Posted in Assorted Beverages With Alys

Water from a Teapot with Alys. (Book chat)

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The Park by my old house in Preston.

For the last couple of weeks I have been organising my bedroom at my parents house. Trying to cram all my new stuff into my childhood bedroom that already had all of my childhood belongings in, not to mention the majority of my books, was quite the feat of effort. And it’s still not finished yet. I didn’t realise how much STUFF I had held onto over the years. I have letters, and teddies, and school reports from thirteen years ago. These things hold no meaning in my life anymore, so I’m getting rid of them, which is easy enough, but it just takes so much TIME. And I keep finding little deposits of these things in strange little places in my room where some previous version of me had squirrelled them away. Previous Alys doesn’t seem to have had any rhyme or reason to where she stored her things. But maybe that’s because she didn’t actually care about those things herself. And now I have to deal with her hoarding tendencies and get rid of all of the crap that she’s kept for the last twenty three years. Either way, that’s what I’ve been up to. When I’m not reading, because of course as soon as I actually had something to do I procrastinated like nobody’s business and read a lot.

So I finished reading The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins finally. I didn’t enjoy it. I wasn’t a fan right from the start, but it’s been on my list to read for about six years, so I persevered and then just kept going until I finished. I don’t really know what to say about it. It was paced slowly and I kept looking at the progress bar at the bottom of my kindle to see how far away from the end I was because it almost came to the climax of the story about three times. But then it just kept going! I think it’s safe to say that I’m glad that Kindle books are free if they’re out of print.

Then I went shopping with my mum and of course we went into Waterstones. I picked up Nod by Adrian Barnes and Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.

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Stickle Tarn, Ambleside, The Lakes.

Nod was such a lovely book. I loved the descriptive style. It’s so pitch perfect for the characterisation and the tone of the novel. It’s just a delight to read. I read the entire thing cover to cover in six hours and I’ve recommended it to Alex straight away. Actually I think I recommended it to him halfway through reading it. It’s an apocalyptic tale of what happens when people just suddenly stop sleeping. And then what happens to the people who still have the ability to sleep as they watch the entire world, and their loved ones, deteriorate before their very eyes. It’s an intense read, taking place over the course of one month, as we watch the collapse of the world and humanity, wondering what will happen to those that are left after the Awakened (the majority of humanity) have died from sleep deprivation. The world has gone mad, and we watch through Paul’s eyes. I think that the fact that we rarely saw other adults that were Sleepers (the minority that can still sleep) was a bit of a negative for me, but I did like the sense of isolation that it afforded Paul as he had nobody else to speak to for most of the book. I feel like there could have been some more development around the Sleeper children as they did seem a little like they were intended to just be creepy. Perhaps that’s because all children are a little creepy by virtue of their being the people that will populate the Earth after all of the adults are gone. It was thoroughly enjoyable to read and I’m glad that it has a space on my shelves.

The other book that I read this week was Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. It’s a poetry anthology that I personally really quite liked. I know that it’s really fashionable to like it at the moment, and that soon it will be really fashionable to hate it because a lot of people liked it. Ultimately, for me, it was a bit of a mixed bag, but even then I can appreciate the poems that I wasn’t such a fan of because of the emotion behind them. There’s something to be said for poetry that is relatable, but having said that I don’t think that poetry has to be inherently relatable to be beautiful. Especially because poetry isn’t much to do with the reader, it’s about the writer’s thoughts and feelings. If those thoughts and feelings happen to resonate with the reader, then that’s almost like an added bonus. Personally there were some poems that made me roll my eyes a bit, and some that made me cry, so overall, I think that it was beautiful.

At the moment I’m reading Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. I’m about halfway through and I’m enjoying this one too. This week has been a week of good books apparently. I shall write more about it next week perhaps, when I’ve finished it and have more to say about the book in its entirety.

I think I will leave you with this rule for life: Each time you cull a book from your shelves, you should bring two home.

Have a lovely week,

Alys.

 

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