Bekka's back for 2021

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Bekka's back for 2021

Ene 1, 5:09am

Hi all. I'm a serial awoler but hope to be around more this year.

Happy New Year from the Channel Islands and here's to a happy and book filled 2021.

Editado: Ene 4, 3:56am

Reading plans!

Broadly my reading plan for each month (which I never seem to stick to and am useless at but love making a list of...) boils down to four categories.
ATIR - Always think I've read - Novels I've been looking at, starting, thinking about for so long I presume I've read them
Leftovers - Previous year challenges that I've kept on the list
BAC - British Author Challenge - where it fits/there is something I want to add
6+ - Authors with more than six books remaining unread on the 1,001 list

As always, much focus on 1,001 reads, and my new extra list which is my version of Paul's Vic/Liz list.

Jan plan:
ATIR - Madame Bovary (Vic 1857)
Leftover - The Forest of the Hanged
BAC - White Fang
6+ - Old Masters (Thomas Bernhard)

Also to finish Black and Blue (Book bingo), The Gunslinger, and The Castle of Crossed Destinies (Liz 1973)

Ene 1, 6:53am

Happy reading in 2021, Bekka!

Ene 1, 9:12am

Welcome back!

Ene 1, 9:15am

And keep up with my friends here, Bekka, Have a great 2021.

Ene 1, 10:24am

HERE you are. Goodness, took your time didn't you.

Well, good that you're here at last, anyway.

Ene 1, 10:38am

>3 FAMeulstee: Thank you :) Will be trying to get round some threads soon!

>4 drneutron: Thank you - and thank you as always for getting us set up!

>5 PaulCranswick: Hola Paul - I'll definitely try and do more of the keeping up bit... yeah I may say that every year!

>6 richardderus: Well pardon me for being tardy :P Being very gentle with this fragile new year of ours...

Editado: Ene 1, 10:40am

Oh and I finished a book. I've been full of a streaming cold with a nasty cough (no I don't have the virus, test results came in this morning, thankfully!). I failed to get to midnight, which sucked.

But I have been able to start the year with a read - yes, it's a YA, but dang is it worth a read!

#1 A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness

A true mascara thinner. Excellent.

Ene 1, 10:43am

Best wishes for a better 2021!

Ene 1, 10:59am

>8 BekkaJo: Wow, you've started the year off with a bang! Loved that one.

Ene 1, 11:33am

Happy new year, Bekka! Hope the cold hits the bricks very quickly!

Ene 1, 4:34pm

Serial AWOL-er ;)
Me too.
Happy New Year.

Ene 1, 7:11pm

Have a great year in books!

Ene 1, 7:13pm

Ene 2, 10:48am

Happy New Year, Bekka.

Ene 4, 12:37am

>8 BekkaJo: ooohhh you got me with that one Bekka, sounds like something I would enjoy.

Happy New Year.

Ene 4, 3:44am

>9 DianaNL: Thank you - you too :)

>10 scaifea: Hi Amber - it was very good. I've liked all the ones of his I've read so far.

>11 MickyFine: Thank you - unfortunately it's reluctant to do one. I'm sitting in my office unable to focus as it's decided to sit behind my eyes. :(

>12 LovingLit: Cheers! I am trying not to be but it's already been a few days...

>13 thornton37814: You too - may there be books for every occasion :)

>14 Berly: Happy New year!!!

>15 BLBera: Thank you - and right back atcha.

>16 fairywings: I hope you like it :)

Ene 4, 3:46am

4 Jan
It rained on me on the way to work and I have wet feet.
I have forgotten my mask so I couldn't buy any breakfast.
My head is pounding and I can't take any more painkillers for another few hours.

Happy Monday everyone!

I will cheer up shortly - I haven't had any coffee yet.

Ene 4, 8:17am

>18 BekkaJo: I hope your day got a bit better after coffee, Bekka!

Ene 4, 8:18am

>18 BekkaJo: Oh no!
*brings in warm, woolly socks and a dry pair of shoes, a breakfast sandwich, and a ginormous cup of coffee*

I hope your headache eases up soon.

Ene 4, 1:00pm

>18 BekkaJo: Wow, that's definitely a Monday!

Ene 5, 3:15am

Thanks all :)

My hubby very nicely drove in and dropped me a mask. Which led to breakfast (naughty croissant cos, Monday). Which put me in a much better mood!

Head is somewhat better this morning which is a relief as it was grim last night. Fingers crossed tomorrow is even better! I'm in the office which is freaky as there is a work from home order on - I'm only in as I am training a new person for my old job. It's completely empty and dark - and the lift moves on it's own occasionally!

The headaches have severely impacted my reading, but I got an hour in last night. But i'm doing my trademark 8 books at a time so I think it'll be a while before I finish any of them.

*broaches this mornings vat of coffee*

Ene 10, 10:03am

Happy weekend all - currently trying to juggle a degustation meal with paired wine for husband from home! He turns 40 tomorrow and all restaurants etc are closed. He's a bit bummed out, so we are trying to do something from here - my daughter however wants to do most of the cooking / plating. Wish me luck!!

Ene 10, 10:06am

Also books;

#2 Black and Blue - Rankin (Book bingo)

Took me ages to get into this, but I finally did and now I miss it. Darn!

#3 Department of Mind Blowing Theories - Gauld

I love his comics! I know it's a very slime thing to be added to my list but I don't care! Just a wonderful fun thing to read (may have been a present to my husband that I wanted too).

Dr Neutron - if you haven't read, you should :)

Ene 10, 10:12am

Will do!

Ene 11, 8:00pm

>24 BekkaJo: that sounds like a lovely thing to do for your husband :) I hope it goes/went well!

Ene 12, 3:53am

>25 drneutron: Hope you like it :)

>26 LovingLit: Thank you - it did. I'm rubbish at pictures on here, so I won't inflict them on you. The pairing of the Chardonnay and the Parsnip soup (pre-appetiser) was specially good. And the Mint Granita and Rioja (which I thought was going to be very wrong) turned out to pair wonderfully!

I think hubby appreciated the effort :)

Ene 13, 5:59am

#4 N or M? - Chrstie (Book Bingo)

Another Tommy and Tuppence - no, my Christie addiction has not ended just yet. This also played nicely into my book bingo, as a book set in WW2. Undercover shenanigans with secret Nazis.

Ene 13, 11:33am

>28 BekkaJo: I've been working my way through Marple but I'm nearing the end of them and I think I'll do Tommy and Tuppence before I tackle Poirot.

Ene 13, 7:07pm

>28 BekkaJo: Is the Christie catalog coming on sale for y'all Frenchified Englanders? Cuz they keep shoving The Man in the Brown Suit at me for 99¢ and honestly I just don't need to re-read that one.

Ene 14, 3:11am

>29 MickyFine: Poirot is still most definitely my favourite :)

>30 richardderus: Ha! No idea why - that one is free on Project Gutenburg anyway!?

Ene 14, 3:12am

Also, morning all. I hope everyone elses is a little less damp and dark than mine. Plus after an extra week off over Xmas (bloody Covid restrictions) trying to get the kids out the door in the morning is like herding cats. Le sigh.

Headaches getting in the way of reading yet again. Unimpressed.

Ene 14, 6:28am

>32 BekkaJo: Sorry to hear you are still having headaches. Your birthday cooking for your Hubby sounds delicious!! Good luck juggling your 8 reads. : ) ( I tend to max out at about 4.)

Ene 15, 3:18am

>33 Berly: Thank you - it is really starting to get me down to be honest. Just keep reminding myself that it could all be far far worse!

On the food side we are so lucky over here - my Dad fishes as a hobby, so the scallops etc are just a case of calling him and finding out what he has in the freezer :) Then driving up and staying at least two metres away. I hadn't been up to the house in months as we are staying away from them - and whilst my Mum sounds okay on the phone, she's looking a little frail in person. Obviously they couldn't get away anywhere last year and they usually have a few weeks in a dry heat which helps her over the winter. I really hate this virus - even putting aside the big things, it's all the little things that keep being chipped away that are undermining everyone.

Ene 15, 3:22am

That was a bit more of a downer than I meant it to be!

Happy Friday all (Huzzah!)

On the book front I'm struggling to a) read and b) focus on any one thing. Sound familiar, yes I know, I suck.

So I'm about 1/3 through Madame Bovary, a 1/3 through In a Free State (which I wasn't supposed to read till May for BAC), just over 1/2 through The Gunslinger, 1/2 through The Castle of Crossed Destinies, a tiny bit into Old Masters, 1/8 into the massive The Swarm - oh and last night I started another Christie...

Also, yes, there are other books which I have started but I felt the above list was sufficient to make my point ;)

Ene 15, 5:04am

Hi Bekka, I am sorry to hear about your parents. The whole situation is very hard - especially for older folks it is strainful.

How do you like "Madame Bovary" so far? I have made too completly different reading experiences with that one. And "Old Masters" has been on my reading list / shelves for years. I really need to fill that gap, as Bernhard is even Austrian and I haven't managed to read his books.

Happy reading weekend!

Ene 15, 11:23am

Sending wishes for a thoroughly restful weekend, Bekka.

Ene 16, 8:57pm

>35 BekkaJo: Made me smile because we are so alike!

Wishing you a lovely weekend, Bekka.

Ene 17, 1:54pm

>36 PersephonesLibrary: Thank you - most of the time I'm fine, I mean my Mum doesn't go out much anyway! But sometimes it's just that there is something missing.

Really liking Madame Bovary - in fact so much so that I don't understand why I'm not getting through it quicker :(

>37 MickyFine: You too - though I suspect yours is as near over as mine (possibly more so). It's been a productive, but not restful one tbh.

>38 PaulCranswick: One of the reasons I love this site so much :)

Busy weekend, got some useful stuff done - new pan rack up in the kitchen, load of stuff that needed to go into the loft finally up there. Then I went to the beach to meet a friend of Will's and his parents. We are not able to go into houses at the moment, so beach is a great meeting point. Boys played and rock climbed for 40 mins whilst we chatted. Then we thought we'd wander along the beach as we were getting cold standing around. Now this beach has a big freshwater spring that runs down to the sea.

You see where this is going, right?

Picked my way carefully across the rocks in the stream, right up to the last one. Over-reached myself and slipped off a big sandy rock. Stepped straight into the freezing water, the slipped again and ended up on my bum in the water. FFS!

Bruised elbow and, when I got home, realised badly bruised and cut ankle. But all of that pales in comparison to the humiliation. Owwww my pride!

Hubby got me a load of books for my e-reader to make me feel better. Maybe I should make an arse of myself more often...

Ene 17, 4:15pm

>39 BekkaJo: *smothered chuckles*

Your husband clearly knows the exact salve for Wounded Prideitis.

Better new week ahead!

Ene 18, 4:37am

>40 richardderus: Doesn't he just :) I got The Fifth Season, Six of Crows, Piranesi and Girl, Woman, Other. Oh and The Midnight Library :)

Week hasn't started great - I'm pretty badly wrenched from my ridiculous antics. Plus both kids have stomach ache. They've been packed off to school and I'm just hoping not to get the call from either of them!

Ene 18, 5:04am

>39 BekkaJo: Have you ever watched the movie "Amadeus"? There is a scene where the Emperor tells him "too many notes". That's a little bit how I feel about Flaubert. :)

>41 BekkaJo: Piransi; Girl, woman, other and the Midnight Library are all on my to read list...

Ene 18, 12:24pm

Yoicks, sounds like quite the weekend, Bekka. Hopefully your ankle is feeling better and the kids stayed at school.

Ene 19, 4:17am

>42 PersephonesLibrary: I haven't no - but I totally get what you mean! I do have rather a liking for Flaubert though :)

>43 MickyFine: Yeah I definitely need another one! Unfortunately Kid No.1 did not and spent the afternoon in bed. She seems fine today though - I think a lot of it is growing. 9cm last year and a couple of show sizes...

#5 Why didn't they ask Evans? - Christie

Not one of my favourites, though entertaining as always.

Note to self: finish somethign other than Agatha Christie!!!

Ene 19, 6:47am

>40 richardderus: Not even able to follow RD and smother the chuckles; a hearty guffaw in fact!

Ene 19, 7:26am

>45 PaulCranswick: Duly earned! The water was bloody cold though - and man do I hurt still today. I am obviously well past the point when one can fall down with impunity.

I had some money left on an Amazon gift card (from leaving my old role). So I just treated myself to a few second hand purchases - so on order Lumberjanes (because Amber keeps saying how good it is), Kindred (because I need to read some Butler) and A Tale of Love and Darkness (because I loved the Oz I read last year).

Happy sigh.

Ene 19, 11:48am

Yay for Lumberjanes!

Ene 19, 12:47pm

>46 BekkaJo: The Lumberjanes Train has lots of conductors around here, but Amber is the engineer for sure! Enjoy them.

Ene 19, 2:16pm

>44 BekkaJo: Oh, I like him, too. He just sometimes overwrites. :) (To be honest, "Madame Bovary" made much more sense to me when I read it during my literature studies when the time and his motivation when it was written was explained to us. At 16 I couldn't grasp that - and the teacher didn't help us with that.)

Ene 20, 5:33am

>47 MickyFine:+>48 richardderus: I'm hoping to like it :) Been a while since I read any GNs - I also need this for a Bingo category (of course).

>49 PersephonesLibrary: Ooof - I don't think I would have tried him at 16. But then I was mainly just reading pure Fantasy at that point!

Ene 20, 5:39am

Ah - Book Bingo help - that's what I meant to ask for.

So each year I write out a book bingo (cos I don't have enough challenges on the go, right?). It's a 7 by 7 square and really my aim is to complete all of it (never happens). Last year I did a new one in May, so I have a few months left.

Unfortunately my daughter got in on the act, so some of my categories are &&&&ing insane.

Some of the categories I have left are pretty easy to tick off - for example, A graphic novel, A banned book, A book of poetry.

Some are not so easy. Help!
Two Faces on the Cover (I know that shouldn't be that hard)
Protagonist is called either Rebecca or Graham

Ene 20, 8:20am

>51 BekkaJo: Well, that last one could be Rebecca!

Ene 20, 8:31am

>52 drneutron: Unfortunately I've read it :) And Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (which used to be a favourite when I had it on cassette as a kid).

Ene 20, 8:46am

I did a quick search on "Rebecca" in Common Knowledge and it came up with 124 books with a character named Rebecca. One of them may work, though it looks like from the title list some really naughty titles came up!

Editado: Ene 20, 11:49am

>51 BekkaJo: If you want to sneak in some picture books Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and The Duckling Gets a Cookie?! are fun.

Ene 21, 2:49am

>54 drneutron: That does conjure up some images of swirling peticoats and heaving bosoms...*shudder*. I'll give the seach a try and see if anything more palatable comes up - thank you :)

>55 MickyFine: I think I may have already ready the Pigeon one ;) I'd be tempted, but with the library closed it's more awkward.

So this morning's trauma was picking a new school book for Will. Normally these are picked at school out of set boxes etc. But with Covid they are all home reading. My boy has always been a reader, but I'm now struggling to make him push himself a bit. Tends to lead to a melt down. Grrrr. He's just finished both Frostheart books so after some stropping I basically picked for him (which led to tears about me being mean of course) and picked The Wizards of Once. He likes the How to Train a dragon stuff, so hopefully he'll enjoy this.

TBH I want to read it.

Ene 21, 2:50am

#6 The Gunslinger - King

Well finally. For a short book that took a long time. And I can't work out if I want to read the next one or not. I think I do...

So sod's law I have books 1, 3,4,5 and 6 on the e-reader, isn't it!

Ene 21, 8:30am

Aw, sorry about the melt down, but I bet he'll love The Wizards of Once. Very cool book and a great choice for a kiddo who likes How to Train Your Dragon. Seems like an excellent bit of parent-librarianing to me!

Ene 22, 3:00am

>58 scaifea: I'm pretty used to the meltdowns - he has real anxiety issues. School are helping with special assistance, but there so many triggers I sometimes lose track. Poor scab - he's a smart cookie, he's just himself really. He's lucky because the boys in his class know him by now and they are really good with him. His teacher last year made us laugh at parents evening - apparently when a history question used to come up, the boys would turn to Will rather than her! He's a conundrum.

Ene 22, 8:28am

>59 BekkaJo: Aw, I love him already - he sounds like an amazing kiddo. Charlie has inherited some of my own anxiety issues, but he internalizes everything and just goes quiet when he gets bothered. It's worrisome in its own way, that. I *love* that Will's classmates support him and know his strengths! That's wonderful.

Ene 22, 1:39pm

>56 BekkaJo: Hani has a friend from a different book club who she sort of ridiculed for reading the Grimm Brothers' Complete Fairy Tales only to be told that Belle and I had read them together a few years ago and that they are actually quite dark. I have respect these days for YA books but am far more likely to have a meltdown than is Belle!

Ene 22, 2:51pm

>50 BekkaJo: It was for a book report and I had to read it. Which is usually not working in favour of the book. When you feel like you MUST read it, it's work and sucks all the joy of it. And at 16 and quite feminist already she just seemed whiny to me. But during my studies a few years later I loved it (maybe reading it in French has got to do something with it, too.) Happy reading weekend!

Ene 24, 10:34am

Weeeeell. In 12 hours (nearly exactly) I will have a 13 year old.

a) how did I get that old?

b) Seriously, how did I get that old?

c) how on earth did she get that old???

Ene 24, 10:39am

>60 scaifea: Specially as it's a boys prep - I mean it could have been baaaad. We've had problems with one of the other classes (it's a three class year). But it turns out the main culprit has serious form :( Bless Charlie - my two tend to take after their Dad, so it comes out one way or another! Not always in a helpful way though.

>61 PaulCranswick: Very dark - and very awesome! We're living on the edge a bit with the pre-teen/soon to be teen and her hormones, the anxiety boy and the locked down cinemaless Dad! And Mum not being able to ever get time with no one in the house... Love how calm your Belle is - any tips?

>62 PersephonesLibrary: Thank you :) And I can see why it might grate at that time in life! I've read too many way more misogynistic works to be too affected! But I definitely have similar texts from Uni that I loathe, probably without due reason, because I had to cram them.

Ene 25, 10:05am

#7 The Grand Babylon Hotel - Bennett

Randomly picked up at the library and been hanging around for ages. So glad I didn't just return it without reading it! Excellent fun - imo a must for any Christie fans ;)

Ene 28, 3:10am

Happy birthday to Cassie, Bekka.

Ene 28, 5:26am

Thanks Paul :)

Ene 29, 9:49am

#8 White Fang - Jack London - BAC

Hmmm. Possibly a bit much doggy violence for my liking.

Ene 29, 9:53am

Also, thank goodness it's Friday. It's not been a great week, mood wise. Trying to work my way out of the slump but, well, not great.

Finally - after 4 or so days of gales and rain, a blue sky outside. Hoping that bodes well for the weekend and we can at least get out about a bit. Though still no 'unnecessary' shopping - shops were supposed to re-open on Wednesday but it was pushed back a week after a cluster in a supply chain - turns out some idiots went to work symptomatic without PPE and did a load of retail deliveries. FFS! My poor bratty boy desperately needs new school shoes that doen't eat his feet :(

Ene 29, 1:23pm

>68 BekkaJo: Oof, yes. I made the poor choice several years ago after having just had to put down my cat to read Call of the Wild and man did that lead to some ugly crying.

Hope you can shoes for your kiddo tout suite!

Ene 31, 10:57am

>70 MickyFine: Thanks - but no luck so far! Really really hoping they open as planned on Wednesday.

FYI, it's raining. Again. I went for a walk along the sea front this morning, so so foggy, it was like walking through a cloud. A very cold cloud...

#9 Orphans of the Tide - Struan Murray

Cassie's new favourite book that she insisted I read. Good fun - though I don't think it's as good a YA as Malamander. More fantasy based, and a good rollicking adventure.

#10 The Castle of Crossed Destinies - Calvino (1,001)

Finally finished a 1,001 this year! Been a bit tardy on them. This is... well, it's VERY Calvino. Premise being that the characters have all ended up in an Inn and have lost the power of speech - then attempt to tell their stories using a pack of tarot cards. All the tales intertwine. The narrators chapter was hard going. If reading this, I'd strongly suggest the paper back illustrated version (it has pictures of the tarot cards down the sides of the page). I had an e-pub version that didn't and I think you'd lose out without the images.

#11 Lumberjanes - Ellis

Excellent GN, thoroughly enjoyed it. I cannot afford to buy the series but I'll keep my eyes open for them. Maybe I can persuade the library...

#12 The Sittaford Mystery - Christie

Another standalone Christie - this one was fun, though there were a couple of lose ends that it doesn't follow through or close off that confused me.

Ene 31, 11:04am

So my January plan...

ATIR - Madame Bovary (Vic 1857)
Leftover - The Forest of the Hanged
BAC - White Fang
6+ - Old Masters (Thomas Bernhard)

Also to finish Black and Blue (Book bingo), The Gunslinger, and The Castle of Crossed Destinies (Liz 1973)

I finished the finish off ones at least! I have about 100 pages to go on Madame Bovary so need to pick that back up.

February reading plan:

ATIR - Humboldt's Gift
Leftover - Regeneration
BAC - The Years
6+ - Something by Philip Roth

Not really looking forward to the Woolf or Roth :/

Others to read... Refugee Boy (Book Bingo, authors surname starts with a Z), Out of Africa and the most recent two Dresden novels.

Ene 31, 12:47pm

Your January ended well! (Except the whole teenager part. You poor lamb.)

My January went astonishingly close to plan! I'm not accustomed to that....

Ene 31, 12:48pm

>72 BekkaJo: Great reading month for you. I enjoy Roth's books a lot (not everything, but most of them). Have you got already an idea what you want to read?

Feb 1, 4:08am

>73 richardderus: I've been admiring - well done you!

I did have a bit of a roll - but it's been a bit of a fluffy month. I'm just lacking in the mental capacity to really dig into anything deep at the moment, so I've decided that I just have to roll with that.

>74 PersephonesLibrary: Noooo *wail*. I've only read Operation Shylock and I was not fan. I was thinking American Pastoral?? Thoughts?

Feb 1, 5:48am

>74 PersephonesLibrary: I haven't read that one yet. But I enjoyed The Human Stain or Portnoy's Complaint a lot. I would recommend to start with one of them.

Feb 1, 9:03am

>76 PersephonesLibrary: Thank you - I haven't cracked a cover yet and I think I have The Human Stain. TBH I'll be shocked if I get to it this month, but we have to have goals, right? ;)

Feb 2, 10:18am

#13 Madame Bovary - Flaubert (1,001 + ATIR + Vic/Liz - Vic 1857)

A couple of days late, but done. I'm not sure about it in the end. It felt a bit... thin? I mean, if I'm going to have debauchery in my text I want a bit more - oomph I guess. Which I suspect was what Flaubert was getting at. Too much of everything ad not enough of anything.

So, that done, I'll carry on working on Humboldt's gift, Out of Africa, The Tin Drum (all Paul's fault), The Fifth Season (I blame PopSugar) and try and get round to the rest. Eeep!

Island C-19 sit rep... fingers crossed non-essential retail (i.e clothes shops and book shops - and I know, I know, I didn't make the definitions) re-open tomorrow. Which, again hopefully, means I can pick Will up and get him school shoes and we can go to the library. Luckily I have to do some work in the Jersey Archive in the afternoon and its a minute from his school :)

Feb 2, 1:36pm

>78 BekkaJo: Now, I can tell you. When I was reading Madame Bovary as a teenager for the first time I cheered when Emma Bovary took the poison because now the book couldn't take much longer. ...20 pages later and she is still dying! The ending presented his Realism in particular.

>77 BekkaJo: Setting goals is good! But if not this month, then next month. :)

Feb 3, 3:34am

>79 PersephonesLibrary: Just snorted my breakfast yoghurt onto my work desk... luckily there are a lot of cleaning products around! I have to agree - I was a bit cross with the downward spiral by that point, but man that section was longer than needed.

I may have started another Christie last night - just to dip into in between the heavy stuff I'm reading.

Feb 3, 3:40am

Library, library library! Library, library, library!

You need to sing and dance that to the conga song by the way, otherwise it's not going to sound right.

Hoping against hope that the boy and I get to go today. I don't need more books. I know that. But I do need, as previously mentioned, to be surrounded by books from time to time. Fingers crossed!

Feb 3, 8:13am

When I read Madame Bovary in college I both loved and hated it. Loved it for the stunning language and hated it for the bleak pointlessness of it all (which, as you mention, is part of Flaubert's point, of course, but still).

Editado: Feb 4, 2:28am

>82 scaifea: Well put - it's another where I get stockholm syndrome - I'm glad I have finished it, but miss it!

Poor reading day yesterday - I was in the office and re-learning to be around people is exhausting!! But I got to go to the library :) I only got half an hour, but it'll do for a bit. I'm in the office, Tues,Wed and Thurs next week so I can pop out at lunchtimes (I don't take very long for lunch but it's luckily pretty close to my office).

Feb 5, 1:12pm

>80 BekkaJo: I am sorry you had to clean up. ;-) Have a lovely reading weekend, Bekka!

Feb 5, 3:25pm

Oh, Emma. Really, you silly chit, anyone with half a grain of sense would've used Vronsky as a lever to pry herself out of that stultifying rut and gone to Paris to be a grande horizontale.

Feb 6, 4:33am

>84 PersephonesLibrary: Thank you - the sun is shining for once too!

>85 richardderus: hahaha! Yes that is the role she'd have been happiest in, for sure!

I've had a terrible couple of reading days - read barely anything. Been trying to work through an unusual scenario at work and it's used all my brain power up! Hoping to get some done this weekend.

Editado: Feb 6, 4:55am

>86 BekkaJo: Don't blame me for the reading rut, Bekka! Tin Drum is going to take some concentrating upon.

Feb 8, 2:50am

>87 PaulCranswick: Oh definitely no blame - just my head :(

Bit better this weekend, randomly picking up and getting into High Rise.

I also took Will to the Zoo and the book hut was open again! YAY! So I picked up (all in nearly new condition paperback and for the grand total of £2.50 - or it would have been except I had no change and had to put a fiver in the honesty box);
Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson
My Name is Red - Orhan Pamuk
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas
The Monogram Murders - Sophie Hannah (thought I'd give a faux Poirot a go)
Looking for Alaska - John Green

The only problem is that now it is Monday and I must work...

Feb 8, 11:43am

>88 BekkaJo: Pesky Mondays. Hope you survived it, Bekka!

Feb 8, 1:49pm

>88 BekkaJo: This reminds me of that Christmas, when I got gifted several books - including an apology letter for my boss that I won't be able to take part in the stocktaking. :) If you need a letter for work, hit me up.

Feb 9, 4:08am

>89 MickyFine: Barely - I'd forgotten about parent teacher meetings!

>90 PersephonesLibrary: Please! Dear Boss, Bekka is tired and does not want to work today, Yours Sincerely...

Feb 9, 1:31pm

>91 BekkaJo: That sounds like the Monday-est of Mondays.

I have to admit the only thing getting me through this week is the fact that it ends with a long weekend. No Monday next week!

Feb 11, 3:04am

>92 MickyFine: It's been a bit of a week so far I have to admit.

Long weekend sounds lovely :) I'm very tempted to try and get tomorrow off, but it involves moving some meetings, so it's dubious. The kids are off for half term from end of today, so it wouldn't be terribly peaceful, but at least I could stay in bed past six.

Book sit rep. Reading struggle continues. Exhaustion + low mood =very little read.

Feb 11, 6:58am

My weekend starts now! I have now three days off because of the Lunar New Year and I am going to binge read if possible.

Feb 11, 7:45am

Sounds lovely Paul - enjoy!

Feb 11, 10:59am

>93 BekkaJo: Does Jersey celebrate the Lunar New Year, Bekka? Maybe that's a fight that could lift you out of lethargy? Nothing stirs the blood like a Crusade, after all....

Feb 11, 4:12pm

>93 BekkaJo: Oh, I feel that... Have you tried doing a puzzle, knit/crochet, draw... and at the same time listen to an audiobook? That helps me sometimes to get over those tired phases.

Feb 12, 3:34am

>96 richardderus: Ha :) No, at least not most of it. I don't think I'm quite in the mood for a crusade right now... plus as I work in Government, it's frowned upon...

>97 PersephonesLibrary: I'm not great with audiobooks tbh. Hubby loves them but I have never been able to get into them. I do listen to some comedy - Cabin Pressure by John Finnemore, Natalie Haynes stands up for the classics - that sort of thing. Mostly whilst I'm cooking.

Feb 12, 3:37am

Oh I did finish a book last night. Very much the easy read solution...yes, you guessed it...

#14 Murder is Easy - Agatha Chritie

I actually dithered about on who the murderer was, till right towards the end. Rather fun.

Feb 12, 3:39pm

>99 BekkaJo: "Murder is easy, if no one suspects you...."

Always felt that was one of Dame Ags's best outings. Spang in the middle of her Best Years, and Honoria Waynfleet's ever-so ever-so 'tude...and I even liked Battle this time!

Feb 13, 4:06am

>100 richardderus: Summing it up perfectly as always :) Happy Saturday *smooch*

#15 The Midnight Library - Haig (Think was a popsugar challenge one? Must check)

Quick read which I thoroughly enjoyed. Yes, it's basically a YA (possibly why I enjoyed it) and yes, at times it's very twee/obvious. But I enjoyed the idea and the delivery and it has made me think about how much I cling on to all my regrets in life - I am a terrible 'what if' person. So, yes, thumbs up from me.

Feb 13, 4:35am

>99 BekkaJo: Murder is Easy.....well easier than sleeping by all accounts.

Get your pillow and nightie out, I have ordered Pawn of Prophecy.

Feb 13, 12:26pm

>98 BekkaJo: I see. I hope you can reenergize enough to focus on reading again.

>101 BekkaJo: That reminds me that my ACR still hasn't arrived. Oh my, I can relate - I am very good at clinging to regrets and to overthinking...

Feb 15, 2:57am

>102 PaulCranswick: *Hugs* Sorry for being a crazy lady!

>103 PersephonesLibrary: Want to say I had a better night, but hubby tweaked his back yesterday adn was rolling around trying to get comfortable all night! I need coffee stat!

In other news, I now have a 10 year old boy. Just insane. My Valentine baby is in double digits... Spent most of the weekend making cake, then met three of his mates down on a beach so they could climb around on the rocks adn stream and generally be boys! Since we aren't allowed in each others houses at the moment, and venues are all still shut, it seemed a good way to meet on his birthday. It did involve the Mums standing in the cold for a couple of hours though - soooo chilly!

The boys were all soaked to the knees and we were standing shivering. Youth and all that! But he had fun which is all that matters.

Also, my parents finally got their first Covid jabs on Saturday - they'd had to wait for the 65-69 bracket to open up. But at least it's a step forward. I distance dropped them some birthday cake on the way home yesterday, closest I've been in ages.

Feb 15, 3:00am

>104 BekkaJo: No apologies required - it is entirely endearing.

I have similar problems worrying about my pals so I can empathise. x

Feb 15, 8:05am

Happiest of birthdays to the 10yo!!

Charlie's 12 but so tall and deep-voiced that Tomm jokes about him being 27...

Feb 15, 11:57am

>105 PaulCranswick: You'll make me blush. It is always a fear though - sort of like hoping people will like your children!

>106 scaifea: Thank you - I think he had a good one :)
Charlie does look tall - Cass is too (and has bigger feet than me already!), but Will has dropped to the very average height for his age. Looking at how his Dad grew, he's going to double in height in a few years and likely get awful growing pains to boot. He's really nervous about secondary school in a few years time because he feels like a shrimp - the senior school go all the way to 18 and there is a world of difference between an average height 10 year old and an 18 year old! It's the same uniform nearly all the way up to it is a bit terrifying.

Feb 16, 6:08am

#16 High Rise - Ballard - 1,001

Weirdly compelling writing. Lord of the Flies meets a tower block - but more icky. The ease in which human nature disintigrates to it's base functions.

I feel a bit like I need a shower.

Feb 16, 7:54am

>107 BekkaJo: Yeah, when I help Charlie tie his mask on I have to reach up to do so, and that seems so nuts.
Aw, poor Will being nervous about school! I bet he's not the only one, though, and maybe he'll shoot upwards a bit before then. Charlie is loving online school and wants to stay with it past this year. We'll see...

>108 BekkaJo: I kind of loved this one (which may have mostly to do with the fact that Tom Hiddleston read the audiobook), but I agree that it's weird and slightly skeezy.

Feb 18, 12:38pm

>109 scaifea: Will did really well with online as well - though it was, at times, very traumatic for all involved! But he was very glad to be back at school (and away from the evil strict Mum teacher).

Slightly skeezy? I think I upgrade that to very :)

Slump again. Why can I not focus on the things I've got on the go at the moment? Heck, I couldn't even focus on a Christie last night. It's been a really intense and meeting filled week, so maybe it's that. Friday tomorrow!!

Feb 18, 3:42pm

Ten years? And time will pass by even faster now....

I think everybody is overwhelmed at the moment. My resolution is to go outside and to nature for at least 1/2 hour per day. I hope you'll find a way to get back to normal. And Friday seems to me as the perfect starting point. Which Christie have you been reading?

Feb 19, 4:38am

>111 PersephonesLibrary: It will :( I keep doing a double take on the 13 year old - she's growing up by the day. I want my babies back!

There is a strong sense of fatigue for everyone, I thoroughly agree. I think it's as we come ot the year mark - no one anticipated that things would not be back to normal by now. But they aren't and can't be - and won't be for some time yet.

I'm reading Endless Night - so far definitely not catching me. I'm also reading Humboldt's Gift, Maus and Plague Dogs. Trying to read The Tin Drum and City of God.

It's entirely possible I need to read something a bit lighter for a while!

Feb 20, 6:40am

I also put the very dark reads aside for the moment. Currently, I am reading a BB: Furiously happy which is fun to read. And the cover is great:

Happy reading weekend, Bekka!

Feb 20, 9:58am

>108 BekkaJo: If I have a criticism of Ballard and he did this in several novels, it is the extent of the rapid descent of man. I would like to think we could hold on to a semblance of civilised behaviour a little longer than he generally predicts.

Feb 22, 3:21am

>113 PersephonesLibrary: I've seen that in a few places - not really got round to investigating. Glad it's good :)

>114 PaulCranswick: Indeed! Though I suspect he may be quite right. Sorry - still feeling a little dark.

Well, Saturday was exceedingly unbrilliant. Sunday, bit better and trying to pull myself out of the bog. Finished a couple of books;

#17 The Marlow Murder Club - Thorogood

From the guy who created the Death in Paradise TV series (which I adore, it's just so relaxing to watch!), this is an easy read but a really amusing one. Quirky enough to capture my attention. Plus you have got to love an elderly female protagonist who drinks whisky, writes crosswords and swims naked in the Thames...

#18 Endless Night - Christie

Huh. Somehow I didn't see that coming. An un-Christie like Christie, this is a first person narrative for a start. The usual Christie tropes are there - love, money, gypsy curses, big houses etc. But you have to wait rather a while for the murder...

Feb 22, 11:27am

>115 BekkaJo: Plus you have got to love an elderly female protagonist who drinks whisky, writes crosswords and swims naked in the Thames...

Well you snagged me with that phrase. BB for me.

Feb 23, 1:47am

>116 MickyFine: It's pretty gentle fun - hope you enjoy :)