(1) Things which I have read and enjoyed.
The Easter weekend means I demolished two books in short order, and then read barely anything else because I was away with work for ten days.
I read Flâneuse, by Lauren Elkin, which was my Shakespeare & Co book. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but then, I don’t think I could tell you what I was expecting – and also, I really enjoyed it anyway. I love walking and wondering in cities and this was a fascinating exploration of women doing just that.
My friend J. gave me a proof of Min Kym’s book Gone, about being a violin prodigy whose violin got stolen at a London train station, I suppose to make up for all the times she has laughed at me for sending her playlists when our book club books have classical music in them. I read it in an afternoon and loved it (plus it comes with its own playlist!) – it’s a fascinating insight into what it’s like to have that kind of affinity for an instrument and kind of explains how what can look from the outside like an unhealthy relationship with some wood and horse hair isn’t inherently unhealthy at all.
I also finished the Archbishop of Canterbury’s lent book, Dethroning Mammon, which was the right kind of combination of challenging and encouraging, and also Shauna Niequiest’s Present over Perfect, with which I have over-identification issues and to which I will probably be returning a lot.
(2) Things which I have watched and enjoyed
Keeping the cinema-going in balance, I saw Free Fire, A Quiet Passion, and Fast and Furious 8 – all of which I hugely enjoyed, even though the language of enjoyment is all wrong or A Quiet Passion.
Free Fire was funny and tense and smart-dumb and refreshing in its shoot-out that didn’t level city blocks or innocent bystanders. Also I am pro Brie Larson and Cillian Murphy being in things together. Fast and Furious 8 was big and silly and hugely fun and yes I’m here for Jason Statham and the Rock fighting/hugging it out. And then A Quiet Passion was almost the complete opposite – slow and still (at least on the surface), and contained. Surprisingly sharp and funny in places (I’m not hugely familiar with Emily Dickinson or maybe I wouldn’t have been surprising), deeply engaged with eternal questions of life, death and faith, I’m just really glad I made the time to go and see it.
(3) Things which I wrote
I had a public writing lull this month, and a private journalling binge, while I tried to work out some parts of my life. Nothing to see here for now, move along. Maybe soon.
(4) A photo from the month gone by
Two this month… from Easter in Cornwall, and before breakfast in Nepal
(5) In the pile for May
I’m currently slowly reading Brian Catling’s The Vorrh: it is wild. My book club is shadowing the Bailey’s Prize (thanks, the Reading Agency) and we are reading Stay with Me. I’m about three chapters in and I love it. We are also doing regular book club, and we’re reading My Life With a Star by Jiri Weil. Childlessness followed by the holocaust will make for a cheery month, but it should be really interesting. I’m also off on holiday, so that’s a case of (a) seeing what’s on my kindle (some Dickens, some Dostoevsky, and a lot of David Mitchell to re-read I think) and (b) shopping in City Lights (yessss, I’m going to San Francisco). The new Nickolas Butler is on my list, and maybe I’ll finally pick up some Tales of the City.