Sometimes, life just doesn’t go the way you want it to. I had my schedule of posts all worked out, not just in my head but on paper even – two a week, right through to the end of October. A nice neat list, absolutely essential because I’ve decided to pick up a study programme this term and in order to fit everything in I need to be organised. Then blow me, if I didn’t go and hit two books in a row that I just didn’t want to write about. The first was actually a very good book, one that we discussed in my Monday Reading Group and that we all thought was excellent. I don’t know quite why I didn’t want to blog about it, possibly because the author was coming at life from such a totally different point of view to mine that while I could appreciate the quality of the writing I would have found it hard to say anything in agreement with the perspective that he was taking. In fact, the more I think about it the more I find the novel actually to be morally offensive; which is interesting, I hadn’t realise I felt so strongly in that area.
The second was a different kettle of fish altogether. It was a book I had requested from the publisher because I’ve always enjoyed the author’s writing in the past and was expecting this one to give me the same amount of pleasure. Halfway through, however, I was, well I was going to say beginning to change my mind, but actually I had already very definitely changed it. It wasn’t simply that I didn’t like any of the characters, you can no more expect to like everyone you meet in a book than you can everyone you meet in real life, but I couldn’t engage with them. I simply didn’t believe they existed and a large part of that was because the narrative voice kept me at such a distance. It was a bit like looking at events through the wrong end of a telescope. So instead of writing a blog post for today I had to write to the publisher instead and say I’m very sorry but I can’t review this book because you wouldn’t like what I have to say about it. I am going to be fascinated to read other people’s reviews when they start to appear.
All this has come at a time when I really needed life to go like clockwork. (I know, what was I thinking?) I have one course starting this coming Wednesday and another at the beginning of October and they are both with institutions I‘ve not worked with before and for which I have paid out real money! Finding my way round two very different sets of regulations is proving interesting! Past experience has taught me that once I’ve got the first couple of weeks behind me the level of panic that is currently coursing through my veins will subside and I’ll be able to get back onto something more of an even keel. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to be paying much heed to past experience at the moment. So, for now I’ve gone back to my children’s literature and I’m going to satisfy myself over the weekend with a bit of re-reading. There’s no point in pushing either the reading or the blogging if it isn’t coming naturally. The Bears and I are enjoying re-visiting Lucy M Boston’s wonderful 1954 novel, The Children of Green Knowe. Toseland Bear is particularly excited because he shares his name with one of the main characters and I have promised that if I write a post about it I will put his picture up as well. Have a good weekend.