What I read
Finished From a Drood to a Kill - thought this was phoning it in a bit, or maybe I just wasn't in the right headspace.
Picked up in a charity shop: G R Malliett, Wicked Autumn (Max Tudor no 1) - and am fairly glad I didn't bother going for the sequels that were also on the shelf, because this was the sort of cozy mystery that I have seen done better and worse, and I finished it, if only to see whether my assumption about the son who was very seldom seen was correct. It was. Also, while I suppose you might argue that the big reveal was not about villain's [identity] so much as 'evil plot of conniving avarice', when this involves the only person/s of [identity] in the cast of characters, I find it just a bit iffy.
I'm not sure one can really count previews that have not left me immediately going online to buy the whole thing here? There were several.
On the go
Am now stuck in to the Gordon and Nair book on Madeleine Smith, which is written very much from the perspective of social historians who have done a lot of good work on the gendered social history of Glasgow at precisely that period.
Everything else that has been on the go since time immemorial is still on the go.
Really, don't know. Apart from book I have to read for review purposes, which I should get stuck into.
Somewhat irritating article about reading: Is ‘devouring’ books a sign of superficiality in a reader?
Some people are fast readers, some people are slow readers, and I've 'devoured' texts which I'm sure do not conform to the model she constructs here:
‘Devouring’ implies a certain tempo – it idealises the fast-paced reading experience. It also promotes a certain kind of writing, as the Guardian’s description of the Booker panel shows. If a book grips us, if it sucks us in like a Hollywood thriller, it’s doing its ‘job’. Any work that elicits a slower, more ruminative reading experience is cast as defective. Any reading strategy that resists or disrupts the linear drive of the page-turner is dismissed.
I should like to cite in support of this hypothesis Alf Dubs' lovely tribute to Middlemarch:
I should have read it long, long ago but I didn’t. It’s one of those books one can never admit to not having read. I felt ashamed and embarrassed, and I thought: “Well I can’t go on getting older and not reading Middlemarch.” So last year I made myself read it, largely on the tube going to work. But even though my motives may have been worthy, once I got into it, it was just captivating. It’s a lovely, lovely book: beautifully set, perfect characterisation, and even though it’s set in an England of a bygone age, the tensions, conflicts and ambitions of people are all there. If a novel is good enough, you can completely absorb yourself in it, even on a crowded tube.