Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Some of the promised back-filling

So, I loved The turn of the screw, much more than I expected to, and it frightened me a little bit, but in a good way. I suppose my previous HJ experience was a bit bleak because I read Portrait of a Lady which isn't, by any stretch, an uplifting book but now, having read T of the S as well, I may have to admit that he might just be quite talented at conjuring up mood, whatever mood that is.
The AS Neill book just appealed because I loved his straight book on Summerhill. This, on the other hand, was good only in parts. The more thoughtful sections on growing up, deciding how to direct your life, making mistakes and learning from them, and so on, were pretty interesting but the book did descend into pomp and windbaggery. I persisted, but if you pick it up I'd stop when he reaches middle age.
I need to be alert for the next one...

Monday, 3 May 2010

something lovely...

...happened today, which I'll write about properly just as soon as I've digested it, but for now I must brush the cat and sort myself to go back to work. Watch this space.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

I seem to have fallen horribly behind myself, despite a week off. It's struck me a few times recently that I'm not necessarily getting the balance absolutely right, although perhaps it's something more subtle than that: the balance is fine, it's just that the volume's, on occasion, unmanageable.
Since one of my aims here was to write properly about what I've been reading, but I also don't want to lose track, here's a list, and I'll backfill with comments shortly. Not quite in order:
18 The Turn of the Screw - Henry James having a good go at being brief and readable;
19 Neill, Neill, Orange Peel, an autobiography by AS Neill, the founder of Summerhill;
20 Telling about society, Howard S Becker, ooo, I enjoyed this;
21 Patterns of Infant Care in an Urban Community - I'll delay saying much on this until I've read the third of the trio, which I'm saving for a treat;
22 When will there be good news? - Kate Atkinson, meeting my need for ongoing feeding with modern fiction;
23 Darrell Huff's How to lie with statistics - an important book everyone should have read;
24 The seminal work, Young and Willmott's Family and Kinship in East London ;
25 Hard Times - maybe should have been earlier on the list but I only finished it this morning.

Oh Helen, Helen, are you becoming a dull person who only reads sociology? No, apart from in the sense that it's all sociology, really, everything is (as Becker puts, more eloquently than this).