The Reading Year So Far….
This year has not got off to a good start.
I began 2023 with damage to my car caused because someone couldn’t be bothered to angle their vehicle correctly when reversing out of the parking space. They pranged by car and then scarpered without acknowledging their fault. I came out of the coffee shop to find dents and scrapes all along one side of my car that I now have to pay to repair.
Then same car needed two new front tires and a replacement for the remote control gizzmo — the cost of which runs into hundreds of pounds. When I recoiled from the quote and challenged the dealership guy, he basically said I should be glad I don’t have a BMW because their replacements are four times the price of my Mazda version. i suppose he thought that would make me feel better! It failed.
On top of all these woes, there was a family health crisis to deal with (all resolved now thankfully).
All of which is a long winded way of saying that my energy levels were at a low ebb, affecting my enthusiasm and appetite for reviewing/blogging/commenting. So if you’ve been wondering why I’ve been so quiet on here lately now you know.
I have been reading; just not as much as I would typically. I’ve read more crime fiction than usual, mainly because it doesn’t require as much brain power.
My favourites from the past two months are:
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: the plot is so familiar from all those views of the film version but the book version has a lot more depth in the character.
Fox Fires by Wyl Menmuir: superbly atmospheric novella of a girl’s search for her father in an unknown town where everyone is being watched
Old Wives by Arnold Bennett: what a surprise this was. Yes it’s wordy but it’s a fascinating portrait of the fortunes of two sisters and a changing community
Amid all the gloom there were some glimmers of good news.
The biggest news is that I finished my World Of Literature project in January. The Nordic FINDS reading event hosted by Annabel took me to Iceland which was my 50th country in this project. It took me several years but was well worth the effort. I’ll do a more detailed wrap up on my experience in a few days
I managed to read two books from my Classics Club list: The Old Wives by Arnold Bennett which was my spin book, and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
Fox Fires enabled me to tick off another square on my Wanderlust Bingo card: the setting is a fictitious city called O (I get the idea it could be in Eastern Europe) through which the main character walks without the aid of maps since these are outlawed by the state.
Though all the dramas of the first two months have come to an end, I’m still finding it difficult to settle back into a reading routine. March is always challenging because it features reading events celebrating writing from two Celtic nations.
I’m duty bound to contribute something to the Reading Wales event (Dewithon) hosted by Paula) but so far haven’t found anything that has grabbed my attention. I’ve given up on three books so far (two non fiction and one short story collection).
Ideally, given my Irish heritage, I would love to read something for Cathy’s Ireland Reading Month and do have These Days by Lucy Caldwell lined up in readiness. I might just be able to squeeze this in at the last minute.
I’m going to try and catch up on some reviews soon but am making no promises!
39 thoughts on “The Reading Year So Far….”
Somehow I missed this post. Hope things are picking up for you. I like the topics on your bingo card . They look fun.
March has been definitely much better than the first two months thanks.
The bingo card topics are pretty challenging….
I’m hoping to tackle Rebecca this month, myself. The Wanderlust bingo card is a cool idea!
Rebecca is fabulous. I thought it would suffer from the familiarity with the film but there are many more layers that come to light in the book – especially the way the second Mrs de Winter feels haunted by the first one
Ooooft! What a rotten start to the year! Really, I’m impressed that you managed to read/review anything at all. Here’s hoping you’ve got all of the bad luck out of the way, and the rest of the year is smooth sailing for you.
I certainly hope thats an end to the doom and gloom Sheree
Commiserations, Karen, crap can creep up on one sometimes and put one completely out of sorts, so I do understand. But well done on your reading round the world project, makes me wonder how many different nations I myself have read in recent years – not as many as you!
I thought it would have been easier but actually it was tough to find books from some countries because they are not available in English or if I did find a translated version it was very expensive
Well, what a horrible start to the year. I hope things continue to settle down. I do understand how sometimes the effort to write posts, comment, and even read is just too much, I have been battling that for months. I know now that I can’t put myself under pressure, you can only do what you can do. Take things easy and enjoy what you do read. I love Rebecca, such a good novel. I read These Days last year and enjoyed it.
My issues were as nothing compared to the health challenge you’ve faced over the last few years Ali. I feel bad for even complaining about them when I know there are so many other people with far more difficult situations. But thanks anyway for your understanding. I did get stressed about it but came to recognise exactly as you say, I am not superwoman and can do only as much as is humanly possible
I hope things look up after this – what a way to start the year! I’m glad you enjoyed Rebecca, one of my favourites. Wishing you a more peaceful time ahead.
Thanks so much for your support. Things are indeed getting back more onto an even keel
You have had a lot to deal with: I do hope your run of ill-luck is over. I must have a look at the wanderlust bingo card. I think I could probably claim quite a few spots. You’re doing well with your reading in the circumstances, I think!
Thanks Margaret, I don’t want to tempt fate by saying all is resolved! Just that March has been a lot better……
Do take a look at the wanderlust bingo idea.Fiction Fan has a new version for this year which I haven’t dared look at yet.
I’ve glances at the Wanderlust Bingo, and am tempted, but it IS 2021. I’ll try to hunt down the new one too.
Sorry 2023 is starting so hard fr you. That’s crazy that your car insurance wouldn’t help with the damages done to your car!
I’m glad you found a redeeming book for it all, I’m talking about the amazing Rebecca.
And now to a better rest of 2023!
I didn’t even try the insurance company because I would then have incurred higher fees on my yearly policy!
Life does this sometimes, one problem after another cascading into a deluge.
Let’s hope that things improve from here on.
The deluge has abated thankfully…
Hope life and your reading all back on track.
Cheers Kate, yes life is getting more stable though my reading appetite is still on the low side
Hope your spate of bad luck has come to an end! Well done for ticking off another Wanderlust box – you’re getting nearer to the end… 😉
Still feel I have a long way to go with the card – I look at the books that I was thinking of reading next and realising none of them will fit the remaining squares!
Haha, somehow those last squares are much harder than the early ones! 😉
Oh no, so sorry about your car and about the health issues — I do hope that things will start looking brighter now. It’s frustrating when you can’t settle into a good read, but I hope something will grab your attention soon.
I’m hoping my reading mojo returns Lory.
Why these things seem happen in little cascades…it adds another dollop of frustration to it all. 😡 May the person who pranged your car hit red every time they reach a traffic light. Glad the reading was a bright spot though, and look forward to seeing what you have to say about the books whenever it happens. Congratulations on wrapping up your World of Literature project!
I think it was the fact the person just drove off without acknowledging their mistake the most upsetting part. I was the one left inconvenienced – racing around trying to find CCTV footage (non existent); reporting to police (not interested) and then having to pay for the damage. The other car driver just went home
Ugh! It’s discouraging when life messes with our reading mojo! Sorry about your car!
I keep saying to myself that in the scheme of things, my lack of reading interest is a very minor issue and it will pass
Reading definitely has its seasons!
I’m glad you liked Rebecca. That’s such a fun challenge–polar regions and space are the toughest for me.
Space I completed fairly easily – science fiction isn’t a genre that I read much of but I did find one that was interesting.
Polar regions though has me stumped – I might have to go for non fiction
Blimey! Fingers crossed you have the worst of 2023 behind you,
Exactly so Susan!
Sorry to hear about your car – such a pain!
An expensive one at that
Goodness, what a year so far! I hope things continue in a calmer way, and that you can settle a bit more into reading. And well done on completing the World of Literature project!
Things are settling down fortunately. On the reading front, I remind myself frequently of Alan Whicker’s sage words “No condition is permanent”. I know I’ll get the reading mojo back one day