I was hoping, during the summer break from teaching, that I would have time to read the large pile of books that has been collecting beside my bed. I have succeeded in reading a few of them, but the pile has not reduced at all. The problem is I keep adding to it – people give me books that they have finished with and recommend, or I am tempted to buy them when I go into a book shop to find something for someone else! It’s always a bad move for me to go into a bookshop – the piles of books are so tempting.
So, from my never decreasing book pile, this summer I have read:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Somehow I have managed all these years not to read this book (we didn’t study it at school as lots of people do it seems), or see the whole film. I had a vague idea what it might be about, having seen a small clip of the film on one of those ‘100 best film moments’ type of TV countdown programmes, and had formed completely the wrong impression of the story. I thought it would be a hard going, dark, serious, courtroom drama type of book – the sort of thing that I felt I should read and would have to pretend that I understood the deeper meanings of, but it’s not. I found it easy to read and a bit of a page turner. The story is told through the eyes of two children and it explores the issues of race and class in the Deep South in the 1930s.
I enjoy Alexander McCall Smith’s books. I’ve read his No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and loved them – easy to read and with interesting, amusing stories. I’ve listened to the Von Igelfeld Series on long car journeys. They are narrated by the excellent Hugh Laurie and make long journeys pass quickly. Now, I’m re-reading 44 Scotland Street to remind myself of the characters so that I can read the rest of the series – again, they are easy to read and amusing. Scotland Street is set in Edinburgh and so gives me a ‘fix’ from the homeland. It’s the story of the residents of the apartments at this address – people with their fair share of eccentricities and failings.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Yes, I have joined the throngs of teenage girls who have read this – the story of teenage love, romance, friendships and alienation. I thought I should read it rather than just think it was silly nonsense – don’t mock it until you try it as they say. Actually, I enjoyed it and would be interested to read the others in the series, but I’m not rushing – I have too many other books on the pile already!
And finally, a book I haven’t actually read and don’t even have in my pile, but the title amuses me and I hope I DON’T need to read it!
The new school term is going to start in a week, so time for reading anything other than school related stuff is going to be really short, but the Christmas holidays aren’t far off…