Winter is coming!

January 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ll begin with a cliché; wow, how time flies! Autumn is my favourite season, and I’ve really been enjoying how mild the weather has been the last three months. Unfortunately today it is wet and windy, and somehow, January. With it being the new year, amidst plans and promises to be more productive, my mind has flown back towards this blog that I began at the beginning of October. I’ve read plenty of books since then.

I was reading Perfume by Suskind when I started the blog, and I’m still not sure how I felt about it. I was torn between wanting to give Grenouille a good slap and hiding under the covers from his creepy face. Possibly, having seen the film, my experience of the book was a little spoiled. I knew what was going to happen and there was no suspense. My favourite character of the novel was Baldini. I found all the little details about the perfume business in France and Baldini’s petty little professional jealousies really interesting. Then Grenouille goes off and lives in a cave for a year and I completely lost interest.

Over Halloween I dipped into some seasonally appropriate books; We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson and The Man in the Picture: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill. The Shirley Jackson was a re-read, she’s one of my favourite authors and I feel sad that I’ve probably read almost everything that she’s written. I still mournfully scan charity shop shelves looking for some obscure out of print treasure. Sometimes I think that my love of Halloween comes from the sort of books I love to read; twisty Victorian Gothic masterpieces and weird, sad novels about loneliness and madness.

As the ghostly days waned and Christmas lights started to appear in the streets I returned to my current reading obsession, which began back in August in Estonia. The title of the post probably gives away that I am talking about Game of Thrones. I admit that I’d never even heard of the series until all the publicity over the HBO series (which is amazing); I tend to have my head in the sand over anything published after 1960. I devoured the first book in the series on the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki, and by November I was ready to start on the fourth. I don’t want to give any spoilers, because I would hate to ruin anyone’s experience of reading these amazing books, but I was expecting to be disappointed by A Feast for Crows. The Amazon reviews were largely ‘blah’, with a lot people saying that the series had lost it’s way. I was, however, pleasantly surprised. The book set up an incredible amount of ‘oh my god’ cliffhangers, and left me desperate to read the next book (which is my favourite Christmas present). The series is slow-moving, and I can understand people’s frustration at the sheer scale and the amount of time they are expected to dedicate to reading it. I don’t think it’s meant to be fast moving though, it’s meant to be huge and epic, almost like trying to write about the War of the Roses from every possible angle in minute detail. The only thing I could wish for is that George would write a bit faster so that we could have the next installment sometime in the next five years please!

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This weekend I went to the beach and decided I wanted to write about books.

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

This weekend I was reading Perfume by Patrick Suskind. It was hot, and feeling compelled to do something with this extra free sunshine, we went to the beach. It’s been a little over a year now since I finished my M.A. and I feel ready to talk about books again. I’ve been reading differently since my academic English career finished; luxuriating in books, reading exactly what I feel like.

Perfume felt like a widely inappropriate book to be reading in the sun on a beach, surrounded by happy families. So I didn’t read it, and went for a walk instead. I finished it the next morning in bed, to begin the laziest Sunday ever. I’ve just started three months unpaid leave from work, to try to make some progress in my attempts to become an archivist. So far, I’ve been to one meeting and read 250 pages of the third Game of Thrones book. A most excellent beginning.

My name is Hannah. This will be my place to talk about books. I’m not really sure if I enjoyed Perfume or not.

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