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Summing Up - Off the Cliff

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Sun Jan 1st, 2017


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03:14 pm - Summing Up
The clear sun slants into my black and white hallway, shining from the blue sky of another and happier year.

Last year's reading challenge was a success, by and large, if we ignore that 'must come from the TBR pile' clause. The one category I didn't fill and more than fill is, ironically, the one that could have been furnished from books on hand, namely mainland Chinese literature. I have more books of Chinese poetry that I've only dipped into than I know what to do with.

But perseverance allowed me to clear the shelves of many things that had mutely reproached me for not having the perseverance to read them before- The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Pandemonium and Parade, The Radiance of the King, The Bucks and Bawds of London Town, Hear the Wind Sing, Raffles the Amateur Cracksman, The Angelic Avengers, Master Skylark, The Courtier, The Autobiograpy of Benvenuto Cellini, The Conference of the Birds. Also of more recent acquisitions that were just as dumbly reproachful of my inability to get into them or even start: The Famished Road, In the Skin of a Lion, Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog, Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem, A Natural History of Dragons, The Dalemark Quartet, Dreamblood, and Moorcock's Gloriana- even if I didn't finish those last. These are picked-up books of the school of 'I should read this some day.' The dispiriting realization is that some day is now, not some indistinct far future/ twenty-years-from-now 'when I'm old and retired and at leisure.'

Book of the Year was probably the biography of Lorenzo de Medici, which acted as a springboard to a lot of other stuff. Most enjoyed, perversely, is Cotterill's oeuvre of Dr Siri books, even if I'll probably never reread them; and of course the latest Aaronovitch, Gladstone, 100 Demons and Library installments.

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