Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – I thought this book was longer than it is. It’s actually a reasonable length. I’ve always struggled with Charles Dickens. I know his books are supposed to be humorous? I have never been able to recognise that, trying to get past some of the language and obviously society was different then. I did read Oliver Twist and I liked that one. I will give this a go. I’m sure I have already read some of it.
Howard’s End by E. M. Forster– I read a few pages and I had to put it back down. I find with some classics the way women are spoken of and to is too much. I like to chill with a book sometimes, not only for education and getting angry. I did read A Passage to India by this author, it was recommended by my English teacher at the time and that one I did enjoy. I will have to re-read that.
The Waves by Virginia Woolf – I love the way this woman writes, but. But this didn’t grab me. I put it down and haven’t gotten around to picking it up again yet. I read some of her books and I think I was too young to fully appreciate them. Like Orlando, didn’t get it. I read a lot of classics around the age of 11/12 and while I enjoyed them, I don’t think I fully appreciated when, why etc. they were written and about the writer. I think I just absorbed them.
I love the cover of this book, only cost 80 pence in the 70’s. If only books cost that now. I mean, postage costs a couple of quid.
Far from the Madding Crowd – I read Jude the Obscure when I was 16? Love the name Jude. That’s all it took for me to read it, the name Jude. And that was me done with Thomas Hardy. Done. Too much. Bit like poking a bruise, curiosity made me buy this one, I bought Jude the Obscure too, and perhaps I will read it. Will I re-read Jude the Obscure though? I’m not sure.
I slot the key into the lock and turn it. With my foot on the bottom of the rotten door frame, I push open the door, and step into the shop. The post under my feet crunches. I shut the door and crouch down to scoop them up. Tentatively I weave my way through Betty Boop statues, and Bamboo side tables to the back of the room, where I place the post on the till, which leaves my fingers coated in grime.
My phone bings. I swipe up the screen. Name: Dani. I put the phone to my ear. ‘Hello.’ I say.
‘Hi’ Dani says. ‘Can you see me?’
‘Now, later, tonight. Whenever.’
‘I can’t, really. I have a doctor’s appointment, then I go to the council, and the Jobcentre. Then I have to do some shopping.’
‘OK. See ya when I see ya then.’
I scratch my shoulder, pulling the vodka out of the plastic bag I bought in with me. I take out the plastic cups, and rip off the wrapping, slipping a cup from the bottom of the tube. My hand shakes as I pour the vodka into the cup, and put the bottle down on the till, sliding a small bottle of lemonade from the bag, and topping it up.
A carriage clock ticks. Ominous. I can’t stand the ticking of a clock. I will have to find a way to silence them. All of them. My eyes run along the shelves of clocks: glinting silver, and gold soldiers.
Thanks for reading. I hope you took something from it. Drop me a comment below, let me know if there’s anything of yours that you have published recently because I am always up for reading new stuff;
Dry by Augustin Burroughs
Published by Atlantic Books
I think I prefer that second cover.
Dry is the story of Augustin, of his drinking which isn’t a problem, of entering rehab at the request of his employers, and then navigating life on the outside: sober. I highlighted this part – when Augustin began to realise the consequences of his drinking, demonstrated by the bottles that had piled up in his flat and on his return home, having to bag them all up. I liked that metaphoric imagery of the weight of drinking. (Looking too deeply into things again, Kate?)
‘I feel like I drank a bottle of wine. I even feel guilty,’
‘Exactly,’ I say, relieved that he feels it too. Relieved that I am not the only one who is so unaccustomed to happiness and the feeling of impending punishment that follows.’
Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller
Published by Amazon Publishing
Coming Clean is a well written memoir, starting with stories from Kimberly’s childhood – then expanding on her family and her father: a hoarder. I liked how she wrote about hoarding realities vs the stereotypical images we have all seen depicted on televisions shows. It was a good read if you want a real, honest account on what it is like to live with and know a hoarder.