Reading more

First, today’s instruction:

UK: 13. Ch1 in A. Dc in A in every tr across. Turn.
US: 13. Ch1 in A. Sc in A in every dc across. Turn.

Second, I decided that part of the reason I’ve been reading so little is that I never seem to finish anything. It’s not that I haven’t been reading at all, but that it’s been a page or so at a time (sometimes even less) of quite a lot of relatively heavy books, and I needed some lighter fare to get back into it all.

I began with a new-to-me classic novel, but then ‘retreated’ into rereading a couple of funny books I’ve read several times before (only one is previously listed here however, from the summer of 2008). And now I’m into the second of a couple of YA novels. They’re all the kinds of things I can read in an hour or so each, and refresh me for the more in-depth stuff I take my time over…

And so, the 2010 list finally hits double figures (only a month earlier in the year than the 2008 list hit triple, although admittedly the 2009 list never did that latter):

7. The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson

Set during the War of the Roses, this novel follows the fortunes of a very honourable (but somewhat dim, or at least overly trusting) young member of the minor aristocracy, Richard Shelton – commonly known as Dick, who was orphaned at a young age, and must now, on the verge of becoming a man, realise that people are very often not who or what they portray themselves to be.

I liked the book, although Stevenson’s habit of explicitly telling us what Dick is not seeing, and then giving Dick hint after hint, definitely encourages us to notice his naivety. He does grow up over the course of the book, however, while retaining his own sense of honour, even when that does not always suit those who would lead him.

I particularly liked that the female characters (one major, one important, and a couple more discussed than seen) have both spirit in speech, action and intent, and physical and mental stamina. While they may not have the physical fitness or weapons ability of the battle-trained men, they can walk and run long distances when they need to, and they certainly speak their minds.

8. Extreme Motherhood by Jackie Clune

I discussed this when I last read it in 2008. My opinion hasn’t changed much – it’s funny, but realistic and thought-provoking at the same time. What has changed is that it now looks like Clune has written at least one more book, so if I come across that I’ll be happy to read it, although that is a novel, rather than non-fiction.

I would write more, and about the other two books, but my lovely DH has just made us supper, so I’ll leave them for tomorrow!

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