Everytime I start reading a new book, I sign it and write the date on the first page after the cover (you know, the blank one that all books seem to have just for the sake of it). It’s something I’ve been doing for years and I don’t think I’ll stop doing any time soon.
The thing is, it is a reminder of how long I have been reading a book. It turns out that I’ve been trying to read Iris Murdoch’s The Philosopher’s Pupil for 5 months now. It is a long time, I know. The problem is that it has taken me a long time to get into the story. Once a huge fan of Iris Murdoch, I have really struggled to get past the first 200 odd pages or so. Too much information. Too many characters. Too deep and philosophical. Now that I’m on page 231 I am starting to enjoy it. All the characters have been introduced. The plot is set (-ish). Now I actually enjoy reading it and I know it won’t take me too long to finish it.
A downside of taking so long with just one book is that I still keep buying/getting books to read regularly, so now I’ve got quite a list “pending”!
So here it is, in no particular order:
1) Dave Pelzer’s trilogy: A child called ‘it’, The lost boy and A man named Dave. Our friend Pat recommended these and she lent them to me last summer when we went to visit her. Apparently, they are very hard books about this kid who gets abused by his alcoholic mother. I suppose I’ll have to read a comedy book first before attempting to start with this ones. Otherwise I fear it’ll affect my mental health!
2) I play the drums in a band called okay by Toby Litt. No idea where I got the inspiration for this one. Maybe I read a review, maybe someone recommended it, maybe I liked the cover. Somehow now I’ve got a feeling that it’s the type of book that I would have loved in my emo times. Not sure if I’ll enjoy it that much now.
3) Lord of the flies by William Golding. Okay, this one is a bit embarrasing, as I should have read it like 10 years ago, at Uni. Jon and I were in a bookshop not that long ago when I saw it and casually commented: “One day I should read that one”. He turned his head and looked at me in amazement. He simply couldn’t believe that I hadn’t read it yet! So, it came to me to the checkout and then home to sit in my “pending” book list.
4) Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked. This one is my most recent acquisition. I only bought it last week. In Tescos. For like £4. Bargain. I hope it’s better than the last one (Slam – I didn’t rate it much). Although I’ve got a feeling that I am going to enjoy this one. Even when Hornby is not very inspired, he’s always funny.
5) The time traveller’s wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I had never heard of this book before until the film was released last year (which I haven’t seen either – I want to read the book first) but somehow suddenly everybody around me HAD read it and I was the odd one out. So it had to be bought. Also, it seems that the book is 1,000 times better than the film, so that is already promising. (By the way, it took me a while to find the book with a cover that didn’t show the film cover too – I hate that…)
6) No bed for me, by Eric Chambers. This one is the oldest in my list. I’ve had it since November 2007. And I know the precise date because the author signed it and dated it for me! Eric Chambers is local to the Woking area. He happened to be in Waterstones one Saturday morning when Jon and I were shopping around. He was there, standing in front of a desk, with a pile of books, looking eagerly at people, hoping they would approach him and talk to him. And I did. And he was the cutest of grandads, very nice to talk to, and I kind of felt sorry for him and bought his book.
I will read it eventually, but I must say that it will stay in the bottom of my list whilst I have anything better to read (I hope he proves me wrong and I hope the book turns out to be a great read)
Oh Gosh, I almost forgot! Marian Keyes has a new book out! I must get that one too!