When it comes to books I don't tend to be a quitter. I plod on to the bitter end even when the book is a real turkey. But I've started to think this is stupid. Life's too short to spend precious reading time on something that's not worth my attention or maybe is but just doesn't suit my mood at the time.
So I've turned over a new leaf (groan). I've been struggling with a book called Captain Hatteras by Jules Verne for four days now. I grabbed it from the library when I saw it was both nautical and about the arctic - both of those things being right up my street. Also I'd never heard of this particular book by Verne but had enjoyed others by him... admittedly many years ago. Anyway, it took me four days to read eighty pages and yesterday I finally conceded defeat and abandoned the thing. I've no idea what the problem was but it was boring me stupid. I think I was hoping it would be along the lines of Redburn by Herman Melville which I read a couple of months ago and thoroughly enjoyed. It wasn't. Not even remotely. I suppose if I like Herman Melville I should read Herman Melville... and not Jules Verne! And I also need to learn that it's okay to stop reading a book if it's not engaging my interest - as Oscar Wilde said, 'Life's too short to stuff a mushroom'.
So then it was time to choose something else to read. I'm so bad at this. The reason being that I buy so many books and thus my tbr pile is massive. I also use the town library on a regular basis so nearly always have 6 to 8 library books to choose from. And I'm nothing if not indecisive... choosing my next read causes me agony. Again the problem is with me in that I enjoy too many genres and am never quite sure which I'm in the mood for... fantasy, travel, cosy crime, historical, a Persephone, an autobiography; life would be so much simpler if I just read crime books or romances!
Anyway, to cut a long story long I chose in the end. I'm eighty pages into this one in one day and it's utterly brilliant. It's Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin... a favourite author of mine under her other writing name of Diana Norman. She usually writes historicals and this too is an historical but also a crime story - set in 12th. century Cambridge. There are shades of Ellis Peters' Cadfael and the feel of C.J. Sansom's Shardlake novels and the writing is, as always from this author, fabulous. I love it already and am looking forward to a really good wallow while my husband is away this week.