Tuesday 5 November 2019


Off to Cornwall for a flying visit from tomorrow, just two nights, but before I go I just want to thank the folks who left such thoughtful comments on my last post, here. It turned into a real conversation on challenges and blogging in the comments section and I always think that's wonderful and really appreciate it. Thank you.

At the moment I'm reading these two books:

As I said in my previous post, I'm 'doing' Moby-Dick in small chunks, taking my time, partly so that I can appreciate it properly but also 'it's not a race' and there's no reason at all to rush through it just to get it read. It's a lesson I need to learn about reading and next year I may even concentrate on reading less in the way of numbers and more in the way of quality. And as a 'by-the-by' I really am enjoying the richness of Moby-Dick... I'm also sure I'll have no idea how to review it when I've finished.

Bon Voyage, edited by Michael Kerr, is an anthology of travel stories printed over the years in one of our national newspapers, The Telegraph. It's another one to take slowly. I'm 80 pages in and already I want to read biographies of Henry Stanley (of Stanley and Livingstone fame) and Arthur Ransome. One of the most affecting pieces was by Martha Gellhorn, an American journalist who stowed away (in the loo!) on a hospital ship during the D-Day landings and witnessed some heart-rending things. I want to know more about that and about her. I love it when books lead to more books and then more books... bit like the spider's web in my header.

These two books are, of course, slow going. Thus I can't see any reviews here for a while although I will probably take an eReader to Cornwall and read something crime based for entertainment, a Dana Stabenow perhaps as I haven't visited Kate Shugak for a while, or something else. We'll see.

And just because I can here's the jigsaw it took me most of September and October to complete. A world map from 1594, 3,000 pieces and really quite tricky.



Susan said...

WOW! That is an incredible puzzle. It's beautiful. Well done putting ALL those pieces together. I'm in awe.

Kay said...

Cath, hope your time in Cornwall is good. I liked what you said about your reading possibilities for the next year - reading less, but more - also want to give you a thumbs-up about not necessarily 'reviewing' every read. Just a mention is nice, like you did for MOBY DICK (a book I've not read and won't read...just saying...ha!). Take care!

Anonymous said...

Have fun, Cath. We'll look forward to hearing all about it.

As for Moby Dick, I never did figure out a proper way to review that one, and settled for a post on the whole experience of reading it, how long it took me, how many failed attempts I made, etc.

Have you come to that long section on whale anatomy yet? That proved to be a big hurdle for me to get over. Good luck!

Sam said...

I'm glad I checked back in to add a comment about that wonderful puzzle at the bottom of your post. Don't know how I missed that the first time I was here. I really, really need to get back into my jigsaw puzzle building, but I can't seem to squeeze it into my schedule anymore. How can a retiree be that busy?

Oh, and that "Anonymous" comment up above is mine...not sure how I managed to do that.

Cath said...

Susan: Thanks... it was a tough puzzle that's for certain!

Kay: Thank you, we had certain things to do connected with my brother's passing and got those done. It's so nice to be home now though.

Yes, to not reviewing everything and if do less challenges I won't need to do that anyway. I'm actually up for more general bookish posts with a short review included perhaps. We'll see.

Sam: I don't know why but I assumed 'Anonymous' was you... because of the not being able to review Moby Dick I think. I'm with you on that, I'm sure I would not be able to do it justice. No, I've not come to the whale anatomy section yet, I think that's up in the 300s and I've just passed page 200. Some of it is very readable other bits just odd. Just skip-read a section where every sailor has a header and says or is thinking something. Not at all sure what that was all about... just after Ahab tells them their mission is to kill the white whale. I'm finding the bits that stick to story-line good, the rambling sections not so much. But it is all interesting, learning a lot I didn't know about whaling.

Oh, retirees can easily be that busy. Lots say they have no idea where they found the time to work. LOL I just do my puzzles for an hour or two every day. I find if I'm too intense about it, it fries my brain, so less is more so to speak.

Jo said...

Wow what an achievement with the jigsaw. Happy reading for you! It is too easy to get swept away by challenges and numbers and ideas and then reading becomes a chore. It should never be that!

TracyK said...

Very nice post, Cath. I agree on not reviewing everything. For years that was my goal and when I got to the point where that was impossible, I felt bad about it, initially. Since then, I have adjusted to the idea and feel freer not forcing myself to write something about every book, although I do try in my monthly summary posts to at least indicate how I liked each book, as much for myself as anyone else. Sometimes I love a book but I cannot exactly explain why. Very rarely I dislike a book and I usually don't want to take the time to write about that.

I do expect to keep busy when retired but I will have 50 more hours a week to spend my time doing what I want to do, and that will be a gift.

Cath said...

Jo: Thank you... the jigsaw took me much longer to do than normal due it being rather hard.

Yes, I completely agree with you that reading should never be a chore, and it has slightly become that for me so I need to change it.

Tracy: Thank you. Yes, it was my goal too to review everything but then you start to feel like you're working an unpaid job. I think it's a good idea to update in a monthly post and I'll be doing that next year rather than reviewing every single book. I'm edging more towards more general reading posts already to be honest. Posts with several points in them rather than a single review of a book, although there will still be times when I do that of course.