Monday, 29 October 2007


Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.
- G. K. Chesterton

I like to see patterns in things. Most of the time I imagine them, but I like the world of coincidences.
When I collect my parcels together and complete the certificates of posting I like it when all the people have the same initial, or all live in houses with names not numbers. Just feels like something in the world lined up neatly.

I've rediscovered my love of reading and am to be found, nose deep in a book at some point every day. I've always had a love of books, but once out of the habit of reading it was far easier to sit and watch tv instead. Now that my love of fiction has been reawakened I'm flying through book after book.

I'm currently reading Here On Earth by Alice Hoffman which I can't get enough of. It sat on the shelf for a long time and now I feel sorry that I didn't get to the story before. But I like the pattern that I'm imagining exists that links book to book to book. The main female character is called March, in my previous book (The Secret Life Of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd) had characters called August, May & June. See? There's a link, they're all named after months of the year.
I know I'm imagining it but still...

And the link from The Secret Life Of Bees to the book prior to that (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee) laid in the racial tensions evident in both.

Is everything linked in the world in some way? In this small world of ours? Is it all subject to those six degrees of separation?

I must say though that I really liked The Secret Life Of Bees, every now and then you watch or read something and wonder if maybe you don't want to be a beekeeper? Or a jet pilot (Top Gun)? Or able to talk to the animals (Dr Dolittle)!
Those stories set in a time of such change, like The Secret Life Of Bees and To Kill a Mockingbird really change your view of the world and they make me wonder how I would have felt and behaved all those decades ago. Would I still hold the same views that I have now? After all, Atticus Finch speaks about how women weren't allowed to be on juries - he joked that we'd talk too much and ask too many questions. Uttering such a thing today would result in uproar from the sexual equality groups. Although I am all for equality, it has to be said, I'd quite like to have been spared from the mind-numbing boredom that was jury service.

Anyway, I am loving all the books I'm reading. I've either been very lucky or am too easily pleased but I haven't, thus far, found many books I haven't enjoyed. I found D.H. Lawrence's The Rainbow quite hard work but enjoyed it all the same somehow.
The only book in my life I can ever remember hating was Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. I know it won awards but I couldn't even bring myself to finish it. Nor could I bring myself to allow it shelf space.

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