a Christie fan, so you know the review will be a positive one.

The next step was to peruse the choices on the very long list and decide what I could ease myself back into reading and writing about.  I tossed up the option of going with a completely unknown to me author, Don DeLillo, but eventually I settled for revisiting old favourites.

I’m currently 100 pages in to a multiple time re-read of Emma by Jane Austen.  My eyesight may not thank me as I peer squinting at the tiny text of my Penguin Classics edition.  When I was a newly-minted university student I read the 428 pages of fine print over a two day period.  Unsurprisingly I found out that this was the way to give yourself a headache, and to find out that you are slightly long-sighted.  Nowadays in my dotage, I have glasses (ostensibly for long stints at a computer) and less blocks of time to devote to reading this quantity of text.  Young children are not keen on missing out on breakfast, lunch or dinner in the natural way of things after all.

So Roger Ackroyd and Emma are my stepping stones back in to regular reading and reviewing.  Let’s just sit back and see if they can do it.  If I make my way through the 300+ pages left to me, and afterwards produce something akin to an intelligible review then I think I will try out a new-to-me author before scurrying back to the Austen cannon for some well-loved shelter.

Indeed I am a hedgehog, and the Classics are my hedgerow!

What are you reading and do you have a hedgerow to return to?

Book review retrospective

I thought this was a lovely post over at the 1001 Books blog.  Thanks to my lovely co-editor for putting it together.   Reviewer Focus: Ms Oh Waily pulls together the 56 book reviews I have completed for the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die reviews blog.

It’s not the end of my reviewing by any means, but it is a nice snapshot of where I have been over the past few years in reading terms.  I hope you enjoy looking through them and feel free to drop back here to let me know what you thought.