I’ve read 26 books this years (ain’t Goodreads great for stats?!). Over the past 2 months none bar Peter Laws’ Matt Hunter series have rated over 3 stars on the Jane-o-meter. As a reader this is actually pretty frustrating. Yes – I pick up the books and choose to read them – but sometimes you are promised contents that just don’t fulfil expectations.
Take Naomi Alderman’s The Power. This is not a bad book at all. The concept is cracking. But I felt I was promised Margaret Atwood and I got Stephen King. I like both these authors – I like King a lot and have reviewed him here – but I really wanted something up there with Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.
I feel like I’m in a book vacuum where fiction is concerned. Not in the physical sense – the bloody things have been breeding in the corners of my study – but in a challenging yet engaging sense. It’s book group tonight and all I have the energy to say is ‘MEH!’. Well, that or ‘…it’s a pile of tedious naval gazing whinge masquerading as emotion when in reality it has the heart of a flatulent turnip!‘.
I’m wondering if the problem is actually me. I’m not having the same issues with TV series and films. I loved Avengers: Infinity War so much I actually had goosebumps at one scene with Thor (cough). I’m hopping around with glee in anticipation of the forthcoming Deadpool 2 and have re-watched the first one in happy anticipation. I’ve wallowed knee deep through the gore and gloom and dodgy accents of Ripper Street: New York – sorry, The Alienist – on Netflix.
And as for their mini series Happy – well – let’s just say that was off the chart in terms of extreme bad taste humour and violence and yet remained utterly quirky and strangely charming throughout. Though I can’t believe it was a 15 certificate. It’s batshit crazy.
Tomorrow I shall return to my book shelves and ponder what fiction to read next. I’ve been dabbling in crime and I’m thinking it really isn’t my bag though I do admire the art of pulling together a complex yet coherent plot, as displayed in the better novels I’ve read. I’ve been reading a lot of non fiction I haven’t quite finished but am greatly enjoying – including A Treasury of British Folklore by Dee Dee Chainey and Willow Winsham’s Accused: British Witches Through History. Both are physically beautiful books but they are as well written as they are picturesque. I need a few hours in an armchair in Costa to finish them. With cake. Much cake.
And finally I have been writing. Editing. Avoiding editing because a novel is a very large beast with teeth and plot holes. Procrastinating and binning things I’ve written that don’t ring true. I have written several shorts that I’m quite happy with and will be performing one of them live next month with my writing group. And trying not to look at my family in the audience! Onward we go.