Even a lapsed reader has to read sometimes, so over the last few days I have been reading two books. The first, snatched in the few minutes of train travel from home to work and back home again, is “Heroes & Villains” by Angela Carter. The book is slim, an attribute I appreciate. I don’t share the publishers outlook that a book has to be a doorstep to be worthy of publishing. It’s not that I can’t read a lengthy tome, I proved my stamina with “Pinkerton’s Sister” by Peter Rushforth, when all around were falling by the wayside, rather, I choose not to if something wonderful can be contained in just a few well-crafted pages.
I picked up “Heroes & Villains” because it is by the blessed Angela Carter, a writer who died too soon, so of course all her books shoul be read and treasured. I find that I am continuing to read “Heroes & Villains” because I should, rather than because I can’t put it down or because I find reading it such a joy. I’d never heard of the book until I stumbled across it on the shelves of a charity shop and I wonder what other readers think of this work of hers? Was it one of her best books, or one that should be allowed to lurk in obscurity. It is slim and so I shall persevere. Now that I have two “free” days a week maybe I should stretch my mind a little, do some guided reading or even enrol in an adult education class. There are many references to art, literature, philosophy and disciplines I have probably never heard of. Perhaps I am just too dim to see what the book is about.
The other book that I am reading is still only in working manuscript form. It is my baby sister’s first novel. I have seen it in many pieces, rearranged and reordered. Currently the game is to find a title that gives an indication of the content. The working title, the one we all know and love, tells the prospective reader nothing and so we have been brainstorming to find one that magically makes this oeuvre the book that must be published.
Somehow I don’t think “Honey I Shagged a Crow” will turn this new work into the fastest selling best-seller since “The Da Vinci Code”.