2017 is starting with lots of things on our plate at the Smithereens home, hardly any of which related to writing and reading.
We are putting our home on the market and moving to the suburbs! (That’s not really as dramatic as I write it: it’s still a real city with libraries and movie theater and museums… and not too far from the Eiffel Tower!) Real estate stuff are both exciting and stressful, and it has taken a toll on my writing and reading. I find that I have less mental space to dream up fancy stories, and a lot less concentration to focus on stories dreamt up by other people.
I have started one story by Polish writer Pawel Huelle and haven’t really got too far: Polish hardships in the immediate postwar, newly Communist regime is not really the exotic entertainment I was looking for. Let’s just say I was not in the right mood. I have started Maylis de Kerangal’s novel on heart transplant while in the commuting train and it was tough! I had totally forgotten her peculiar style of very long, meandrous sentences. The first “chapter” is only one breathless sentence with so many detours that I could hardly keep my attention on the page. I know that it takes some getting used to, but that her writing is so visual and flowing that I should soon be won over. Anyway Kerangal and Huelle are both on my list of books I own and want to really read this year, so no way I’m going to throw the towel in January!
Yet, given the general level of stress and exhaustion, I might also add some comforting and easy reads to my diet. I want to finish a few books started last year before adding a mystery or two, or, perhaps… another tome of Outlander. Last year Outlander had taken my breath away because it was so quick to read and so entertaining, so I’m really keeping that one close by in store for difficult times.
I also went to the YA & Children’s library of our neighborhood and couldn’t resist and few graphic novels/ mangas. I also saw that they have Sophie Kinsella’s latest YA novel Finding Audrey. My first impulse was to take it, but then, I’m not sure I want to add any anxiety to the situation.
Also, we have a family trip planned for February and we are going to… London! I really want to visit Persephone bookshop and the British Library. So perhaps I should be reading a Persephone book to put me in the right mood. Do you have any suggestions of literary places to visit there? Or of any delightful book set in London?