Posted by BookerTalk
Progress 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?
I’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
One 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.