As expected, this week has been long and tiring. I’m not saying that I’d enjoy working from home for the rest of my life but it was at least allowing me to get some sleep. I’m not quite in my old pattern so it was a struggle to get everything done. Which is why I didn’t actually get everything done. Not only have I still not finished my current read but I skipped a blog post. I just couldn’t do it. It doesn’t help that I’ve definitely caught a cold from someone in my office. I guess it’s to be expected after avoiding everyone for so long and I should be grateful that it’s not something worse. Especially as we’re in another local lockdown. I don’t know who Boris is trying to kid with his talk about a lack of national lockdown. He’s such a waste of space.
It’s no secret that I’m a lover of Agatha Christie and that I won’t accept people underestimating her. You may remember that I got angry when The Truantsgot compared to the Queen of Crime when it wasn’t even a pale imitation. I got even more annoyed when the characters were talking about the books as some twee and childish examples of literature. Christie is a fantastic writer. She understands people and their motives better than most writers. She knows what she’s talking about and she has written some of the best twists of all time. She has ruined me for contemporary crime writers because I know what to look for. I always see it coming because Agatha taught me well. Yesterday was the 130th anniversary of her birth. 2020 also marks the 100th anniversary of her first book being published. It’s a big year for Christie fans. So, as I’m still nowhere near finishing my current read, I decided to dedicate my second bookish post this week to her.
I’ve wanted to watch this film for ages now. I’d heard it was good. It sounded good. I know that I was going to love it. So, why did it take so long? My poor attention span. I’ve been watching films at home since March because of the pandemic which means I’m generally doing multiple things when I’m watching films. I might be writing another blog pot, tempted by my phone, or editing photos. It depends how much I have to do that day. It’s not that I mean to let my mind wander but it happens. I’m not like it in a cinema. Don’t go thinking that I’m one of those people who gets their phone out every few minutes. I concentrate in a cinema. Not at home. It’s difficult to find a two hour slot when I’m not also trying to do something else. So, a subtitled film isn’t exactly a good mix. So, when I found a window on Sunday, I knew what I had to do.
This would typically be the time that I post a book review but, unfortunately, I was never going to finish a book for today. I’m so used to reading shorter books at the moment that I completely underestimated the time it would take to read a 300+ page book. When it comes to books, size doesn’t matter. Some of the best books that I’ve read recently have been around 200 pages. I know in certain parts of the bookish community, there is something competitive about book size. To some people, if you’re not reading long books then you aren’t doing it right. Me? I’ll do whatever it takes to get enough books read in a week. With a full-time job and other committments, shorter books are the best way to do that. Of course, this means that I’ve got quite an arsenal of quick reads ready to recommend.
Tomorrow is my first day back in the office since March. I’m not sure how it’s going to go. I’ve been shielding for so long that the idea of sitting in a small office is a bit weird but I was given the impression that I needed to come back. On the plus side, I’ll not longer be working extra time unpaid. There’s also the issue of getting back to my schedule. I’ve been able to finish writing a bit later because I wasn’t having to get up as early. It’ll take a bit of time to get back into my old routine. I doubt I’ll get much reading done in the first few weeks back. Good job I’ve already reached my 2020 target.
There was a point yesterday when I wasn’t sure that I’d get a chance to write this review. We had a power cut at about 5 o’clock in the evening and it made everything a bit difficult. For one thing, I had to use my mobile as a hotspot to finish my work for the day, which was a nightmare. For another, I hadn’t actually watched my TBT film for this week. The last few weeks have been pretty stressful and I’ve just been a bit off. Thankfully, my internet came back and I was able to get everything done. Except write the review, which I’m having to do quite late on Wednesday night in the knowledge that I have to get up early for medical appointment. Part of me just wants to forget it but I don’t want to start setting that precedent for myself.
After my last read, I had every intention of reading a proper book but I also needed to write a second book post this week. Of course, when I say “proper book”, I don’t mean to suggest that children’s books aren’t proper but that they aren’t exactly age appropriate. It has been nice revisiting my youth again though. This was another book in this series that I’d already read and it was probably the first time that I’d seen the dark and gory side to fairy tales. I was probably more aware of the Disney version where everyone lives happily ever after. It will no doubt have rocked my world to discover the disgusting origins to these well known stories. But does it still live up to my memories?
I’m no Dickens fan. I don’t necessarily see why he’s the granddaddy of English literature. He’s the Victorian version of those clickbait articles that drag out a really boring story for about 5 pages to keep their stats up. I get that he was basically being paid by he word but did he have to make it so obvious. Then there are the bloody names. Every time anyone talks about Dickens they bang on about how funny his characters names are. Really? They’re like bad dad jokes at best. I don’t hate all of his novels of course. A Christmas Carol is a fantastic book and I have a certain love for Great Expectations. That’s about it though. It’s been years but I’m still bitter about having to study Hard Times for my A Levels. It’s such a boring book. With all of these negative feelings swimming around my head, you’d be forgiven for thinking that an adaptation of David Copperfield wasn’t the top of my list of must-see films. Well, it turns out that Armando Iannucci can make anything palatable.
Do you ever revisit the books of your youth? It’s one of those big dilemmas. Do you reread them to see if they’re as good or do you not take the risk? It’s awful going back to something that you loved and realising that it’s just not that great. That was my quandary with this book. I had thought about it for years but couldn’t find it anywhere. It didn’t help that I’d forgotten the full title and didn’t know who wrote it. There was a point where I genuinely believed that I’d made it up. Although, I also remembered how much I loved this book. I am sure that it was the reason that I love Greek mythology. It must have been my introduction to them. I can’t remember where I bought it but it was probably at the Scholastic book fair. Those places were magical. I miss the rush you’d get at one of those. Nothing in adult life can match it.
As much as I don’t want to be “that guy”, how the hell is it September already? 2020 is flying by and, let’s be honest, things aren’t looking much better than they were a few months ago. Yes, the number of deaths per day has gone down but it’s not as if the threat has gone away. Then there’s the fact that the economy is tanking and it’s only going to get worse when we get an inevitable no-deal Brexit. The only people who are going to happy when that happens are Boris Johnson and his rich friends. Still, everyone who voted Leave will still find a way to blame everyone but the government. Do you remember when we all saw 2020 as a turning point? The only good thing about it has been the amount I’ve read so far.