Monday, 14 March 2016

Coming soon: Rereadathon and The Stand, plus General Rambling

Hi all. I realise I haven't blogged for over a month. I just had a week's holiday off work, but have been feeling a little run down (which is crazy, seeing as it is the quiet period at work!) and so, yeah. I got out of the habit. I'd been getting into some habits in some ways: regular bedtimes and waking-up times, writing on my mornings off, reading over breakfast and before bed. Then holiday happened and I got ill (just a cold, nothing serious, but it messed up my routine.) Still,  I've got notes to write up about some of the books I've been reading in the last couple of weeks, so look out for a mini-review post in the near future.


I haven't even officially signed up to Bex's rereadathon yet - which is shocking as I was the one who had been badgering her about doing another one. Time to rectify that now! That starts next Monday and runs for ten days, over the Easter weekend and finishing on Wednesday 30th March. I'll definitely be taking the opportunity to reread American Gods, which has been in the public eye a bit more lately, with the announcements of some of the key players (Ricky Whittle as Shadow and Ian McShane as Mr Wednesday, so far.) It doesn't match Neverwhere as my favourite Neil Gaiman book, but it's one I reread semi-regularly and which is better on each reading. Also I fancy rereading The Charioteer by Mary Renault, and considering that Spring is in the air and I bought yet another copy on the bookshop crawl, it is time to revisit my old friend and kindred spirit Anne Shirley.


But I won't be exclusively rereading next week, as my best friend Judith and I are reading Stephen King's The Stand for our sporadic two-person book club. I'm thinking up discussion questions and everything. So I might post our thoughts on the blog after each section, and if you've read the book (or even want to readalong with us, although we've already started and due to read Book 1 by next week) you are very welcome to join in the comments section below. With Stephen King's books, I either love them (The Shining, Carrie, 11.22.63) or am fairly indifferent (Cell, Needful Things. Doctor Sleep falls somewhere in between.) Oh, and then there's Dreamcatcher. Except there isn't because I won't acknowledge it. So, in fact, King's books range from best book ever! to utterly unreadable. Thankfully, The Stand is so far shaping up to be on the excellent end of the scale - which is a relief considering it's about 1400 pages. However, when travelling up to London at the weekend, I kind of regretted starting a book in which a killer flu kills off most of the world's population. On the ferry, on the shuttle-bus, on the train, I was surrounded by the chorus of cough, cough, sniffle, sniffle, sneeze, sneeze. Nice timing!

Due to the aforementioned super-flu going around, most of my plans for the weekend got cancelled by one friend after another, but at least I got to spend more time with Laura in Richmond, which was great fun. Bex was supposed to join us, but alas, was unable to make it. We started off at the Hummingbird Bakery with a many-layered slice of chocolate and salted caramel cake about the size of my head. Naturally, we visited the bookshops, as well as the charity shops, and Laura introduced me to a new children's bookshop in which I did a dramatic reading of Please Mr Panda for her. (This is an excellent picture book, if not quite as good as I Want My Hat Back.) Then we ended up at Starbucks for probably a couple of hours, sharing our life stories and putting the world to rights. We had such a great time it didn't occur to us to take any pictures. Why would I waste time photographing cake when I could be putting it in my face? Where cake is concerned, I have no shame.


Hopefully I will have some book reviews for you before the end of the week, but if not, see you on the 21st for the rereadathon!

4 comments:

  1. I too have a complicated relationship with Stephen King- I loved Carrie, The Shining and 11.22.63 as well but I was pretty meh about The Green Mile and some others and downright couldn't stand It. I wasn't that keen on The Stand either to be honest- there's some interesting things in it but I just felt there wasn't enough to sustain such a very, very long book. I look forward to your take on it!

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  2. I too have a complicated relationship with Stephen King- I loved Carrie, The Shining and 11.22.63 as well but I was pretty meh about The Green Mile and some others and downright couldn't stand It. I wasn't that keen on The Stand either to be honest- there's some interesting things in it but I just felt there wasn't enough to sustain such a very, very long book. I look forward to your take on it!

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    1. The Green Mile was the first Stephen King book I read, and I was convinced it couldn't be by THAT Stephen King, because THAT Stephen King wrote horror. I was soon put right, but it's only recently that I discovered that what he does best is write characters you care about (and throws horrible things at them to deal with.) I thought I'd never be able to read It because I've always hated clowns (I was the kid who had to be taken out of school assemblies or birthday parties when a clown showed up.) Actually, I quite liked it, but could never ever watch it on the screen because ugh. Can't sleep. Clown'll eat me.

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  3. Feeling run-down can happen at the calmest of times, my darling. I hope you ignored the timing and looked after yourself anyway. With tea and cake and sunshine.

    I thought about rereading Anne this week, but since I just started on the Little House series for Bex's readalong I thought maybe ONE old-fashioned all-wholesome feel-good series at a time?? I've heard nothing but great things about The Stand, so I hope it turns out to be on the excellent end of the King Continuum after all! *sneezes flamboyantly*

    BRING ON THE REREADATHON! *pulls everything off bookshelf happily* :)

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