Sunday, 2 November 2014

Short post for an extra long day...

Oh, how I love when this day rolls around every year, the day when we turn the clocks back and get an extra hour!  And how I hate the “partner” day in the spring, when we lose an hour.  The benefits of the extra hour seem to be lost after such a short time, but the costs of the lost hour seem to linger for weeks!!  So I will make the most of my extra hour today and read a bit more than I would otherwise have time to do!
This will be a short post because last week was not a very rewarding or productive reading week for me.  Not sure why… maybe I just couldn’t find anything to grab me in the first few days of the week, which are my really good reading days, or maybe I was distracted.  Anyway, I finished Peter Robinson’s mystery, Abattoir Blues, on Sunday, and it was just OK.  Not his greatest book, but a quick, easy read.
Then I started another book called A Good Day’s Work:  in pursuit of a disappearing Canada, by John DeMont.  This non-fiction title explores the disappearing jobs in our country as society changes and evolves.  It is nostalgic and melancholy, as the author pines for the “good old days” which, according to Pierre Berton, ended in 1967, “the last good year”, as he dubbed it.  The author visits, interviews and/or rides along with milkmen, blacksmiths, cowgirls and travelling salesmen, to name a few of the occupations that have been lost over the past half-century.  As a librarian, I fear that my chosen profession, too, may join this list of lost occupations.  It was a fairly light read, one that I just skimmed, as I found the author to be a bit too melancholy for my liking.  I mean, really?  Were those days truly as “good” as he remembers them?  But I think it would appeal to many readers, so just because I didn’t love it, doesn’t mean you won’t.
Then it was already Wednesday night, and I was still without a good book to read!  Ach!!  What a dilemma!  Knowing that I was running out of time, and that I could not possibly finish a book between then and today, I decided to tackle the book that we are discussing at my next book club meeting, Watership Down by Richard Adams.  I have never read this, but one of my book club members recommended this as a selection, and no one wanted to read Anna Karenina this month (I wonder why?!), so I made a quick substitution and here we are.  My paperback copy is very old and tattered, and the print is really small, so it may only be 475 pages, but really it’s about 600 pages if the print was a normal size!    Have you ever noticed that old Penguin paperbacks use really small print?  Anyway, I knew nothing about this book before I started reading it, except that it was about rabbits.  I am having a hard time getting into it, and can only read a few pages at a time, so it’s a good thing that I gave myself extra reading time to finish this.  I always thought it was a children’s book, but it is far too difficult and mature for children, although maybe high school kids could read and study it in class.  In case you, too, are unfamiliar with this classic, it tells the story of a group of rabbits who, on the advice of a wise bunny named Fiver, believe that a great danger is about to befall Sandleford Warren, and so form a band of roving rabbits, including Hazel, Bigwig and Silver.  The book follows their adventures and perils as this pack of brave bunnies search for a new place they can call home.  I have to say, the first 100 pages was a struggle, but I may be getting in the right mindset.  I just don’t enjoy reading fables, and this type of story seems more suited to children, although the language Adams uses and the writing style is far too advanced for kids.  I will write more once I have finished it and we’ve had our meeting, but I have to admit that I’m not really looking forward to it.  My book club members, on the other hand, all seemed quite excited about this selection, so it should be an interesting discussion.
That’s all for today.  Enjoy that extra hour!

Bye for now…
Julie

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