Friday, 25 March 2011

It's not a race

Again, I'm only telling you about reading, but I swear I will compensate soon with information about the quarter-hoody and the cat.
15 was Carl Honoré, and I'm honestly ashamed to say I already can't recall the name of the book, and it's already gone back to the library. It was essentially In praise of slow rewritten to be about parenting, and didn't seem to add much. Entertaining in a Gladwell-lite sort of way, but not exactly thought-provoking.
The next fruit of my last library visit was 16 Legend of a suicide, a bit of fiction by David Vann which I'd picked up because the dovegreyreader had raved about it. I did enjoy it though it's gone straight into my modern fiction mental category, meaning that I can't imagine wanting to reread it, and I suspect in another month or two I'll not be able to tell you what it was about (except - except - it does have some of the survival stuff that I love, not like chewing your own leg off to get out of a trap, but struggling to subsist, like in Cold Mountain and The Siege and lots of others that I can't readily recall).
Number 17 was the last from the library and of course I love it, it's Hilary Mantel and for me she can do little wrong. This is a shortish memoir she wrote a few years back, Giving up the ghost and it just reads like she wrote it, which is enough for me.
On the bench I've been rereading The now habit but it doesn't get a number on the list because I've only been picking out the bits I wanted to revise, so won't be reading all of it, and I am a scrupulous person who doesn't claim numerical credit that she hasn't earned. On trains, I am progressing with War and peace still, nearly there, and it made me cry again this morning when Natasha crept out to see the injured Andrew in the night and he, still delirious, looked at her and reached out his hand and smiled. I'm turning to mush!
For can't-do-anything-else, how-do-you-expect-me-to-read-proper-books-when-I'm-seven-months-pregnant evenings, Morse still never fails me - I don't think that I confessed earlier in the year to The jewel that was ours, but that was a little while back, and at the moment I'm in the midst of The daughters of Cain so I suppose those are 18 and 19. (And I've just realised! I forgot to give Studs Terkel a number, so he's 20, and I swear to tell you all about him (morally I think he should count as two books because it was so long, but it doesn't work that way (she says to herself, sternly))).

With several in-progress items on there I am almost ahead, which might clear me space to write interesting fun chatty posts about things other than what I'm reading. They may even have photos, like a proper blog does.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Things I haven't even mentioned

10 Ina May's guide to childbirth (Ina May Gaskin); 11 Misconceptions (Naomi Wolf); 12  Hypnobirthing (Marie Mongan), you can see a theme here and really, unless this is the sort of thing you find interesting, you're not going to find it interesting (makes me think of Brod in Everything is Illuminated, who wouldn't want a boy to think she was pretty unless he was the kind of boy who thought she was pretty); 13 (in progress) more Penelope Leach, Childcare Today, and there must be more that I've already forgotten. This is the thing about not keeping up to date, things slip away so fast, and the whole point of keeping records is to fight against this, but it doesn't work if you don't do it.
And I even started this a week ago and didn't finish, so now I can add that I finished Hypnobirthing, and am nearly through a light little Honoré, and I forgot all about 14 The visual display of quantitative information (Tufte), which might not be the sort of thing you imagine reading for pleasure, but really you should try it.

I may get round to telling more about the books on this list, or I may just see it as a catchup to make sure my records are up to date even if unsubstantiated, and a kick to get back to writing this without the  overwhelmed fear of behindness. It just seems like I'm spending increasing amounts of time sitting around Being Pregnant, regardless of how much I swore I wouldn't, and I'm not sure how interesting it is to read about. But then, on the two mornings a week that I make it to the Aldwych, I still have a captivated 20 minutes on a bench with a polystyrene coffee and Studs Terkel, and it still always always works to help me with my perspective, to give me something wider to think about than just the kicks in my belly (though, let's be honest, they're winning).