This week’s topic is – Books I can’t believe I read.
And here they are.
- Dostoyevsky The Brothers Karamazov – To say I found this book a bit of a slog would be an understatement. I’ve really enjoyed some of the Russian literature I’ve read in the past but my goodness this one was just an endless, endless undertaking. Because it pains me to leave books unfinished, I ploughed on. I even tried to get round my completist issues by ‘accidentally’ leaving it on a train but a kind lady returned it to me. The whole experience taught me a valuable lesson about being able to walk away from a book I’m not enjoying so as to make space in my life for all of those I might. I felt zero sense of achievement on finishing it and swore I’d never read-for-the-sake-of-it again.
- Roz Kaveney Reading the Vampire Slayer – Yup – scholarly essays on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was great! Not something I’d ever have imagined picking up but I borrowed it from a friend (and super fan) and was glad I did.
- Thomas Harris Red Dragon – I don’t normally do well with graphic descriptions of truly hideous crimes but somehow I read this. I probably won’t repeat the experience.
- Laura Vanderkam 168 hours: You have more time than you think – I was genuinely surprised to find that I read this a few years back; I just can’t remember doing so. Clearly it was a fantastic use of the 168 hours that I had that week, because I appear to have implemented approximately none of the advice it contained. I suspect some of my time issues stem from reading books about how to stop procrastinating instead of, oh I don’t know, actually not procrastinating in the first place.
- Margaret Atwood Oryx and Crake – If gruesome murdery stuff leaves me a bit unsettled, books about the apocalypse TERrify me. I suspect I only persevered with this because it was Atwood. But, cleverness aside, I really didn’t enjoy it at all.
- Angela Huth The Englishwoman’s Wardrobe: Twenty-five Englishwomen talk about their clothes – This is one of those books that you buy in order to leaf through the pictures really, but I actually read every word. And I’m so glad I did. It’s an unintentionally hilarious insight into the role of clothes in the average woman’s life back in the 80s and I would recommend it to anyone with a passing interest in getting dressed.
- Darryn Lyons Mr Paparazzi: my life as the world’s most outrageous celebrity photographer – Darryn Lyons is not one of my favourite humans, she says tactfully, and yet somehow I read his book (because it turns out that no matter how much I might try to pretend otherwise, the lure of gossip is sometimes too strong to resist).
- Anon Belle du Jour – I was curious. And I really didn’t want to watch the TV adaptation.
- Diehl and Donnelly Eat Thy Neighbour – My husband, who is otherwise a warm, friendly, very unscary type of person, has a weird fascination with serial killers and likes to read about them or watch TV documentaries about them. Apart from this leaving our respective Netflix recommendations looking hilariously different, it also means that the odd ‘book I would never have picked up myself’ is floating around the house. I read this back in 2008 and it’s about serial killers who also eat their victims, which is…cheery. I must have been in a particularly dark place…
- Sophie Hannah The Orphan Choir – If murdery stuff and the apocalypse don’t entirely finish me off, then the one thing guaranteed to find me leaving lights on at night is child ghosts. Child ghosts are just beyond terrifying so I either read this book because I didn’t know it was about child ghosts or I read it despite this at a time when I was feeling particularly brave. If it was the latter, I likely horribly regretted it as soon as it got dark.