Reading is weird. Give me a book 300+ pages and I can finish it in a matter of days. Give me a book that’s less than 200 pages and it takes me well over a week. That was the case with Lee Israel’s memoir. I don’t know why it took me so long to get through it. I guess it’s just my general mood at the moment. Of course, a consequence of it taking so long is that I can’t really remember it all. Considering our book club meeting isn’t until next week, I might be in a bit of trouble.
There are a lot of British comedians who I would love to see live. One of them is Tom Allen. I think he’s amazingly funny and I enjoy seeing him appear on various TV shows. It also makes me feel slightly better about living at home that he’s only just moved into his own house! When this came up on Audible, I knew that I had to get it. Then I stumbled across a hardback copy in a charity shop and it seemed like something or someone was telling me to read it. I was meant to be reviewing my current read today but, thanks to my inability to read much, I knew I wasn’t going to manage it. I decided it was a good time to listen to the audiobook while I was working.
I wasn’t expecting to read this book last week but I ended up needing a pick-me-up at work. It was when I was feeling shit and I was desperate for something to distract me. Otherwise, I would have sat in front of my computer feeling sorry for myself. So, I started listening to Stanley Tucci narrate his book Taste. I’d bought the hardback when it came out but I always like to experience this type of book in the writer’s own voice. Especially when that voice is a very talented and funny actor.
I’m having a nightmare with my photos at the moment. My Instagram feed is all over the place because I can’t the lighting consistent. The image at the top of this post was the worst to edit so far. Nothing went right and I was ready to pack it in completely. But I persisted and it will do. This book was my book club’s pick for Pride month and it was my suggestion. I normally don’t get too involved in the picking process because I was the last to join. I know it’s mental but it feels as though my opinion is less important than the others. So, I am a little worried about what they’ll think of this one. It’s been on my TBR for ages and I was looking forward to reading it. The book group is mostly full of people looking for gruesome murders though. I’m not sure this will be everyone’s cup of tea.
My monthly reading challenges to Spell the Month in book titles has been a great way to approach my reading. However, it isn’t always easy coming up with titles for each of the letters. Especially as I’m trying to avoid buying too many books. I’ve already bought way more than I should have done. At the start of this month, I figured that April would be an easy task but I hadn’t thought about “i”. When it came down to it, I couldn’t think of an obvious choice for this letter that I already had a copy of. I don’t even know if I still have my childhood copy of I Capture the Castle. So, I decided to get myself a copy of this book because I’ve been wanting to read it for so long. The only problem was that I wasn’t a fan of the paperback cover that I found. So, I spent far too long trying to find a cheap copy of the cover I actually wanted. It’s beautiful, obviously, but I do hate how much of an issue I make things like this.
I’ve had this on my shelf for a really long time. I’d say it’s been about 5 years but I can’t actually remember when I bought it. When I got it, I had every intention of reading it quite quickly because I liked Amy Poehler. Spoiler alert, I didn’t. I think it’s because I struggle with non-fiction so much. I’m especially sceptical of memoir style books. They can be so hit and miss. Something that the writers believes is a hilarious anecdote might actually just be an in-joke that most readers won’t appreciate. So, this could very easily have remained unopened on my shelf for the rest of time. Well, until I decided to take part in my own version of the Spell the Month in Book Titles challenge. When I tailored my January TBR to spell out the name of the month, I knew that I’d need a book starting with “Y”. Looks like the time had finally come.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s rundown, my reading hasn’t exactly been great recently. I’m being a bit slow and not getting through my Christmas TBR very quickly. So, I really need a few short reads to boost my numbers. Otherwise, I’ll get to December 25th and still have so many festive reads to get through. Exactly what happened to me in October when I neglected my Halloween TBR. Thankfully, my most recent read was a super quick one that I managed to finish in less than a hour on Sunday. It’s exactly what I needed and has, hopefully, set me on a positive literary journey during my days off. Or, it will give me a false sense of security and I’ll forget to do any of the things that I need to do. But, we’ll get to that when we get to it.
It’s only my third month of being part of a virtual book club but it’s already given me an excuse to read books that I’ve always wanted to. This month’s selection is another that I’ve been interested in but would never have read off my own back. Mostly because I always thought it would be a letdown. When this was suggested as a possible book, it was picked by someone who had seen the film. Now, I enjoyed Spike Lee’s adaptation of the book as much as the next person but I also knew that a lot of the plot had been made up. The bomb plot, for example, was not part of Ron Stallworth’s story but had been added for the film. I suspected that the person who put it forward was under the impression that the film was accurate. After all, she had described it as “shocking content (of the film was anything to go by)”. When it came to the vote, I went with another choice but was outvoted. I’m not complaining, merely stating a fact. I got my copy of the book and started to read. Boy, was it a bit of a slog.
I’m not normally much of a documentary watcher. If you ask me why I’d probably give you the excuse that I don’t have the time. That I have so many other films to watch and so many books to read. This is clearly nonsense. What I’ve discovered over the past few weeks is that I’m not as great an activist as I’d like to believe. It’s not that I don’t believe in the causes that I go on and on about. It’s more that I’m often too afraid of putting my money where my mouth is. Not watching documentaries like this is just another way to shield myself from real life. It helps me stay inside my little bubble where I can pretend that the world isn’t as bad as it actually is. So, as part of my vow to live a more non-racist lifestyle, I’m making sure that I watch all of the films that I let pass me by. As I’d already read James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk this week, it only seemed right to start here.
I had to take a quick break from my current anti-racist reading list to read my book club’s choice for this month. I’d put it off for ages because it was only short but we’re meeting over Zoom on Thursday. That meant I only had a couple of days to get through it. Thankfully, it’s only 170 odd pages and I managed to get in a quick read of Noughts and Crosses over the weekend first. This was the book that I voted for because I really did want to read it. I can’t say that I’m a massive fan of Nora Ephron’s films. I’m not a huge romantic comedy fan. I even disliked When Harry Met Sally and that’s a film that nearly everyone has seemingly agreed to enjoy. I admit, she certainly has a way with words and it’s not necessarily the writing that I dislike. Okay, that’s not true because the story is the writing. But it’s not a matter of quality, it’s just not my thing. I am convinced that she is a great writer and, provided I could find a story that I can get on board with, I was confident I’d enjoy it. So, why not this one? After all, people have been showing off their copies on Instagram for ages now. Although I have to admit, I hate the Virago Modern Classics diamond cover. I love a cover with texture but it doesn’t wow me. I tried so hard to track down the cover I wanted but it would have taken ages thanks to bloody Coronavirus. Of course, without Coronavirus, I wouldn’t have been in the book club anyway.