September 2017 Snapshot

September snapshotProgress of a kind has been made on the health front. Two weeks after surgery to repair all the breaks in my upper humerus I can now take the arm out of the sling. I’m still pretty much confined to doing daily activities single-handed but at least I can now begin physiotherapy. It’s going to be slow progress I fear because I have little range of movement at the moment. Imagine a penguin walking and you have the image of how much I can move the damaged arm. Four weeks from now I hope I can at least drive.

Apart from trying to coax my damaged wing back into health, what else was I up to on September 1, 2017?

 Reading now

kelly gangI’m currently reading another Booker Prize winner – True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey.  This is book number 43 from the list of 50 titles in my Booker Prize project. It’s a fictionalised autobiography of the Australian outlaw Ned Kelly,  a historical figure about whom I know very little.  Carey imagines Kelly writing a journal to the daughter he would never meet, in which he traces his life as the offspring of a poor family of Irish origin and how his many encounters with the law. The style is distinctively vernacular with little punctuation or grammar, emulating the pattern found in the Jerilderie Letter, a letter dictated by Kelly to one of his gang members in 1879.  I thought that might make it hard to read but not a bit of it. This is a book so mesmerizing that after a few pages you cease to be concerned with the mode of telling and just get swept along with the story.

I’d hoped to finish this before #20booksofsummer2017 comes to an end (September 3) but I don’t think I’ll make it.  Not to worry, I will still have read 11 by then which is one better than 2016.

Reflecting on the state of my personal library

We Don't Know What We're DoingOne of my goals for 2017 is to enjoy the books I already own and to reign back on acquiring yet more. I started 2017 with 318 unread books.  I’m now down to 274. I was remarkably restrained with purchases in August -just one bought. A collection of short stories by Thomas Morris called We Don’t Know What We’re Doing.  I don’t tend to read many short story collection but this one caught my eye because Morris happens to have been born in the town of Caerphilly ( about 5 miles from where I grew up ) and all 10 stories in this book are based in the town.  It won the Rhys Davies Trust Fiction Award within the Wales Book of the Year award in 2016. So I get to ride a little wave of nostalgia and support a local author at the same time.

Thinking of reading next…

I think I’m going to avoid making too many plans for September. It was fun to do the #20booksofsummer reading but I feel more like reading as the mood takes me for the next few weeks. I know there will be a Booker Prize winner in the mix – I will have just six remaining to read once I’ve finished with Mr Ned Kelly and his exploits but whether it’s How Late It Was, How Late or Vernon God Little or even A Brief History of Seven Killings I tackle next I will decide on the day. I might read Owen Shears’ I Saw a Man which I collected from the library today. I’ve read only one of his novels until now (Resistance) and wasn’t all that enamoured with it but this one has had very strong reviews. Oh and did I mention he is Welsh? Another good reason to get to know him better.

Watching: Now The Handmaid’s Tale as dramatised by Channel 4 in the UK has come to an end I am somewhat bereft. I have no interest in Game of Thrones (sorry to the millions of its fans), was bored by Poldark and cannot get the Channel 4 catchup service to let me watch The Good Fight, the spin off to The Good Wife. I’m hoping that the end of summer means there could be a few good series coming soon. Until then I’m relying on some old favourites like Inspector Morse (I’ve seen them so many times I can practically recite the lines but still find myself confused by a few of the plots.)

And that is it for this month. I hope by this time next month the arm will be back in operation again. Until then, happy reading everyone.

About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on September 1, 2017, in 2017 goals, Bookends, Irish authors, TBR list, Welsh authors and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. What a weird typo. I meant plans, of course. Btw I was also bored by Poldark but would love to watch Game of Thrones. In Switzerland, we are always the last to get things.

    • I expect you get a mix of French and German programs but can’t get the BBC catch up service?

      • We got Sky as my partner is from the U.K., so it might be feasible but our Netflix for example is just a fraction. We’re not part of the EU, so that’s probably the main reason. I think he recorded Far From the Madding Crowd series for me though. Hope that’s good.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about your arm. Luckily it’s getting better.
    I’m not making any reading olabs these days.

  3. Ugh, sorry about your arm but fingers crossed it will be steady progress from here. Hope you can get some good reading and watching in at least!

  4. Physical therapy is a wonderful thing.
    Not to try to twist your arm (I had to say that), I was too pooh poohing Game of Thrones and I started watching it and dove right in hooked. Almost done with season 7 so I was lucky enough to be able to watch non stop and not wait for new episodes. It’s got me thinking I might read the books.

  5. I hope September sees an improvement in the penguin-like arm!
    Like you 2017 has seen me reading far more books from my own collection and a slight reduction in acquisitions although nowhere as dramatic as yours with my 20 books of summer proving to be a real delight, especially on the non-fiction front.
    You really haven’t missed too much in The Good Fight, in my opinion it didn’t come close to The Good Wife!

  6. Hang in there, a bit better every day

  7. As for telly, we just started watching Angleby – a Swedish series, but it’s not the usual crime offering. I think its going to be a good ‘un.

  8. I loved The Good Fight…I subscribed to CBS Access in order to get it, but I don’t know if you have it there.

    Do you have Netflix? I enjoyed Broadchurch and Last Tango in Halifax.

    I’m glad you are feeling better. Enjoy your week!

  9. Good to hear you are on the mend and so glad you’re enjoying Kelly Gang (I do think it’s Carey’s best).

  10. I’m glad to hear you’re on the mend, and I think I might have a suggestion for some engaging TV watching while you recuperate. The Spouse and I have loved watching Une Village Francais (A French Village) a series from France (with subtitles) about everyday life a village during the Occupation. It has had rave reviews here, and was a ratings success in France, and all my friends who’ve taken my advice have loved it too. It is never ‘on shelf at the library because it’s always on reserve. I thought I never wanted to hear, watch or read anything more about WW2 for a while, but this series is so good, we were hooked from Series 1 and had to wait impatiently until each new series was released on DVD.
    I think the reason it’s so successful is because it’s a bit like a soap opera in that you get interested in the lives of a diverse range of characters, with the added dimension of the moral choices they have to make in all sorts of everyday situations e.g. the guy who owns the lumber yard is in financial trouble and the Nazis offer him big orders – should he accept and take their business? Also he’s having an affair with a woman who’s in the fledgling resistance but he doesn’t know that – should she tell him?. It shows you that collaboration isn’t a black-and-white situation, and it also shows you that in the early days the resistance was a bit of a shambles because they were amateurs at it and really didn’t know what they were up against. I’ve watched the whole series three times now, and next time, I’m switching off the sub titles!

  11. I’m partial but I thought A Brief History of Seven Killings was masterful. Vernon God Little has been on my TBR for a long while. I have a hunch that one is going to be very good. So glad to hear that your arm is on the mend. Stay confident and keep reading!

  12. Physiotherapy is a wonderful thing, something I never realised until I had a need for it. Hope the arm continues to mend. I was recommended The Good Fight by a friend and like you had hoped for it on All4 but it doesn’t seem to be there. You’ve nudged me into investigating a DVD.

  13. Glad the arm is improving. And no reading plan is a good plan, I find – enjoy whatever you read!

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