1. I should really be writing a very serious review of Louise Erdrich’s The Round House, which was a stunning novel. But Friday is never a good day for that sort of thing, in either writing or reading. I want people to read the novel, so I decided to schedule a review for early next week and do something foolish and frivolous today.
2. I’ve taken most of this week off, as I realised I’d been cramming as much reading and writing as possible into the past six weeks and my brain was feeling fried. This was a ‘light’ reading week, and even so I’ve read two books and parts of two others. I’m hardly complaining – is there a better way to spend one’s time? – but a break was necessary.
3. Over these past six weeks I’ve been helping two friends with some editing. One has written a novel, the other is in the process of writing a series of linked short stories. I’ve been loving it. Of course, it helps that both are fantastic writers, but the whole experience has made me think that this is something I could actually do a lot more of, though I expect I’m too old now to move into publishing. I would like to run my own online literary journal, though, and can see quite clearly what I’d want it to be. Not this year, maybe not next, but I’ll do it one of these days.
4. I had completely forgotten about my creative non-fiction reading, and suddenly realised I was almost on top of my deadline for the next book. I’ve begun Geoff Dyer’s Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It, and it’s an easy read, though Dyer takes inordinate pleasure in focusing on the disastrous side of exotic travel. I expect by the end to admire it, and to feel confirmed in my desire never to strike out for radically different cultures and climates.
5. A word about women’s writing week, too: Dark Puss and I felt we needed more reading time, so we have rescheduled our posts on our joint reads for the third week in June. I’m actually making the whole of June about women’s writing, simply because I have so much good stuff to read. It does happen to include Tomasi di Lampedusa’s The Leopard, and if possible the ongoing Karl Ove Knausgaard. So they’ll just have to be honorary girls for the month.
6. My poor son is deep in revision for his upcoming examinations. I wanted to give a shout out to all the poor souls stuck in what feels like the endless loop of exams. I can promise you that summers without them are every bit as great as you’d imagine, and that whilst exams dominate the moment, they are surprisingly unimportant compared to the other great events of life. Watch the news – it’ll put them in perspective.