Sunday seems to be the day when I start new books or at least think about starting new books. Today’s no exception, but it’s so lovely outside so I won’t be spending much of the day indoors reading – in the garden, maybe.
I thought I’d decided what I was going to read next – Gillespie and I by Jane Harris for one and Gormenghast, the second book in Mervyn Peake’s trilogy for another, and continue reading Wilful Behaviour by Donna Leon.
But then D finished his long-term reading of Joyce Carol Oates’s mammoth novel Blonde and passed it over to me. Blonde is a novel that
reimagines the inner, poetic and spiritual life of Norma Jean Baker – the child, the woman, the fated celebrity and idolized blonde the world came to know as Marilyn Monroe. (From the back cover)
I wanted him to write his thoughts on the book but I can’t persuade him. He tells me that he was always having to be conscious as he was reading that Blonde is a novel and frequently checked in Richard Havers’s book, Marilyn in Words, Pictures and Music to make sure which was fact and which was fiction (we also have Barbara Leaming’s biography). We have DVDs of Marilyn’s films and as he was reading he watched the film that he was reading about (I watched one or two). So now I’m eager to read Blonde.
Yesterday I received in the post (from the author) Tom Fleck: a novel of Cleveland and Flodden by Harry Nicholson. This is about a young farmworker who took part in the Battle of Flodden in the north-east of England, close to the Scottish border in 1513. We live not far from Flodden Field and the 500th anniversary is coming up, with many events planned to commemorate the battle, so when Harry emailed me about his book I was immediately interested. As I do with each book I get I read the opening pages. I read enough to make me want to read on.
So now I’m stuck. I can continue with reading Wilful Behaviour, but I want to have another book on the go – which book should I read first?