Oh, it's all gone horribly wrong. I think the fact that I have finished reading the Carnegie shortlist went to my head a little, and in the maelstrom of literary excitement, I have bitten off far more than I can chew. Or started far more books than I can really read at once.
I partly blame the Kindle for this. At least back in the days of piling books up by my bedside table, there was only a limited amount of physical space in which books could be comfortably deposited without endangering the smooth running of my teasmade. Now, there is endless digital space to be filled, and each book looks so small, with the title in a small, unimposing font saying "oh, don't mind me, I'm only a little book."
The trouble is Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver is not a little book. I've seen it in Foyles, so I know, it's really quite long. I am reading this for the Mumsnet Book Club, which I am actually very much enjoying participating in. I love my real life book groups at school and in my village, but the trouble with them is that you have to be dressed in proper clothes to attend. You can't go in pyjamas, or in your actual bed. The webchat on Mumsnet can't see you, and doesn't know that you're already tucked up with the only the sounds of the keys tapping filling the companionable silence. (Unless the teasmade is at work making the night-time drink, it truly is unfeasibly loud).
Dodger by Terry Pratchett is another long one (this one is for Book Group - I have never yet successfully got to the end of a Pratchett novel in my long reading career so far). I am not sure if Pratchett is normally quite so verbose, or if this is in homage to Dickens. I already don't really like it, and I'm only about twenty pages in. I really quite want to like Terry Pratchett, as he has written so very many books, but having read the same paragraph about the world on top of the turtle about 34,000 times over the years, and still being utterly baffled, I think I may have to admit defeat.
So, these two were already on the go. Then I went to Oxfam yesterday. I was meant to be buying cards and wrapping paper, but I accidentally bought four books instead. This is fine, in terms of the fact that they seem quite good books, and I will happily return them whence they came when I have finished them. I am, however, no further forward with wrapping the two birthday presents which need to be delivered to their recipients tomorrow. Ah well.
I came across Bill Bryson's Notes from a Small Island in said shop. I thought I'd read this years ago, as I love Bill Bryson, but upon reading Chapter 1, I realised that I hadn't. What a treat! Obviously it would have been rude not to have bought it, and start reading it pretty much immediately. I also got hold of Eragon by Christopher Paolini, which I promised one of my form I would read, and kind of started that too.
Today I started reading Horton Halfpott by Tom Angleberger with C. He giggled sufficiently through the first chapter to agree to having Chapter 2 tomorrow. We shall see.
Luckily, they are all sufficiently different books, that I am just about managing to juggle them so far.