Early August and I have finally decided to take the plunge and start a blog, mainly for my own purposes. In fact, I rather hope that no one else will ever read it, as I don't expect it to be very interesting to others. At the moment I am waiting to be able to take some holiday, so am trying to save up the best in the "to be read" pile for when I can celebrate having got through the most urgent stuff at work.
In the blog I intend to comment on what I'm reading (novel thought!). Not lit crit, these will be comments on content as well as style, and probably no use at all for someone who wants to know whether they might want to read something.
I'm getting towards the end of A Dance to the Music of Time. It's been a long time since I read it first, and has been a real pleasure to rediscover. I read a criticism of it somewhere (Amazon?) which said that it compared very badly to Brideshead Revisited, and that the characters were cardboard cutouts. This suggests that the reader didn't get beyond the first books - one of the things I like best is that the story unfolds in such a leisurely fashion. In Book 11 I have just read more details of the protagonist's childhood that complete earlier information. In this sense it's reminiscent of The Alexandria Quartet, where you're not even sure what is going on until late in the third book. These were authors who expected a bit of work on the part of their readers.
Myrren's Gift is a library book - I've looked at it in bookshops for some time and decided I'm not sure I'll enjoy it. On the showing of the first few pages, I may be right, but I'll give it a bit longer.
I Bought a Mountain is the first of a number of Firbank's books in my "to be read" pile, and is one of the re-readings (the other being Log Hut). It was published in 1940 and the occasional "unreconstructed" comment jars a little these days (on the contrariness of the Welsh, he says all women are like that). I'm struck already by how restless Firbank was when he was young. There's something of the remittance man mentality about him, though I suppose that once he got to Japan he may have settled down a bit. The extent of restlessness will become more evident in the second book, I think. Anyway, I'm reading with interest.