Lisa @ AnZLitLovers has uncovered another meme that gives me a great excuse for not making any inroads into my backlog of book reviews.
The last book I gave up on
The Harpy by Megan Hunter. I loved the cover artwork but found this tale of a vengeful wife too disturbing to read more than half the book. Luckily it was a library copy so I didn’t feel guilty for wasting my money.
The last book I re-read
I’ve had to dig deep into the memory for an answer to this one because it was so, so long ago that I re-read anything. It was probably one of the nineteenth century classics that was on the syllabus for my Open University course. That would make it about 2010, well before I started this blog and kept records of what I was reading. It might have been A Portrait of A Lady by Henry James or Middlemarch by George Eliot. But that’s just guess work.
The last book I bought
The end of 2020 was marked by a book buying splurge. It happens every year so I don’t know why I should be surprised. The last purchase to arrive was At The Lucky Hand by the Serbian author Goran Petrović. This was the first book in my new annual subscription to the Asympote book club. The publishers, Deep Vellum describe it as a novel that “explores what it means to read and be a reader – ultimately acting as a love letter to the power of literature.
The last book I said I read but actually didn’t
Ok, this was a genuine mistake rather than a deliberate attempt to mislead. A friend was raving about the book she’d just read which I said I’d also read but hadn’t found it that interesting. But when she started talking about some plot elements I was completely confused; it sounded nothing like the book I’d read. Nor did she recognise anything I mentioned. My fault it turned out. I thought she was talking about The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves. But it was The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides that she’d read.
The last book I wrote in the margins of
I never do this to books unless they are texts I had to read for work or for study purposes. Books read purely for pleasure are “annotated” with the aid of copious quantities of post-it notes. It’s a seriously flawed system however. I never write on the post-it note so, all too frequently, when I come to write my review I’m baffled why I marked that passage. Second problem is that the sticky strip loses its stickiness after a time so when I pick up the book, they fall out and, since there is no writing on the note I have no idea where in the book they originated. On the plus side, it does mean that when I donate my book to the library/charity shop etc, it looks in good condition.
The last book I had signed
This is The Wild Silence by Raynor Winn, the follow up to her award-winning memoir The Salt Path. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get this because it came out when all bookshops in the UK were closed down by government decree (politicians having mistakenly decided books are not “essential” purchases). But the brilliant team at Book-ish in Crickhowell swung into action with on line ordering and mailing. They then went one step further and organised an author event with Raynor Winn, tickets for which included a copy of her book. So now I have two copies. I think I shall do a give-away for one of them.
The last book I lost
Actually there are two, and they have been been “lost” in the same place. My dad is a voracious reader. In normal circumstances he’s well served by his local library and a book exchange among members of his wood carving club. But of course with the library closed (no prizes for guessing why) and the club unable to meet (same reason), his supplies have run dry. So I made an “emergency” dash, taking him two books by Jane Harper – The Dry and Force of Nature – that I hadn’t yet read plus some goodies from a local little free library. Despite asking nicely for him return the Harpers at some point, they’ve gone. Passed onto a friend who is also a voracious reader, who has since passed them to someone else. So they are circulating somewhere in South Wales and, I fear will never make their way back to me. Never mind, if they kept people company during the long days of lockdown I’m happy.
The last book I had to replace
It’s actually a book for my husband. His copy of Unconditional Surrender , the final part of the Sword of Honour trilogy by Evelyn Waugh, has just fallen apart. We can’t get that particular edition anywhere which is a shame because he really likes the artwork.
The last book I argued over
It wasn’t an argument as such, just a very animated discussion with my niece about Normal People by Sally Rooney. She loved it. I didn’t. I suspect that it spoke more to her generation than to mine.
The last book you couldn’t find
I wanted to read Voss by Patrick White as part of Australian Reading Month in November. But it’s completely disappeared. I have a feeling it’s fallen down the back of a bookcase. I could, of course, just buy another copy but I’m rather fond of the retro cover of the edition I’d found in a second hand shop.
PS – I hope my Australian readers don’t feel too upset that the books I’ve lost and the book I can’t find all happen to come from their country….. it’s not deliberate I promise!