My good reading month continues but choosing the right books for my mood is testing me a little bit. I've abandoned these two.
The first because I suddenly felt bored with books about people moving to Italy or France and all seeming a wee bit samey. A quote from another book I'm reading, The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths (Ruth Galloway instalment), sums up my feelings:
'She [Michelle] is watching one of those programmes where people buy a house in Tuscany and then seem surprised that everyone there speaks Italian.'
Well quite. And Fair and Tender Ladies was just not hitting the mark for me. I put it back on the shelf for another time and Under the Tuscan Sun has gone into the charity shop box.
I'm also struggling with this:
A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell will be excellent I suspect. It's a WW2 story about the Jews in Italy and what happened to them when the Italians surrendered in 1943. I'm finding it confusing but will persevere... at my own pace... slowly, slowly.
I am definitely not struggling with this:
Ruth Galloway never disappoints. This is book number eleven in the series and although it's about child abduction and murder, which I'm never comfortable with, it's still terrific and a pageturner.
I'm continuing on with this:
It wasn't until I got to page 188 that I found two stories I actually really liked. Not that the rest were terrible, just not to my taste. But An Unprotected Female at the Pyramids by Anthony Trollope and Mrs. Badgery by Wilkie Collins were excellent. Both feature overbearing women, although they have reasons of course and there is a certain sadness behind those reasons involving lone Victorian women trying to survive in what was then essentially a man's world. Both stories were very effective and made me realise I haven't read enough by either author. Dr. Thorne by Anthony Trollope is on my shelf for this year and so is Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White.
Two travel type reads that I'm dipping into as the mood strikes:
A Sense of Place: The Best of British Outdoor Writing edited by Roly Smith is mainly different people climbing hills in wild places. Beyond the Footpath: Mindful Adventures for Modern Pilgrims by Clare Gogerty, is a book about pilgrimages, not just holy ones but to things like mountains, forests, particular ancient trees such as 1000 year old yews in churchyards, and so on. These are both perfect 'dipping in and out of books'.
So, Goodreads tells me that I'm currently reading six books because added to the five mentioned here I'm also reading The Morville Hours through the year. I didn't realise it was quite as many but weirdly it seems to be working very well for me. I have one main book that I'm concentrating on and the rest I'm dipping in and out of as the mood takes me but still getting through them. This is quite a new approach for me this 'mood' reading and I really like how unstressful it is and 'relaxing'. And if a book is not suiting me then 'no pressure' I put it to one side for another time or the charity shop benefits. It seems you can teach an old dog new tricks.