Friday, 31 July 2015

Friday 31st July - Reading List

I barely read a single book during term times this academic year just passed. In the evenings I've tended to browse the blogs that are on my, and scroll through twitter, and flip through flipboard, with one eye and one ear vaguely directed to "easy-watching-TV). I really didn't have many brain cells left to deal with any kind of "input" that needed proper thinking about.

It's because I've had a particularly tough teaching year, and I have had more behaviour management issues that I have ever had to deal with, but that is all over now - and it wasn't all bad, just jolly hard work. And extra dosh.

Anyway, it took about a week before I was able to start reading books again, and I'm now about ready to start reading "proper books" as opposed to "easy-reading". There are still plenty in the house in spite of the hundreds that we have got rid of this year.

(When we were house-hunting back in about 1979, I can remember going round houses where there was not a single book, or even a magazine, anywhere in sight. Scary. The house I grew up in, had books in every room except the downstairs loo and the laundry room.)

I've been loading up my kindle in readiness;

These are the books I'm reading at the moment.

"The Year of Reading Dangerously" is the only really "booky" book. The others are dip-in-and-out, which is what I do; read a page or so of each every so often.

These are new books that I have loaded up recently.

 I've no idea why I downloaded "Daisy Miller"; it was referenced in something else I was reading but I can't remember where or when. Likewise "Castle in the Air". "The Daisy Chain" was mentioned in a blog I follow on early English Literature (Saxon and such-like), and the author of the book, Charlotte M Yonge, is probably the only slightly famous person from my school. I've never read any of her books, but she was very popular in her day.

"A History of the World in 100 Objects" is the book of the radio 4 series. I've got the series on CD and listen to it frequently at night instead of reading. It's fascinating, I love it, but listening to any kind of talking book is also an excellent way for me to fall asleep, so the CDs are lasting me for months and months and months.

These are ones that I have started at various times over the past couple of years - they are all more of the dip-in-and-out-of kind. I'm thoroughly enjoying "A History of England in 100 Places", and have gone out of my way to visit some of them (others I've already been to). Reading "Cultural Amnesia" is a bit like reading an encyclopaedia; you really need to read it while sitting next to a computer so that you can follow up the links to a piece of music, or a poem, or google some background to the subject under discussion.

I'm also sort of reading "Oryx and Crake" by Margaret Attwood. It's what I think of as a "proper" book, you know, Booker Prize shortlist and all that.

Not sure if I'm going to stick with it, having just read the wikipedia synopsis. Andy Miller used to just read 50 pages per day to "get through" a book on his "Dangerous List". He said that it helped him stick with a "difficult" book for long enough to be able to appreciate it. Maybe I'll just reach for the next Mary Stewart, now that I've put them all in order on the landing bookshelf (bottom row, right-hand-side, underneath all the Dick Francis books).

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