I decided at the beginning of the year that I was going to take my time reading, not rushing from one book to the next and also reading whatever takes my fancy. So it’s no surprise to me that having thought I was going to read books for the R.I.P. event this autumn as well as two very long novels my plans have been disrupted and I may not get round to them.
And this is because two books I reserved at the library months ago have come in. I picked them up yesterday and also a book by Ian McEwan. Earlier in the week one of the questions on Pointless was about Ian McEwan’s novels and although I’ve read quite a lot of his books, I realised there are some I haven’t read. So I had a look at what the library had by him on the shelves and found one.
These are the books that have upset my plans for reading this autumn:
- The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro – his latest novel, set in Britain sometime after the Romans had left – a time when ogres were an everyday hazard. (Could this book be an R.I.P. book? Or is it more a book for Once Upon a Time? No matter I’m reading it anyway.)
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – a modern classic about George Milton and Lennie Small are two workers in pursuit of the American dream.
- The Innocent by Ian McEwan – set in post-war Berlin in the 1950s at the beginning of the Cold War.
So, as Robert Burns’ poem To a Mouse, 1786 tells of how he, whilst ploughing a field, accidentally destroyed a mouse’s nest, my plans have gone awry.
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane [you aren’t alone]
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promised joy.
Aptly this is the poem from which Steinbeck took the title of his book!