I have decided on a theme for NaBloPoMo (you know, where I and 1,353 other people and counting blog every day for a whole month, stay tuned for daily witterings). Every day I will write about books by authors I particularly like. I may write about other things too. I will be unstoppable.
I will do it alphabetically. That is the kind of person I am. We will begin with A.
A is for Atkinson and also for Atwood and Austen
I am very fond of Kate Atkinson’s books and will always go out and buy a new one when they come out. I even enjoyed her book of short stories which was clearly gibberish (“Not the end of the World”). She suffers from the unfortunate problem that she wrote her best book first: “Behind the Scenes at the Museum”.
I am a bit more ambivalent about Margaret Atwood. I have enjoyed many of her books: “The Handmaid’s Tale”, “Oryx and Crake”, “The Robber Bride”. I disliked “The Edible Woman” and I had my doubts about “Alias Grace”. I found “Cat’s Eye” brilliant but disturbing. I was unhappy as a teenager and it brought back to me in a very vivid way the misery of those years (though I was not bullied like the protagonist, I found my own ways to be miserable and lonely).
Moving on to Jane Austen: I love “Pride and Prejudice”. I have read it innumerable times since I first read it as a school text when I was 14. I still have my battered penguin school edition and even opening it makes me sigh with happiness. I am distinctly less keen on the rest of Ms. Austen’s work. Fanny Price in “Mansfield Park” is dull. The plot requires you to really believe that acting in amateur drama is morally wrong (you may wish to insert your own little quip here) and even Jane Austen can’t make a modern reader suspend disbelief to this extent. Particularly not, if she’s relying on insipid Fanny Price to do it for you. “Emma”, “Sense and Sensibility” and “Persuasion” are pleasant. If you ask me, nothing lives up to “Pride and Prejudice” a book written when she was only 20. Phenomenal.
What are your favourite marvellous, unforgettable, fantastic As?
Stay tuned tomorrow when we move on to B. Be still my beating heart.