Sunday Catch-Up

tumblr_m28hunkihb1rqmm3jo1_1280In the months running up to my recent move I had dreams of what it would mean for the time I would have for reading and for study: far less travelling, no more garden to worry about, a much smaller property to take care of, and even my cleaning done for me.  In my fantasy world (note the choice of words, please) I saw myself studying every morning, taking a leisurely stroll before lunch, followed by an afternoon spent reading and writing here before enjoying the evening either listening to music, reading some more, or out with friends at the local arts centre.

Well, dream on is all I can say.

Most of the last two months has been spent waiting in for delivery men to arrive (never at the time they said they would and often not even on the promised day), trying desperately to persuade the powers that be that I am who I say I am and that I now live where I say I do, frantically attempting to sort out the terrible mess the previous owner left the gas and electricity services in (still not resolved despite three hours on the phone the other day) and perhaps most worryingly of all having to insist to my new doctor that I know more about the way my body works after having lived with it all my life than she does after a ten minute conversation on the phone.

However, (and I may live to regret saying this) apart from the electricity, which Ofgem are now sorting out, and finding myself a new dentist, I think everything is pretty much settled and next week has nothing more exciting in the diary than a hair appointment, a pilates class and a visit to the theatre.  Perhaps I might finally be able to get down to some studying and read something a little more demanding than the detective novels I have been relying on to distract myself over the past nine weeks.

In fact, I have to get down to some reading, and quickly too, as Summer School is only a fortnight away.  We have more participants than ever this year and I did at one point think about running it twice.  Like any book group, if it gets too big, discussion becomes impossible.  The group have chosen to read the three books linked by the fact that they are all set in bookshops so I have a fortnight to re-read and prepare Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Bookshop, Robin Sloan’s  Mr Penumbria’s 24-Hour Bookstore and Sheridan Hay’s The Secret of Lost Things.  I have to say that I was surprised by the group’s choice and it wouldn’t have been my own, but democracy rules and after all I was the one who offered it in the first place.

One detective novel that I have been pleased to read over the past couple of days is James Oswald’s new offering No Time To Cry.  I have a feeling that this has only been published as an ebook at the moment with a hard copy coming later in the year.  It isn’t a new Tony McLean story, but features an undercover Met DC, Constance Fairchild, who is falsely accused of selling out the investigation of which she is a part and of killing her boss, DI Pete Copperthwaite.  On the run from the corrupt cops who were in fact responsible for the disaster, she finds herself caught up in a search for a teenager from her home village, escaping from a home life that ought to provide all she could possibly want (billionaire father) but which, as Con soon discovers, is actually far from ideal.

At first I wasn’t certain how I would fair with a new set of characters; I am more than fond of Oswald’s Edinburgh set-up.  But I warmed to Con very quickly and as the novel progressed I realised (far later than I should) that it shared at least one character with the McLean series. (Probably only one, it is perhaps a little far fetched to think that Mrs McCutcheon’s cat made her way down to London just to offer the same rather stand-offish support to Con as she does to Tony McLean, although I wouldn’t mind betting that there was some sort of feline grapevine in operation there).  I don’t know whether this is intended to be a one-off or the start of a new series. Given the way in which it ends I rather think the latter.  If that is the case then I will certainly look forward to any future episodes.

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19 thoughts on “Sunday Catch-Up

  1. Laila@BigReadingLife July 30, 2018 / 3:01 am

    Oh I do hope that things begin to settle down for you soon! And detective novels are SO FUN, aren’t they? They are just the thing when life is stressful to soothe and distract, in my opinion.

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    • Café Society August 5, 2018 / 11:19 am

      The thing with crime novels is that someone else’s life is always more chaotic than yours is; it puts things into perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Margaret July 30, 2018 / 6:28 am

    I’m glad to see you back on the blog. Moving is never easy, and I wish you luck finding a dentist – not easy in my experience and I hope your doctor/patient relationship improves.

    I’ve only read one of James Oswald’s crime fiction novels and didn’t got on too well with it – a bit too gruesome for me but I am squeamish!

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    • Café Society August 5, 2018 / 11:24 am

      I’m tackling the dentist problem later this week, Margaret and having another go at the doctor tomorrow. This past week was taken up with discovering that the mandate for my service charge direct debate had ‘got lost in the post’ and trying to sort that out. Given that the person who was supposed to deal with this has already made two other mistakes, I am sceptical about the ‘lost in the post’ bit. I suspect she just didn’t deal with it.

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  3. A Life in Books July 30, 2018 / 7:15 am

    I do hope your settling-in problems are now coming to an end. I’ve read all three of your summer school choices and enjoyed all of them although I understand why you might have preferred something a little more demanding in the mix!

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    • Café Society August 5, 2018 / 11:20 am

      Yes, we’re discussing The Bookshop on the first day and I have a feeling that it will be downhill after that. Given the age group of the people attending, I’m particularly not sure that they will get the point that is being made in the Sloan, although I think it is very interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kat July 30, 2018 / 7:33 pm

    I love reading about your new house, but it is a lot of work to settle in. A headache, actually. I look forward to reading about your book club.

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    • Café Society August 5, 2018 / 11:25 am

      Initially I thought I had settled very quickly and well but this week my hairdresser pointed out that my hair had almost completely stopped growing which apparently is a sure sign of stress. Still it saves on the trimming bills!

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  5. helen July 31, 2018 / 11:52 am

    Well, I am crossing my fingers that your fantasy is now, finally, about to become reality, and I hope you enjoy your book club discussions. 🙂

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  6. mlegan July 31, 2018 / 11:57 pm

    Oh i hope the fall brings quiet for you! I must check out Oswalt, I’ve never read him. Finally reading Louise Penny’s “latest” from a few years ago. And just finished The Immortalists, which I quite enjoyed.

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    • Café Society August 5, 2018 / 11:29 am

      Oswald is definitely worth reading, but do make sure you read them in the right order or you will get lost. I’m looking forward to the new Penny, which I think is due in November – rather later this year than usual.

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  7. Jenny @ Reading the End August 1, 2018 / 1:36 am

    Oh gosh, moving is so hard, and all the settling-in parts are hard, and I so dearly hope that all of that is behind you now. You deserve some R&R and plenty of time to read books in!

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    • Café Society August 5, 2018 / 11:27 am

      Thanks, Jenny. If the autumn just brings some cooler weather I’ll settle for that right now. Dealing with our unusual heat and humidity hasn’t made things any easier.

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  8. Liz August 7, 2018 / 8:48 am

    I’m so pleased for you that the light at the end of the tunnel is much closer. It looks as if, as we all know, reading will provide a means of finding some peace and calm after all the upheaval. 🙂

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  9. BookerTalk August 14, 2018 / 7:21 am

    I chuckled at your description of your imagined day of reading/writing etc. Before I retired I too imagined I would spend part of every day just curled on the sofa with a book. It did happen when I was recovering from surgery but these days I seem to read even less than when I was working and had little spare time.

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  10. BookerTalk August 14, 2018 / 7:23 am

    Inadvertently sent the comment before I had finished. Meant to say that I hope all those challenges with power and delivery people and doctors are now firmly behind you.

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