The Last Family in England

The Last Family in EnglandIf you have ever own a dog…or a cat…then The Last Family in England by Matt Haig might be of interest to you. The story is told from the dog’s point of view and the view point is so convincing, I found myself looking at my pets and wondering if they were thinking the things Prince, from the book, was thinking. And, I almost convinced myself that they were!

The book covers a wide range of topics; some of which are quite embarrassing so I won’t even attempt to go into those here. But the safer ones include adultery, suicide, growing up and disjointed family life. At first, I found the book hard to get into, but that was nothing to do with the writing or the subject matter. It was because this is the first book I’ve attempted to read in months. Before long, I found myself gasping with shock at the embarrassing parts, empathising with the characters in other parts of the story and snickering at Prince’s thought patterns. Not to mention getting choked up and crying. Any book that brings out that emotion must get brownie points, in my opinion.

I picked up this book completely on a friend’s recommendation and I had no idea what the story was about and I didn’t read the blurb on the back cover. In other words, I had no expectations and I found the story to be completely different to anything I’ve read in the last decade or more. Even with the rude bits…and the swearing, it was refreshing and interesting. For those of you who know me well, you’ll know that’s unusual for me. I’m usually quite straight laced. Anyway, the characters are human (except for the dogs in the story, of course), the problems are real and the emotions strong. I recommend this book if you’re looking for something different.

I finished the book in less than a week. I can’t believe it. It looks like I’ll get at least two of those library books read at this rate. 😀

A Change in Taste…Perhaps!

Along with my desire not to write, I find I don’t feel like reading either. However, I refuse to stop reading. It’s something I’ve done since day dot.

I have many book shelves at home. Most of them are crammed full (two rows deep and high) with fantasy books. I’ve loved these stories for so long. But every time I look at the books now, I cringe. I think I might be sick to the core of fantasy.

It’s time to change my reading habits, I believe.

Last night, I made a special trip to the library. There was one rule I had to follow. No fantasy books! I’m drawn to them because of the excellent covers, but this time I made sure I picked up anything and everything else. I deliberately picked books at random that I wouldn’t normally entertain. I figure that the cover doesn’t maketh the book and maybe, hopefully, I’m missing out on a really good story. I plan to find out.

I chose chic fic, detective, Australiana, humour and romance. With only three weeks before the due date forces me to return the books, I doubt I’ll read more than one of them, but I wanted to be sure I had options in case I didn’t like whatever I decide to read first…or second…or third! You get my drift.

First book of the rank will be Last Family in England by Matt Haig. This book was highly recommended to me by Alan Baxter. I will let you know what I think.

If you have a non-fantasy book you’d like to recommend, please go ahead and tell me about it.

A Quiet Mind

I spent some time visiting some of my writer friends tonight. I read their posts with interest, but I didn’t leave any comments. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think I feel that I don’t really have the right. It sounds stupid…because it is stupid. I know that. But that’s the way I feel.

After my “visits”, I sat back and pondered how I felt. The only word that fits is “sad”. I feel sad that I’m moving away from these people. They are people I’ve known for some time now and they are people I’ve shared much of myself with. I feel sad that I don’t feel the need to write anymore. I also feel sad because I don’t even feel like reading anymore. What’s going on with me, I wonder?

Last week, I spend a bit of time one afternoon working on my non-fiction manuscript. I only wrote a couple of pages and I was quite focused at the time, but as soon as I turned away from it, the urge to do more left me completely. It doesn’t feel important to continue with it any longer. Just like my other projects no longer mean much to me. Even the family tree is sitting untouched.

I think it’s important not to let my analytic mind get too worked up over all this. I’m going to let things go and allow myself to do whatever I feel like doing (which, admittedly, isn’t much right now). All I can really say is that apart from the sadness, my mind is peaceful and that’s something I think I really needed.