Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Reading Week

Well, I’m back at work (although not in the British Library like the librarian above from Getty Images), the weather has been hot & humid & I feel as though I’ve hardly read a word all week. I have though, I’m halfway through The Highland Lady in Ireland. I’m enjoying Eliza’s Irish adventures but I may take a break from her over the weekend & pick up something else. I’ve also been listening to The Secret of Father Brown by G K Chesterton on the way to work. I read some of the Father Brown stories eons ago but I’ve never gone back to them. After listening to the first two stories in this collection, I’m still a bit lukewarm about them. Father Brown is such a gentle, unobtrusive character that I’m finding it a bit hard to get excited about the mysteries he solves. The narrator of this collection is a bit somnolent too. Still, I’ll persevere.

You may have seen the devastating floods in Queensland on the news. The same unusual weather pattern has brought lots of warm, moist air down to Victoria from the north & it’s been very humid all week. We’ve had over 70mm of rain as well. The rain has stopped in Queensland & has cleared here as well & the humidity should be gone by Monday. This weather is making it hard for me to settle & I suppose getting back into the routine of work isn't helping either!

Then, Abby surprised me by killing a bird & bringing the body into the house for me to find. She’s 16 years old & hasn’t caught a bird for a very long time. She’s lived with me 5 years & before that she lived with my Dad & she hadn’t caught a bird since she was a very young cat. My sister says she’s going through her second childhood & reliving past glories but I hope this was just an isolated incident.

I have been enjoying playing with my e-reader though. Elaine’s post on Random Jottings expresses my feelings exactly. I will never abandon the physical book (or codex as it’s now being called) but, to be able to download out of print books by Elizabeth Von Arnim, E M Delafield, Wilkie Collins & Arnold Bennett FOR FREE is such a luxury. I’ve downloaded over 30 books in the last couple of weeks. I don’t know when I’ll get around to reading them but, with groaning tbr shelves like mine, what’s a few more unread books? I’ll get to them one day.

Last night I started reading The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald. It’s really a reread as it was the first Penelope Fitzgerald I read many years ago. Cornflower has chosen it for her next bookgroup so it was a good opportunity to read it again.  Dovegreyreader is also embarking on a reread of all Fitzgerald’s novels this year & she started with The Bookshop as well. I’m enjoying it very much so it may be the right book to cure my reading restlessness.


  1. Starting The Bookshop too! Have only read the first 25 pages or so, but greatly enjoying it so far. Loved the bit with Mr. Raven and the horse.

  2. Yes, I couldn't imagine holding the tongue myself but what a wonderful scene. I'm past the halfway mark now so hope to finish reading this afternoon.

  3. I read about the Bookshop myself and am so very keen to get my hands on it. It sounds wonderful.

  4. I have been promising myself regularly over the past few years that this would be the year I would re-read Penelope Fitzgerald. Perhaps this time I might actually keep that promise. 'The Bookshop' would be a good place to start.

    My PhD supervisor was always encouraging me to read Father Brown and I have a complete collection. But, I never manage to get past the first story and so each time I pick it up I go over old ground. Listening seems like a good idea, it would push me forward perhaps just enough to get going properly.

  5. The Bookshop has certainly sparked my interest. It is now on my wish list, and I will look forward to reading the reviews from you all.

    Glad to hear that the rain is not as forceful in your part of Australia. My thoughts go out to all those affected.

    Do keep us updated about your ereader. I am very tempted by one at the moment.

  6. My heart goes out to everyone touched by the floodwaters, how devastating.

    I finished The Bookshop recently and really enjoy it, Christine was my favourite character. There's a child who speaks her mind! See you over at Cornflowers...

  7. Reading restlessness...
    that's what I have lately!

  8. The rain may have stopped but there are now many towns in Victoria (my state) flooded or threatened. They seem very well prepared though, the very heavy rain last week was predicted, so hopefully the damage will be less than feared. The worst thing is that many of these towns were flooded only a few months ago so people are just feeling exhausted & fed up. Annie, I'm still listening to Father Brown. I'll finish listening to this collection but I'm not sure I want to read any more. Darlene, I enjoyed your review of The Bookshop. Fitzgerald couldn't write a sentimental character, especially a child, if she tried! Sherry, I hope your restlessness is cured soon. I think The Bookshop got me over a hurdle &, now that I'm used to being back at work, I'll get back to normal reading habits. Jo, I'm sure the e-reader will get regular mentions here. I have so many good books on it.

  9. Loving my Kindle which is in addition to a Sony e reader so I am a confirmed fan, but interestingly there are some books I wouldn't want to read on it and those of Penelope Fitzgerald's are a case in point...for some books it just feels an intrinsic part of the process to have the book in your hand.
    I've been looking at my PF shelf this afternoon and wondering which to read next, each has so many merits and I still have Innocence unread.
    I'm relieved to hear the rain is not so serious in your area Lyn, it's so bizarre isn't it and for a country often so desperate for water too.