Sunday, 14 September 2014

A bad book week

This week I haven't finished one single book. I did dip into one that I hope to finish for next week, but last night I gave up on one completely. I don't usually do this. I mostly have to keep going to find out what happens next. I did admittedly abandon The Shack. Literally. I left it on a bench somewhere between Guildford and Brittany. And I skim read the theme that interested me in a book about a girl from a bookshop who goes to work with a reclusive author.
However last night I realised in a liberating gust of breath that I did not have to spend one single more moment of my life being dragged through the morass of humanity's representation that is The Poet by Michael Connolly. No, I am not linking to it!
We seem to have gone crime fiction mad in book club. The Agatha books were missing from my tick-list and I was happy to have a go therewith; but this Connolly novel does exactly what I hate most with fiction.
We know that our world is an evil, dangerous, polluted pit. We know that men, and women, abuse the physical possibilities of our human bodies. We are surrounded now with tales that disgust and deplore.
I just find that sometimes with a novel, I'm not sure whether the author is taking my trust and engagement and dragging me through the dirt for the good of the themes within, or whether they are taking my trust and engagement and money and making for the hills.
So enough. No more. I shall finish the other book I started and then I shall find myself Something Good To Read. Probably starting with People of the Book as recommended by Dormouse! Warn me now, sweet mouse, if you think there is ANYTHING distressing therein!
What I did this evening instead of finishing my second book in two weeks was grab Master Heart, the Farmer's son, before he took up his usual evening position in my garden and demand apples. Mr Heart, the Farmer's Husband, had already sent me home a huge bowl of blackberries and my Good Housekeeping Cookbook tells me that blackberries and apples can be jam.
Round the corner and up the lane we all trotted, stopping to chat to our next-door neighbours, their goats. Through all the little gates, through the old garden, and into the orchard.
 We didn't need to send small boys up trees for all the apples, but it does help.
Then back down the lane and home. With clear minds and wholesome thoughts. Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.


Kezzie said...

I know exactly what you mean about books like that. WHY do we have to read them? I read to escape the worst of humanity and enjoy a better world! That last thought- Amen to that!x

Pom Pom said...

Good for you. Abandon bad books. The apple picking looks fun!

Lisa Richards said...

I've had a problem with feeling guilty if I give up on a book, but there are just too many GOOD books to be read. I gave up on a bio of Rembrandt for that reason. I didn't want to know all of the negative things about his life. I have three books going that I'm reading small bits of each day. They'll take a long time at this pace. Your place is so beautiful and restful! :)

GretchenJoanna said...

I love this. If I don't want even to be reminded that such a thing as disgusting or depressing books exist, I can simply look at very wholesome and lovely images.
This is the time of year for farm visits - I find that now I also want to go to the farm.

Scarlet said...

Life is definitely too short to waste precious moments reading about awful deeds. I'm glad that you have something more uplifting lined up!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

There is some very fine literature that deals with the darkness of human existence ... but I tend to skip it. The bad books about bad things depress me because they're bad, and the good books about bad things depress me because they're true.

Lately I've been reading Maeve Binchy and enjoying myself very much.


Fat Dormouse said...

Well...The book does deal with the story of a Jewish Haggadah, so there are dark themes - the Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition (which, apparently, I didn't expect...), the seige of Sarajevo - BUT these are an integral part of the story, telling as it does, how people's faith and efforts are tied up in the book. I don't find them too dark, too intrusive, but no, it's not all sunshine and light - but it's a well-written, compelling story.

M.K. said...

Ah, Mags! That last verse you quoted was EXACTLY what I wanted to toss to you, in my comment :) So true! And I agree with you about authors and what they pour forth. There are perverse writers, just as there are perverse people in any field. They are not automatically trust-worthy. You are WISE to jettison a book if it tastes bad to your soul. Don't we do the same with food? We take a bite, and if it is rancid, we spew it out. Our tastebuds tell us. It is good to keep one's mental and spiritual tastebuds sharp, astute. When I need something wholesome to read, I choose "Miss Read" book. They are lovely, about English villages and school children. :) Your tales of the lane and the farmer and the apples -- that sounds wholesome to me! Good reading! Good eating :)