Saturday, 24 March 2012

Four Books

I have four books on the go at the moment all very different. There is something to dip into whatever my mood or inclination.

Book Number 1 – it’s not what you think by Chris Evans

Chris’s autobiography was a Christmas present...sort of. Oldest son actually bought me the Mock the Week book for Christmas and as I had got a copy for him too I decided to trade mine in for something else.  Not that I wasn’t grateful, I thought it was funny that we both had the same taste.

I haven’t always been a fan of Chris Evans and his antics but I admire the way he seems to have grown up now (hark at me, he’s actually 2 years older than I am!) and I love listening to his breakfast show. His sense of humour is often similar to Andrew’s. In many ways he is the DJ Andrew always wanted to become. Maybe that’s why Andrew stuck to listening to Radio 4 in the mornings.

I want to know how he got where he is today but somehow I am struggling to read it and have become stuck in Chris’s teenage years. All I have learned so far is that his dad died when he was 13 which gives him something in common with oldest son.

Book number 2 – Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday

A very rare book in that I bought a brand new copy as I couldn’t find one anywhere second hand. (Actually just after I got it I sold one in our church charity shop for a fraction of the price – never mind I spent a voucher I’d had for my birthday.)

And why was I so desperate to obtain a copy? Well they’ve made a new film starring Ewan McGregor and it’s out next month. My friend and I saw it advertised when we went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and decided Salmon Fishing would be our next Orange Wednesday treat but we would both read the book first and compare notes.

She read her copy in two days – I envy people who can switch off and get so wrapped up in a good book that nothing else matters. I am always too distracted and consequently I am only just over half way through.

I know some of it is funny I was nervously laughing at the beginning but I’ve got a bit lost with some of the political references.

Book number 3 – Disappointment with God by Philip Yancy

This was a book I picked up by chance while visiting a friend for coffee. She had stayed in that day to wait for the washing machine repair man and while showing him the problem with the washer I picked up the book and read the first chapter!

“Can I borrow this?” I asked when she returned.

She nodded and I slipped it in my bag.

It sounds really heavy and it is certainly a book that makes me think. After all I have quite a right to be disappointed with God after he took away my husband or allowed it to happen. Maybe this book will give me the answers, not only for me but for the boys.

I’m mulling over what I’m reading carefully as I am going to guest post on Anita Matthias’s blog and write a review – an interesting challenge to write something specifically for someone else – only 50 pages left to read Anita and then I’ll get writing.

Book number 4 – A Rural Affair by Catherine Alliott

Catherine Alliott is far and away my favourite chick lit author, this is her most recent offering and I managed to pick it up in a charity shop this week.

This novel is about Poppy, a young widow who is somewhat relieved when her husband dies. He wasn’t a bad man, he provided well for her and the children but there was no spark in their marriage. She had even fantasied about her husband dying.

“Quite normal.”  Says her friend.

Both Poppy and I were relieved at that one! Just like Poppy I have had times when I thought I somehow “made” this happen. Marriage is never easy and there are countless regrets to be dealt with in grief.

In many ways Poppy’s plight is similar to mine as she comes to terms with being on her own. So far the feelings associated with mourning have been accurately portrayed. Although I didn’t spend weeks wandering around in my dressing gown and I give myself a pat on the back because unlike Poppy I managed to sort my financial affairs more swiftly!

Of course this story is bound to end happily with a mysterious man arriving in the village that turns out to be Poppy’s soul mate after all. It could be the new choirmaster who arrived last night as I read. He’s very like Gareth Malone with his boyish good looks.

I wonder if I will get fed up of the tidied up loose ends? Or come to despise Poppy as her life falls into place while I still struggle? I adore most of Alliott’s heroines and as her books are written in the first person it’s easy to identify with their lot – will this book be one that in the end is just too true to my life?

If it all gets too much I’ll just go back to reading one of those other books on the go...or search for something else that takes my fancy on the bookshelf. There were many months when reading was a chore and I’m glad my love of books has resurfaced.

But what of that other elusive book I was struggling to find – my cheque book – oh yes found that, sort of where I thought it might be all along! I’ve even done a bit of filing, the bank statements at least are all in order.

I deserve a treat – now which book shall I take out into the garden* and read...

(*taking the advice of a friend to go outside and enjoy the sunshine but I will take a blanket and some hot chocolate – the sun is bright but it’s still a bit nippy on the North East coast!)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah,
    I really enjoy reading your blog and hearing your perspective on your situation as time goes by (you don't know me but I came to your blog via Craig Mackay's, which I found via the New Frontiers blog list. Two degrees of separation?)

    Anyway re: book number 3, the Philip Yancey. I struggled through this book - it is certainly thought provoking! I would also like to recommend "Shattered Dreams" by Larry Crabb, which deals with similar issues and which I have found challenging, helpful and life-changing.