We’re only 6 days from Christmas day and I’m feeling anything but festive. Forget one of my dark days, it’s been a dark week so far. I understand that the idea of being completely happy in your job is a lie that we’ve been fed since childhood but I was, at least, hoping the happy moments would outweigh the sad. Not this week. Out of the 4 shifts I’ve done so far this week, I’ve come away wanting to sit in the dark and cry after 3 of them. Which has had a massive knock-on effect on my reading so I’m nowhere near finishing Murder on the Orient Express. It’s a rereading so, realistically, I could still have written a review of it but, to be honest, I just want to go to bed and forget this week ever happened. So, I went searching for an easy book tag to fill in the space in my schedule and even that proved to be too draining. And now I’m sat here feeling defeated and quite pathetic for letting this get to me so much. I hate being the kind of person who constantly moans about work and who gets so upset about it. But, unfortunately, some days there are just so many frustrating things that, instead of washing over my head, they just end up drowning me. Still, I’d hate myself just as much if I didn’t get a post up, so I searched the internet for an appropriately Christmassy tag. Let’s see how this goes.
Pick a book with a wintry cover
It seemed highly appropriate to just pick the cover I’m currently reading. The Harper Collins editions of Agatha Christie’s railway novels are gorgeous and Murder on the Orient Express is the best of the bunch.
Pick a book you’re likely buy as a present
I tend to shy away from buying people books for Christmas because people have such different tastes. I think picking a book is a very personal thing and I try to avoid pushing myself on them. That said, this year I’ve bought my father this Scots edition of Harry Potter. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t read my blog so I doubt writing this will spoil the surprise. However, if you’re reading this, Dad, practice you shocked face before the big day.
Pick a festive themed book
Today marks the 175th anniversary of the release of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens so I couldn’t really pick any other book, right? I do love it though. I’m not a huge Dickens fan but think this is perfect. Of course, it helps that A Muppet Christmas Carol is my number 1 favourite Christmas film.
Pick a book you can curl up with by the fireplace
There’s nothing like a much-loved and well read classic for reading by the fire. I haven’t read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe since I was in my final year of my Undergraduate degree and I think it would be perfect for a fireplace read. Listening to the fire crackling as you follow the Pevensie children through the wardrobe and into the wintry cold of Narnia: bliss.
Pick a book you want to read over the festive period
I always tell myself that I’m only going to read festive books in December but never do. This year I was hoping to have finished Murder on the Orient Express and be on to something appropriate by now. Something like The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding.
Pick a book that’s so good it gives you chills
I guess the last book that I loved so much it gave me chills was Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. It was so beautifully written and, though I had some problems with it, I think it was a wonderful representation of real human emotions. There were so many aspects of Eleanor that resonated with me and, at times, it felt eerily similar to myself. As I’m sure it did for so many people who read it. A true mark of a great writer.
Pick a book going on your Christmas wishlist
I don’t think I’ll be getting any books for Christmas but I know there are loads out there that I’d happily take possession of. Currently sitting in my Amazon cart is The Writer’s Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands by Huw Lewis-Jones. I’m obsessed with maps anyway so a whole book about fictional ones just speaks to every thing I love. It’s a look into the way writers are inspired by maps and create the maps for their fictional lands. It sounds really fascinating. After that, I still have most of the books on my ‘Most Anticipated Books of 2018’ list still to buy so I’d love to see a few of them under my tree.
Who is Murdocal? A casual critic who is a little bit too obsessed with pop culture. A young woman who swears and rants much more than she knows she should whilst trying to make her way in an adult world she isn't prepared for. A not as recent as she'd like literature graduate who, between job applications and subsequent rejections, has turned to the internet to fight the boredom and review the shit out of everything.
"Maybe, just maybe, I'm the faller. Every family has someone who falls, who doesn't make the grade, who stumbles, who life trips up. Maybe I'm our faller."