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I know the meaning of those 19 years, a slave of the law…

Like I’ve mentioned before, I’ve always had a problem with posting consistency. Would that it were the problem just now. No, my problem is a different beast, namely, the law. Or, more accurately, Law School. It’s a bit of a bastard. I’ve sat my final undergraduate exam and I have never been more hollow or burnt out feeling. Assuming I live, I’ve worked out a rough posting schedule beginning tomorrow, but until then I hope those of you who are following me and reading this will hang tight!

For now, I’ll post a round-up of my reading in April 2013.

The Damned Utd – David Peace
The Unbearable Lightness of Scones – Alexander McCall Smith
Room – Emma Donoghue
Wintersmith – Terry Pratchett
This Is Not A Test – Courtney Summers
Fall For Anything – Courtney Summers
Genesis – Bernard Beckett
The Importance of Being Seven – Alexander McCall Smith
Bertie Plays The Blues – Alexander McCall Smith
The Black Book – Ian Rankin
Mortal Causes – Ian Rankin
Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins
Cracked Up To Be – Courtney Summers
Let It Bleed – Ian Rankin
Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson

Given that I finished reading the last of these almost a full month ago now, I’m just going to quickly round up what I thought below. Easy standouts among these are Genesis and Wintersmith, with The Damned Utd only really of interest to those of us enamoured with the beautiful game. Anna was a strong contender for one of the most beautifully fluffy novels I’ve come across that was not too saccharine for my tastes, I think because of the relateability of the situation in the book for me (I’ve been Etienne, sans good looks unfortunately). The three Summers books were light and ennjoyable, but I often felt that sense of unreality that comes with those who choose to write about high school too long after the fact. As usual, AMS is my happy place (though I’m missing the next book and will have to catch up!) and Ian Rankin is… Ian Rankin.

Speak and Room are probably the two most controversial or issue-driven books on my list. On the former, I was surprised by the youth of Anderson’s voice, given that I’d read Wintergirls before and not been overly impressed by her ability to capture the actuality of what it is like to be that age. As someone who had my own struggles around about that age with “growing up” and the realities of puberty (or “mocha latte” as Ruby Oliver, my spirit animal, would call it), I feel like, for a fourteen year old who has had the experience that the protagonist has here, the voice is pretty accurate. Also, the scene in the cupboard is incredibly affecting. However, I feel like it could actually have done with being a bit longer and deeper. Room was much less annoying than I’d expected it to be, given the child voice – it’s pretty easy to get used to. It’s also a lot less gruesome than I expected it to be, in the sense that most of the threat and dread comes from what is implied rather than laid out – it’s effective, without subjecting one to all the gory details of the terror inherent in the situation. However, the end of the book somewhat meandered, and while it was realistic, I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed at Jack’s mum’s possessive attitude towards Jack at the end of the book. But that’s just my personal feelings about that “trope”.

So, what are my plans for the blog? I know I’ve been pretty unstructured so far, and while that’s all well and good, I think you’d probably like to know what to be able to expect from this page in the coming months. After much deliberation, I created a posting schedule that I’m hoping I’ll be able to stick to and that I hope will be of interest to at least some of you!

On Mondays I’m going to continue with the book meme posts, so you can get to know a little bit about me as a reader. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be dedicated to the feature I started this blog to embark upon: The Great Discworld Re-read. I was inspired by the awesome people at Tor (http://www.tor.com/features/series/malazan-reread-of-the-fallen) to do a re-read of what is probably the formative series of my reading life. As Malazan is to my university years, so Discworld was to my high school ones, and I’m excited to see what I get out of re-reading, in particular as regards to the early books which I first read some ten years ago (those and Thief of Time). Wednesday will see me tackle the always controversial topic of The Film v. The Book, starting with a recent, deeply controversial adaptation. Finally, Fridays are going to be dedicated to some of the young-adult stuff I’ve been reading recently, from the perspective of someone who was kind of out of that loop as a teenager, starting tomorrow with the beginning of my revisit of one of the YA series I did read as a teen – The Princess Diaries.

On top of all this, all going well, I should be able to post some stuff about the things I’m reading in “my own time”, so to speak. The plan is that I should be able to queue the week’s posts in advance and hopefully thus still maintain my ability to read normally for the most part. How that pans out in practice remains to be seen! However, these roundups will keep happening, and if anyone has anything they’d particularly like to see me tackle, then I’ll try to make it happen. Current projects aside, nothing is set in stone. Here’s to the future!

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all i ever wanted was the world

I’ll skip the preliminaries, seeing as it’s all in the fancy About Me that I spent literally minutes making. Anything anyone who is theoretically reading this needs to know about me is there, and, theoretical reader, if you need to know anything else, get in touch.

Essentially, this blog is a bit of a creative exercise for me. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but, as with pretty much every writer who isn’t Stephen King, I have a tendency to be very undisciplined about it. A combination of things has led to a total absence of any kind of writing exercise in my life though: I’ve spent the last four years pursuing a very arduous degree, I had a bout of glandular fever in January 2011 which has left me with near permanent pain in my hands and shoulders, which has been exacerbated by my hypermobility, and I lost my father the month after that. Essentially, not the best few years for me. It’s easy when you’re feeling as rotten as I have to stop pursuing anything that takes any more effort than going to bed and hiding under the covers in case something else happens.

That said, I’m in a pretty good place now. I should graduate in June with a solid 2:1, I’m still in the happiest and most fulfilling relationship of my (admittedly short) life, my mental health is slowly improving, as is my physical health, and I feel ready to actually challenge myself to attempting something remotely creative again. What all the emotional and physical bullshit has been useful for is giving me plenty of time to sit on my arse and read, if not process my thoughts about what it is I’ve just read.

Enter this blog. Essentially, I’d like to make it my project to explore a bit more about what I think about the media I consume. Largely, this is going to involve stuff I have read and am reading, as that’s pretty much my major pastime, owing to a lack of a TV license (and a boyfriend who is a reluctant TV watcher), and a lack of inclination towards listening to as much new music as I did in my late teens (though with my improving mental health that has been returning!) I’m not saying I will never make crappy personal posts moaning about everything in my life, but I promise to tag those and you’re free to ignore them. I have a few projects that I’d love to actually attempt. The first is that stupid 30-day book meme that has been the bane of my life since last year, and I’m going to reattempt that straight away. The second is a touch more ambitious: I mentioned last year on my tumblr (which, I have decided, is not the platform for me) that I had an idea for a project I’d love to undertake. That is the Great Discworld Reread which I have been promising myself for years, and which seems even more enticing now that I only have two or three Discworld books left to read. It’s a bit of a monster of a prospect, and won’t start until this summer at the earliest, but it would really mean a lot to me to have a go at it. I also plan on doing monthly round ups of things read/watched/listened to, as well as a few other things I haven’t quite worked out yet.

Eventually, I want to get back to writing fiction. But I’m so out of practice (and so goddamn undisciplined!) that I need something a bit more concrete to work from first. Also I haven’t quite got the free-time to dedicated to that just yet. One day!

Oh dear, this was a bit long!