Will July be the second consecutive month in which I have my chain listed and partly written and then the end of the month arrives before it gets any further? I hope not. I did manage an alternative post in June so it wasn’t an entirely barren month on the blogging front. And there’s plenty of July left. Let’s see what happens.
Thanks as usual to Kate, at booksaremyfavouriteand best, who does all the organising. The background can be found here. I’m always astonished that no matter how varied the chains and with the vast numbers of books to choose from, there is invariably at least one book from mine which appears in someone else’s. This month I share a title with Kate herself, albeit one that we arrived at by very different routes.
As I’ve been such a sporadic member of the blogging community this past year, it was by happy accident that I learned of the review-a-long organised by FictionFan and friends for The Silver Darlings by Neil Gunn. An even more fortunate accident from my perspective meant that Rose’s copy of the book was lost at sea for a while which delayed the original date for posting reviews and enabled me to have almost finished reading when the new date was announced. That date was Monday last, and here – better late than never – is my contribution.
Whilst I wait for opportunity and blogging muse to coincide I’m pleased that at least I’m keeping up with Six Degrees. Kate does all the organising for this and the background can be found here. Thanks, Kate!
Six Degrees of Separation is organised by Kate and the background can be found here. Our starter book this month is Shuggie Bain, by Douglas Stuart.
Shuggie Bain won the 2020 Booker prize. I’m sure it was a worthy winner but the back cover quotes mean I won’t be reading it. “… as intense and excruciating to read as any novel I have ever held in my hand..” Not for me right now. Probably never would have been.
Wanting to read at least one book for this year’s Dewithon, hosted by Paula on Book Jotter, I cast around for something that might work at this time when my normal reading patterns remain fragile. I settled on The Seasoning by Manon Steffan Ros. Blasu, to use its original title, was written in Welsh and published in 2013 when it won the fiction prize of the Wales Book of the Year awards. Ros’s English translation was published in 2015 as The Seasoning.
It’s been a while. Six months, I see. I’m a bit rusty. Attempts to fill the space in between have amounted to naught so – having ended on a six degrees in September, with autumn beckoning and the dark difficult winter ahead – I’ll pick up as if I’ve never been away with another six degrees. I note in my September preamble that I gave warning of a darker chain than usual. A portent perhaps? But if so, I give notice now that this next chain is light and bright and filled with good things. Spring is calling, and on its back flies hope of easier times for everyone.
Six Degrees has come around very quickly as always, with very little to see on A Corner of Cornwall between this chain and the previous one. Hopefully I’ll get some non-book related posts up this month! Meanwhile, Six Degrees of Separation is organised by Kate and the background can be found here. After a hesitant start I found my stride. The finished chain is darker than usual for me. A reflection of the changing seasons perhaps? Maybe I’m preparing for those dark autumnal reads…
Can this Booker-shortlisted novella really live up to expectations? When Fiction Fan and I decided to publish our thoughts about this little book on the same day, no one seemed to have a bad word to say about it and what’s more, everyone seemed to respond to it with real affection. Winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1980, presented as the genuine much-loved English classic, the risk of disappointment seemed alarmingly high. I need not have worried. Reading A Month in the Country was a joy.
There are warning signs: I have too much else going on which suggests I may disappear for a while. But my six degrees chain was put together a while back so perhaps I’ll let it leapfrog to the front of the queue. Six Degrees of Separation is organised by Kate and the background can be found here.
… it still has its gold lettering on the spine, just about visible
I was so careful. I gave myself a list of 8 titles without committing to any. But my fate was sealed in a single sentence:
“Even I ought to be able to write one Jazz Age post in June…”
Sadly, Jazz Age June has come and gone and we’re past the midpoint of the next month. But Jazz Age July has a certain ring to it and if Laurie and Fanda will permit it, I have a post or more to contribute on the basis that late is better than never.