It's time for a novel.
Something light and funny.
Let me tell you why.
I began this book last February. That's right, 2007. I got halfway through, was enjoying it, in the way that one does enjoy an examination of perspectives on mental illness and nineteenth century cultural values. Then I left it on a train (Arrgh!! The eternal romance of leaving books on trains!) So I purchased another copy which I then left at my parents house (I was still living in New York at that time). During the summer I picked it up again and was delighted to discover that I had completely lost my train of thought. It's still by my bed. I really should pass it on. But to who?
Crumbs! This one almost took off. I absolutely loved Roy Jenkins's biography of Winston Churchill and have always been interested by W.E.Gladstone. You'd think this would be easy. Right?
Gladstone used to disappear from London for months at a time. He led an astonishingly slow paced life and he wrote excrutiating letters to people who I care little about. I tried to see the bigger picture and was desperate to get to the juicy bits about Ireland and Disraeli. But not desperate enough to wade through page after worthy page about economic conditions in 1859 or his unease about the different strains of nonconformist thinking at Oxford University. A good read for some, but alas, not for me.
I still love Lyndon. I can't understand why anyone wouldn't. But this book was just too heavy.
No, I mean it weighs a great deal. I am not able to read this at night, in bed, as it hurts me.
I was given the hardcover edition as a birthday gift a few years ago. A couple of years later, Listmaker gave me a paperback edition.
I really, really wish I had kept that paperback edition.
One of the big things I miss about New York is the ammount of reading that takes place on public transport. Listmaker always used to say that he got some of his best reading done on the subway. Damn right. Until I fix my ridiculous commute I'm not able to read half as much as I used to. I would have almost certainly got on with any of these great books had I been able to hop on the Q to Union Square a couple of times a week.
It's not all doom and gloom. I've just stolen something interesting from the shelf at my parents house. It's quite thin and looks like it could be fun. We shall see.