Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. The MOOC has faded into the deep blue yonder (or into the blue remembered hills, I’m not quite sure which). I stalled at Frankenstein and never got my momentum back – I blame Victor.
Ths is not to say I have no intention of ever reading the books on the course list: I do. I really do. But they’ve slipped a little way down my list of priorities. There are several other rather feisty little chaps that have fought their way out of L-space to clamour for my attention – and I’m kind of inclined to give it to them.
But before you write me off as another intellectual-eyes-bigger-than-her-real-life-belly type, may I plead in my defence? The MOOC books (and, just to indulge me, I would love it if you could pronounce those two words to rhyme) are still tempting. But, since I gave up on the written part of the course, they have no urgency for me at present. Let’s face it, most of them have been around for years/decades, if not centuries, and they’re not likely to be going anywhere soon. So I think I can safely, gently, put them to one side. I’ll whisper to them, ‘Yes, my darlings, sleep awhile and dream of pleasant things: of shoes and ships and sealing-wax, and cabbages and kings…’
And thus runs the lullaby of the neglected bookcase.
Ahem. Where was I?
Oh yes! The new books: the ones that are piling up on my shelf and my Kindle in equal measure. Who are these fiendish creatures who so brutally rip my loving hands away from the classics of yore?
There’s Bartimaeus. Or, to be more precise, the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. I’ve just finished the second book (The Golem’s Eye) and am looking forward to the third (Ptolemy’s Gate). I’ll review the whole lot when I come to the end, but I won’t be starting on this just yet, because of…
Book group. I’ve missed the last two meetings (and the last two books), but I’m hoping to get back into gear this month, as we are reading not one but two books (eek), both of which I’m not just vaguely interested in but desperately keen to read: The White Queen by Philippa Gregory and Casino Royale by Ian Fleming. I’m a bit of a sucker for historical documentaries, although I have a vastly lower tolerance level for historical (hysterical?) romances, so I’ll be interested to see whether The White Queen toots my whistle. Or plucks my harpsichord. Or thrums whatever other instruments they played at the time.
Aiming for my virginals (ooh, behave!) is Casino Royale. Or, more specifically, James Bond. Or, more specifically still, Daniel Craig. Yes, I know this is the book and not the film. But I loved the Bond books when I was a teenager, even before I knew Daniel Craig existed, so the combination of good storytelling and the mental image of the Blond Bond can only be a good thing. I’m working up a bit of a sweat just thinking about this one, so I’ll just promise to review it in a perfectly unbiased light in due course, and move swiftly on to…
American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I was intending to read this for Calon Talks Books yesterday, but I haven’t even started it yet, which made finishing it a bit of a challenge. But I’ve committed to it now, so it must stay. Somewhat shamefully, I’ve never read any Neil Gaiman books before, but the ones I’ve heard of are busily slithering their way out of L-space towards my ever-growing list, so in order to fend off their attack I need to make a start on at least one of them. And American Gods comes highly recommended by my hairdresser. *This is why, having spent years as a hairdresser tart, flitting from one to the next, I know I have now found the hairdresser I want to settle down with*
Er. Moving on…
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain, is technically next on the list, but I’ve not been able to resist starting it already. I’m an introvert, so this book represents some ‘me time’ where I can reassure myself that it’s totally OK to be the way I am. I’ve had a bit of a hectic summer with birthdays, barbecues and sooper-dooper extraverted holidays, so I’m really looking forward to hunkering down with a good book, as the nights draw in, and regaining my sense of self. I may not blog about this book; I may just absorb it and draw on its strength-giving properties to fuel me through the winter months. Or I may feel inspired to tell all! You’ll have to wait and see.
And finally, there are two other books on my immediate list, which, along with Quiet, I got for my birthday: Under the Paw and Talk to the Tail, by Tom Cox. If you are a cat lover and on Twitter, you can do no better than check out Tom’s @MYSADCAT account. This is partly publicity for his new book The Good, the Bad and the Furry, but mostly an excuse to look at pictures of his most beautiful cat The Bear, whose story is also told in these first two books. When it comes to prioritising reading material, I’m afraid The Bear beats The Raven any day. (Sorry, Edgar.)
So there you have it. Rather a lot of reasons for not pursuing my MOOC books. (Oh go on. Please tell me you’re rhyming those two words.) And I’m not entirely sure if I’ll get through them all by Christmas. For someone who’ll read the back of a cornflake packet while on the loo (mixed metaphors – honestly – but you know what I mean), settling down to read a proper book often eludes me. But I am determined to change my ways! For if I don’t, I truly fear the denizens of L-space will rise up and suffocate me in my bath.
And now I must away. The bookshop is calling…