1 EAGLETON NOTES: Blogging About Books

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Saturday, 11 October 2008

Blogging About Books

It had never really occurred to me to blog about books until I realised that I really enjoyed CJ's and Helen and Ian's Blogs. It's fascinating to know what other people are reading and what they find enjoyable or otherwise. It also gives one ideas for prioritising ones own reading.

From the blogger's perspective it is a memory jogger, a diary of books read and something to be re-visited.

I wish that I had kept up the index book I started when I was about 18 of the books that I had read. It was not a diary as such only a simple a list. How fascinating it would be, for example to know what I thought when I read War and Peace (twice, two separate translations! I think I favoured the Penguin Classics translated by Rosemary Edmunds, the Heron Books one, I seem to recall anglicised the names which felt inappropriate), Crime and Punishment (did I really understand it then, would I now?), London Bridge is Falling Down by David Lodge (read in 1971 it is the only book against which I placed a quote: 'Literature is mostly about having sex, and not much about having children. Life is the other way round.'), the whole Strangers and Brothers series by C P Snow (which I have re-read twice since), lots of Somerset Maugham (I devoured his books avidly but cannot remember a single emotion that they elicited from me), every C S Forester book published (a story teller par excellence) and so many more.

In fact when I see how many Russian novels alone I have read and forgotten about it makes me appreciate just how many books proper readers must get through. Then there are the books about which neither the author, the title nor the subject bring back any recollections whatsoever: Myself a Mandarin by Austin Coates or The Twelfth Mile by E G Perrault to name but two.

Ah yes, what if?

"What if? Big Lou's answer came quickly: One did not engage in such idle speculation in Arbroath. 'No point thinking about that,' she said 'It didn't happen'." The World According to Bertie.

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