Good morrow, dearest readers, and I apologise whole-heartedly for the neglect of Aunty Muriel’s Blog last year. For me 2015 was, in the words of the great Philip Larkin, a ‘pig’s arse’ of a year, but life goes on in that one-day-after-another kind of way, and I am determined to put behind me all the stuff that messed up last year and to make 2016 a year I’ll remember as a treasure and a delight.
Now, I haven’t made any New Year’s Resolutions as such, but I have promised myself that I will dust off and revive my moribund blogs – and what better way to do so than with a lovely Reading Challenge? This one has been doing the rounds on Facebook and it’s sparked quite a lot of interest, so I think it’s worth a try.
I think we can all agree that this challenge is far more interesting than just telling yourself that you will read at least twenty books this year, because that never works. It’s the end of July by the time you’ve chosen your twenty books and then it’s the summer holidays and then Christmas before you know it and far from having read War and Peace plus nineteen other worthy novels, you’ve only actually managed to read the first chapter of Les Misérables before giving up and watching the film instead.
The idea is to write a blog entry for the book I read under each one of these categories. I haven’t chosen them all yet, but I have sorted out the following:
- A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller:
Anna Smaill, The Chimes (with thanks to Sarah Elsegood for the recommendation!)
- A book you should have read in school:
Henry James, The Turn of the Screw
- A book published before you were born:
Barbara Comyns, Our Spoons Came From Woolworths
- A book that was banned at some point*:
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
- A book you previously abandoned:
Vladimir Nabokov, Pnin
*There’s a helpful list of banned books on Wikipedia if you’re struggling with this category.
Righto, so on with the show! I should point out that I have an essay deadline on 1 February, so it’s unlikely I’ll get anything done this month. I’m up to the eyeballs in Katherine Mansfield at the moment, but as soon as I’ve got my essay in, I’m going to dive straight into the Barbara Comyns and I know even at this early stage that I’m going to put off the Henry James until I really really can’t avoid it anymore.