Select Page

“I had just taken to reading. I had just discovered the art of leaving my body to sit impassive in a crumpled up attitude in a chair or sofa, while I wandered over the hills and far away in novel company and new scenes… My world began to expand very rapidly,… the reading habit had got me securely.”

Aha! One of my resolutions was to get back into reading. I’ve been a bookworm my entire life. My mother claimed that I learned to read before I started school just by looking over my brother’s shoulder when he was learning to read. I remember always having my head stuck in a book whenever I could when I was growing up. I used to spend all my pocket money every Sunday on new books, specifically anything by Enid Blyton. My favorites were the Famous Five and the Mallory Towers series. Another favorite author was Elinor Brent-Dyer who wrote the Chalet School series about a fictional boarding school set in the 1930s and 40s. I don’t imagine that my kids will have any interest in reading any of these books when they are older…perhaps I should try to find a few just in case they do! They were pretty ancient when I was a child, I’m sure they are collectors items by now.

The last book I read was hypocrite in a pouffy white dress by Susan Jane Gilman. A laugh out loud read. I loved her tales of trying to fit in (or not in some cases) – it was very real and very entertaining.

At the moment I am in the middle of another non-fiction book (atypical for me, I’m a fan of fiction) – the Pope’s Children by David Williams. My mother brought this over from Ireland, apparently it’s the talk of the nation. Frankly I’m finding it a bit tabloid-ish. The subject matter is interesting – here is an excerpt from Wikipedia about it:

In his book McWilliams describes the result that the Celtic Tiger and the property boom has had on the Republic of Ireland, resulting in the rise of a new bourgeoise.

The book’s title reflects McWilliams’ belief that the visit of Pope John Paul II to Ireland in the autumn of 1979 was a watershed in the country’s history. The children born during that period (who are now between the ages of 25 and 35) are “The Pope’s Children” – the first generation since the Great Famine of the mid-19th century to experience an increase in the size of the population. (The rise in birth rates in Ireland began in the early 1970s and peaked in June 1980, exactly nine months after the pope’s visit.) According to McWilliams, these 620,000 people became the country’s key generation. They are the dynamo of Ireland’s economy, politics and culture, and they will shape its face in the 21st century.

I left Ireland in 1993, just before the start of the Celtic Tiger. Ireland today is a very different country to the one I left and some of the changes leave me feeling a little cold. There’s a pervasive attitude in Ireland that American culture etc. is evil and yet what I saw in Ireland left me thinking Ireland was more American than the America that I know and live in. The book is an interesting read but not well written. I’m taking much of it with a grain of salt!

I have a stash of books on my bedside table to read. Next on my list is the curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon. I bought it as a gift for a friend of mine and she has passed it back to me when she finished reading it. We exchange books every birthday and Christmas – kind of like our own informal book club. Speaking of book clubs…I’ve always meant to join one. Maybe that can be next year’s resolution. It might make me read more challenging books…I like to stick with chick lit for the most part, especially Marian Keyes. I love her casual, conversational style. Easy reading and just plain entertaining. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Life doesn’t always have to be about improving yourself now does it? 🙂