Monday, 7 January 2008


I'm following Kathryn and blogging the books I read this year.
Actually, at the moment I am using books as part of (I hope) getting better. One thing I identified with R last week was that I have not been reading much recently, but when I do I can often forget - albeit temporarily - about other "stuff". We also talked about the usefulness of rereading children's books. As a child, books were my escape route. They took me to other, happier places. I could lose myself in the world of books - where things always turned out right in the end. So I'm rereading favourites now. Some of these were books I read as a child; others are books I have been introduced to by my girls.

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield was one of my first reads this year. It was such a favourite for me as a child. No, I couldn't dance and didn't aspire to. It was the characters I loved. Petrova was the child I felt most sympathy for - forced into a role she had no wish to adopt. Hmm, I wonder why I empathised with her. I also felt sympathy for Pauline, the eldest and hence feeling responsible. It's been many years since I reread this. I was inspired to following the showing of the new film adaptation on TV over the holidays. Uniquely for me I watched it twice in the same day - once alone and once with my daughters. fantastic adaptation!

This is my current reading. Cynthia Voigt's Tillerman series. Wonderfully written, a wide ranging cast; I love the way the books interweave. Unfortunately I have lent the last three in the series to someone else - must get them back!

Homecoming is about four children whose mother has a mental breakdown and abandons them - literally. It tells how Dicey takes on the responsiblity of getting her younger siblings to a safe place. Dicey's song takes the story further; mow in a safe home (albeit a somewhat unconventional one), Dicey learns to make relationships and also to put down some of her assumed responsiblities for her siblings. A Solitary Blue is the story of Jeff, again abandoned by his mother - this time so she can "save the planet", or actually, as it turns out, live without responsiblities.

I've also read a book chosen for me - a Christmas present, and a very welcome one, and yet more escapism. Anne McCaffrey is a favourite author of mine, and one I reread when I need some escapism. Her newest addition, to the prolific Dragon series, Dragon Harper, (written with her son) was a great read.

The other book I have read so far this year was another reread - and the only non-fiction of the year so far.

To be honest, I haven't reread it in its entirity this time, but I have been dipping into it, using it to try to pull myself out of the pit. Mindfulness is helpful, I find, but it is also hard work at times. I'm focusing on the breathing aspects at the moment, but also exploring the idea of staying with painful thoughts and emotions, accepting them for what they are.

That's my list for the first week of 2008. Wonder what the rest of the year will bring. It's interesting reflecting on my choice of books!


The Shrink said...

I randomly chose "The Fall of Lucifer" by Wendy Alec when rummaging around Borders and it's surprisingly engaging read to while away chilly evenings!

Still after a really, really good book, though . . .

Disillusioned said...

What genres of books do you generally enjoy, Shrink?