Ever have one of those times when you stop doing something you really enjoy doing and can’t quite figure out why you’ve stopped? Can’t determine whether it is temporary or permanent? Is there an explanation for it? Is it a response to something else that is happening in your life or your mind or your heart? Is there a message you have been supposed to pay attention to but have missed somehow?
Whatever the explanation, I seem to have been in such a spot for several weeks and there isn’t any clear sign that it is about to change or that I am about to move on from this point to something else. There seem to be too many books and too little time and I have felt driven to read, read, read and stop for nothing.
It is not that I haven’t been reading so why haven’t I been reviewing the titles I’ve read?
There have been some entertaining, compelling and informative titles among those I have not reviewed: The People of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu; Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson (Can Lit); Eucalyptus by Murray Bail (Australian); Dear Life by Alice Munro (Can Lit); Harvey: How I Became Invisible by Herve Bouchard (Can Lit); The Graveyard Book and Stardust by Neil Gaiman; Inanna: From the Myths of Ancient Sumer by Kim Echlin (Can Lit); How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti (Can Lit); Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson; Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple; The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin; The Emperor of Paris by C. S. Richardson (Can Lit); The Tribe of Tiger: Cats and Their Culture by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas; The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar; May We Be Forgiven by A. M. Holmes; Season of Darkness by Maureen Jennings (Can Lit); Clash of Kings (part two of A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin; Rosalie Bertell by Mary-Louise Engels (Can Lit/Biography).
And I am very close to adding two light and very compelling reads: Her Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik (first in a series which is creative and compelling)and Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson, which is the first in the Gaslight series set in New York city and of which the protagonist is a midwife. I am really enjoying these and they have been waiting for me for many months.
After the above I am considering going back to my re-reading project and the last on a list I made back in January, Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Findley. This one has been waiting patiently since I first put it on my re-read list last January: I saved it for the end because it was my favourite favourite so it is about time I followed through on this one.
I also have some books piled up which were inspired by a previous re-read, Our Lady of the Lost and Found. The titles waiting are Marina Warner’s Alone of All Her Sex: the Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary; Untie the Strong Woman by Clarissa Pinkola Estes and Goddesses in Older Women: Archetypes in Women Over Fifty/Becoming a Juicy Crone by Jean Shinoda Bolen. These three have been patiently waiting for some weeks now and I must get to them soon or at least make a start at checking them over and choosing one to concentrate upon.
So…perhaps the read, read, read situation HAS BEEN at least partly caused by the desire to do justice to all the titles that have been lining up. Having said that, of course, I must grant that the titles will NEVER stop piling up but it does feel good to have gone pell-mell at some of them and to have a few still clamouring for their share of the attention.