09 February 2007

A Change of Pace

The thought had been at the back of my mind that maybe, just maybe, having to actually sit down and review the books I read would slow me down somewhat. Certainly I could do with a break after last year’s hectic pace of, on average, one book every two days. But it hasn’t quite worked out that way and lately I’ve found myself playing catch-up with my posts.

Of course, those library books did have to be finished. And my mother did want to read Total Control, and I wouldn’t want to keep her waiting, now would I? ;-)

I’ve finally hit upon a solution: Diana Gabaldon’s Cross Stitch. It took me the best part of a fortnight to read the first time around, so I’ve got my breathing space. And there’s no rush, because it turns out my mother can’t stand Diana Gabaldon: she waffles.

In Mum’s view, waffle is one of the cardinal sins available for a writer to commit. It involves any text she deems excess to requirements: flowing sentences, lengthy descriptions, slow action, any kind of meandering. I think in her perfect literary world, all books would be written in a snappy style and all plots would barrel along energetically. I personally don’t see the problem with a writer taking their time over a story as long as it holds my interest, as Cross Stitch definitely does; but I guess once you’ve read Henry James you’ve necessarily developed patience. As little as I understand this difference of opinion, it suits me well just now, and it’s nice to know there are some books I can hog all to myself.

And in a way we’re even: I can’t tolerate some of the movies she goes in for. The Horse Whisperer, anyone? Slow action, lots of meandering....


  1. Hello. What a wonderful blog! I am at home with cold, watching the snow fall in between exploring blog sites and found yours.

    Anyway, (Your mother would hate me, I am prone to waffle!) I thought I would recommend a book you may choose to read at some point. It is one of the best books I have read for a long while due to its unusual content, and I find myself envious of the authors’ experience.

    It's called 'Stargazing' by Peter Hill (Memoirs of a Young Lighthouse Keeper).

    Enjoy. Be visiting again soon.

  2. Stargazing sounds like it might be interesting. I'm wondering how Canterbury Tales is going. Not a book I've ever read but I do hope you do one of your fabulous reviews for it!


  3. Stargazing does sound good. I've sometimes thought that a lighthouse would be a wonderful place to live; peace and solitude and an ocean view. Maybe only for a year though; I'd start to miss all the city amenities like libraries and malls!

    I'm nearly halfway through the Canterbury Tales - I keep getting distracted! But I'm making a conscious effort now to meet the deadline.


Newer Posts Older Posts Home
Header image shows detail of A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, c. 1776