Book update

Back in March I wrote about re-reading the Terry Pratchett series, Truckers, Diggers, and Wings in the hopes of kickstarting a bit more reading than I had been doing. It was a plan that worked rather well, the silliness was just what I needed at the time, and they were just as good as I remembered them!

Cover of "Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile...
Since then, my reading dropped off a little, so I decided that Sandman and Fables anthologies were the perfect antidote. The highly visual media and that all you have to read is dialogue for the most part makes them less of a challenge when concentration is lacking. It only gets better when the kick-ass character in Fables is Snow White (with Bigby a close second).

English: Belly Band of Norwegian Wood 1st edit...

I wish I’d had the chance to read this Norwegian Wood 1st edition written by Haruki Murakami! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


After that, I decided it was time to bring out the big guns. Yup. A Murakami novel, the magical cure for all reading maladies. This time it was Norwegian Wood, his least surreal novel. I’m rather glad it’s not the novel I started with, though one could argue that Kafka on the Shore is hardly a normal story. However, whilst Kafka is unarguably more weird, Norwegian Wood is instead far more intense. It was a rather unusual reading experience in that watching the movie adaptation beforehand didn’t spoil the book, but rather enhanced it (though, of course your mileage may vary on that). In Norwegian Wood, Murakami tells the relatively straight forward story of a Japanese man in his 30’s recalling his life from late teens through to his mid twenties. It’s a fairly intense period for most people, one might feel, but for Watanabe it’s perhaps worse than most. Without wishing to reveal too much, the novel’s themes centre on love, mental illness, loss and the process of becoming an adult amidst all of this turmoil. For perhaps obvious, and some that are less so, reasons this story resonated with me to a great deal. Even if I never find time to revisit it, I can’t see the stories of Watanabe, Naoko, Midori, and Reikos’ leaving me anytime soon.

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill B...
Currently though, I am once again re-reading. This time it’s Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything. I first read this aged 14, just after my room had had to be evacuated due to massive amounts of rain and a leak in our roof. This would, of course, have been around the time I first became ill. I really enjoyed this book the first time I read it, sat in a room that for once looked spacious (it’s very small, and contains around 200 books when not evacuated), and that’s since become quite a fond memory. I don’t suppose I am the only one who knows how nice enjoying something again after a while of not being able to is.

After I’ve finished this, I have a fair few books I ought (never a good word in this context), to read. The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath), On the Road, (Jack Kerouac), The Long Earth (Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter). I think I might remind myself to mix those up with some good old trusty re-reads. Sabriel has spent a long time now sat on my shelf.

Truckers, Diggers and Wings

I seem to have slipped back into one of my ‘can’t read for shit’ lulls, which I suppose shouldn’t be too surprising. I’ve been trying for ages now to read The Silent Cry, and never managing to get very far. It’s quite annoying, because it’s actually quite interesting – just quite dense, especially the layout of the text and font size in my particular copy.

So often these days I simply can’t concentrate when reading. I used to read incredibly voraciously, but when stopped when I got very ill in 2008. After about a year and a half, I managed to finish A Farewell to Arms. Then I read Kafka on the Shore, and that got me back into reading properly.

Annoyingly, I don’t have an available Murakami novel this time. I might have to do something about that soon.

For now though, I have a series I first read at 13, and haven’t re-read since. I remember loving them at the time, racing through all three in one holiday. We were caravanning in Bude, Cornwall, and I killed all the boring time we spent inside the caravan lost in these books. They were also my very first introduction to one of my long term favourite authors; Terry Pratchett. It was the Nome Trilogy: Truckers, Diggers, and Wings.

So I’m thinking I shall try and re-read this rather silly series, rather than aim to be all intellectual.