Sunday Salon: A Yawn of a Day

sundaysalonPlease excuse me while I yawn. It’s not that I am bored with writing this blog (though you may be excused feeling bored by reading it). It’s just jet lag and lack of sleep kicking in.

Having flown back to London overnight I was aiming to get home by about 2pm UK time yesterday so I could follow my usual routine. It’s the one that I’ve found works best for getting back in synch with UK time zone after a trip to US.

It’s pretty simple – get home, have my first cup of properly made tea (memo to my American readers: you absolutely cannot make tea correctly unless the water is boiling) and a piece of toast. Then head for a nap of 1.5 hours. It’s agony getting up at that point when your body is screaming for more sleep but I’ve learned that if I go longer than that,  I don’t sleep that night.

Sadly those plans all got thrown into total disarray because someone decided Saturday afternoon was a good time to send an enormous transponder on a trip down the M4, taking up two lanes of the motorway and reducing traffic to 20 miles an hour. Actually 20mph would have been welcome. So the journey home that should have taken 3 hours at most, took 5 hours. By the time I got home it was too late to sleep. Consequence was that 3am today saw me tossing and turning and then 4am I was wide awake.

The only positive thing was that I got to finish Troubles; J G Farrell’s novel set in Ireland in 1919 which was a critical time in the issue of home rule and to read a little more of The Forsaken Inn, a deliciously over-the-top novella by Anna Katharine Green, one of the first writers of detective fiction in America. It’s a mystery story involving a newly-married couple who stay at an inn. She’s not as radiant as you’d expect a bride to be and he seems to be more concerned about a rather large box than he is about his wife. Many years later a body is found in a secret passage at the inn… It’s not the kind of book I normally read and I wouldn’t have started it but for the fact it’s referenced on the Coursera historical fiction course and it sounded fun.

The other fun activity this week involved making a selection of books for the next round of the Classics Club Spin. I did the first of these earlier in the year and then somehow missed the next two so am determined not to let round 4 pass me by especially since I have a feeling I am falling a little behind on this challenge. We’re supposed to choose 20 books from our Classics Club challenge list , five of which have to be ones that we really would love to read and five we are nervous about. I had a really tough time choosing because there are not that many on my list I am nervous about – they wouldn’t be on my list otherwise. Only Robinson Crusoe fits the bill just because I have a feeling it will be written in a somewhat longwinded style.

Anyway, Monday will be the day when we find out which book we need to read by January. Maybe by then I’ll have stopped yawning…

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 November 17, 2013, in Classics Club, Sunday Salon and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. jetlag is so awful. I will be traveling to US end of this month, and I am not looking forward to feeling like a wet dishrag at the end of it. I love to travel, it’s just US is so far and so jet-lag inducing 🙁

    • The time difference for you is even longer I think. It was five hours for me. I wish the science bods would get a move on with teleporting or whatever they did in Star Trek. I really would like travel more if I could just be beamed there and not have to endure security and check in and queues at airports.

    • I used the time to catch up some podcasts about books so even if I couldnt read I could think about reading. Karen Heenan-Davies

  2. Wow, I think you’re doing incredibly well. After a journey like that, I’d need to lie in a darkened room listening to soothing music for at LEAST a week!

  3. Traffic jams remind me of why I really don’t like to travel much anymore…unless it’s when I’m not driving. But reading time, however achieved, is never a waste of time. Hope you enjoy the week! Here’s MY WEEKLY SUNDAY/MONDAY UPDATES

  4. I don’t know how you manage all the travelling you have to do. It’s one of the things that my health makes a real difficulty these days and I’m not sure whether that leads me to envy you or worry for you. I’ve just downloaded the complete works of Anne Katherine Green more because I’m interested in the growth of the crime genre than because of the historical fiction links. I haven’t yet explored the collection enough to know where ‘The Forsaken Inn’ fits into her output but I shall probably get to it eventually.

    • this year has actually been less demanding on the travel front than previous years but yes it is exhausting. I look at the schedules some of our senior execs have and wonder how they manage to keep going. They must be built of sterner stuff than I am.
      I just downloaded a few of Green’s novels too. But I’m not convinced of the accuracy of the Prof’s statement that The Leavenworth case was the first instance of a professional detective in fiction. Sergeant Cuff in Moonstone was surely earlier?

  5. Glad you finally made it home safely — one really doesn’t want an adventure on the road home after a trip. I hope jet lag leaves you quickly this week.

  6. We got stuck in an awful traffic jam a few weeks back. Frustrating!

  7. Some day I’ll get around to reading Robinson Crusoe. After all, the book is sort of about my family. 🙂

  8. So glad to hear you liked The Forsaken Inn. I have also been away — in Massachusetts and Maine and without internet connection. Just returned last evening. I finished Deliverance Dane, Year of Wonders and Fever. Year of Wonders is the best of the three. Not impressed with Fever — the writing just felt clumsy and bland to me. The book lacks dramatic tension. I could care less about the people and the romance. Ho hum. I am in a is-it-me or is-it-the books mood. Thinking I never want to read another “debut” novel again — until I recall Salvage the Bones and The Night Circus, two I thoroughly enjoyed. So I am looking forward to reading something compelling. I will try The Forsaken Inn.

    • oh don’t tell me that about Fever when I am about to open it tonight. I was hoping to find at least one of the set texts that I would enjoy. Forsaken Inn isn’t particularly well written but it’s just a fun diversion

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