I’m shocked to see that the last post on this blog was dated 8 August, which was when I was still on holiday in Canada. I’ve now been back in England for three weeks, one spent babysitting Beloved Grandson and two working. So, you ask, Dear Reader:
What have I written recently since my last post? Not a lot.
What have I had published? Two reviews on Copperfield Review (ones I’d done earlier, obviously).
What have I read? Quite a bit. Here’s the list:
Hollow Mountain and Shadow of the Rock – both by Thomas Mogford (Spike Sanguinetti, crime thrillers). Despite really enjoying the fourth book in the series (Sleeping Dogs), I didn’t enjoy the first three at all, basically because they were more thriller than crime, with lots of violence and a violent and unlikeable protagonist. Books written for he-men, methinks, whereas cosy crime is for us girls. Fiction Fan was also writing about unlikeable protagonists in her blog this week.
Death on Lindisfarne – by Kay Sampson, also Killer’s Countdown – Wendy H Jones. These are both Christian literature, a genre I’m very keen to get more into. These two novels, both advertised in the Association of Christian Writers magazine as ‘crime fiction’, were very different from each other. Death on Lindisfarne, the second in the Aidan Mysteries series, was much as I expected, featuring Christian people and set against a backdrop of Lindisfarne Isle and northern saints, although it wasn’t in any way preachy. Interesting for me as a hopeful Christian writer was that it tackled some difficult issues, such as abuse in children’s homes, abusive relationships and how we sometimes make assumptions about people which turn out to be hurtful. On the other hand, Killer’s Countdown seemed, initially, to be mainstream crime fiction, with no direct mention of God and only one short prayer towards the end. DI Shona McKenzie and her team must’ve eaten enough sugar and fat for the whole of Scotland, and she was a grumpy old thing, but I rather enjoyed her grumpiness, as I think I would have been grumpy in her place. However, she still had time to talk to Auld Jock, the tramp. This was Christian literature in a different way, understated, about a principled and honest woman, living a Christian life as a matter of course.
Go Set A Watchman – by Harper Lee.
When I said I’d written ‘not a lot’, I didn’t mean nothing at all, just one review, of Go Set a Watchman, which I have subbed. What a hornets’ nest! Every reviewer has rubbished it… but I’m not going to. I cannot repeat my review here but, in my opinion, Go Set A Watchman is more difficult and more honest than To Kill a Mockingbird, and all those who have screamed ‘Atticus is a racist’ all over Facebook are just not getting it.
What else? I’ve installed Windows 10 on my computer and also the Kindle app, which is a boon when you’re looking for quotes for a book review.
And I’ve lost the Fitbit, probably whilst taking Beloved Grandson on a miniature railway. Do I miss it, Dear Reader? Actually, no.
Hope to have something more positive next time. I was supposed to have retired last Friday (27 August), but my line manager asked me to stay on for another two weeks. However, I should definitely be off the leash on Friday, 11 September. I cannot go on Twitter at #amwriting yet though.
Meanwhile, has anyone any ideas about how to write with a cat sitting on my knee between me and the keyboard? She’s fine when she’s still, but she fidgets and takes ages to settle.