Doesn’t that chill your spine? Did you check behind you to see if the fiend was there or did you like the unknown wretch in the quote stay rigidly, facing ahead because you knew he was there? Is he still behind you now…?!
This week I discovered my twin brother. OK not my actual real life twin (the thought of two of me is a little overwhelming) but my Goodreads TBR (to be read) list twin for May. Each month the Goodreads group I am in has an option to set you up with a reading twin and you both scour each others ‘to be read’ lists and come up with something you will read at the same time. It is really good fun, swapping notes with someone half way across the world as you both read the same book. And luckily I was teamed up with someone who was happy to cater to my one-book-a-week whims and read the book in a week with me. As for choosing the book that we read, I looked through my twins list and somewhere in the middle was this, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. One message to my twin and one trip to Barbican library later, we were ready to begin.
My mother in law loaned me this book after getting it from her sister in law. Auntie M stockpiles books and then passes them on to my MIL who (alongside my father in law) reads and disposes of them. They have a good system going. But not this time. This book was so good that, like the Ashes that the Aussie’s have nabbed, Auntie M wants it back.
A few weeks ago I attended a talk at the How To Academy delivered by the ultra brainy David Reich on his new book, ‘Who We Are and How We Got Here’. Reich is a professor of genetics at Harvard University and I got the distinct impression he had mistaken the audience for his third year undergrad students. He dove right in with genomes and mutations and I found myself struggling to keep up. I got the general gist of course, but the rest I thought I would leave to the signed copy of the book that I received at the event.
The irony of trying to read The One Thing while sat with my boys who were “eating” their dinner wasn’t lost on me. It took me about twenty minutes to read two pages and I wasn’t done there. Not satisfied with flunking at this basic principal once, I decided to persevere and went into the other room to jot down the above thought. No sooner had I typed “The irony of trying to read The One Thing…” than my eldest started shouting that the younger one had spilt his milk. I am the embodiment of the issue that The One Thing is trying to resolve. In that moment the “one thing” that I needed to be focusing on was getting the kids to eat their dinner, not my 52 week challenge. Had I done that then perhaps I wouldn’t have had to cry over spilt milk.
A few weeks ago I was approached by Karl Holton to ask if I would be interested in reviewing the first book of his crime trilogy, ‘The Weight of Shadows.’ It turned out that Holton is local to my area so this review is not just for an author, but also for a (kind of) neighbour! I got a free copy of the book, as my fellow bookbloggers say, in return for an unbiased review. So here it is…