Well it’s been quite a week!
Returning to school from furlough was a bit of a shock. I’ve been in the habit of waking up naturally at around 8, then tea and reading in bed until around 10 when Woman’s Hour starts on Radio 4 (never got on with that programme). Then a bit of light blogging, jigsaws after lunch, maybe watch a film or some telly, more reading before bed – you get the picture. My reading time has been severely curtailed, but it has been so nice to see all my colleagues and have some actual conversations (masked and distanced natch). I’m into the swing of twice-weekly home testing now too.
Then, finally, on Monday evening, the announcement for the NB Bloggers Book Prize shortlist was made. I’d had to sit on that one for nearly a fortnight, but Twitter in particular went mad! A huge thank you to everyone who has voted for me so far. I think the vote is open for a few more days, so do take a look at the six shortlisted pieces – I’m championing my book of the year 2020 – Piranesi by Susanna Clarke.
I’m finding it difficult to keep up with all the book prizes at the moment.
On Tuesday, the longlist for the Jhalak Prize 2021 was announced. This prize celebrates books by British/British resident BAME writers, and I hope to explore some of the titles on it (I have The Mercies and Inferno on my shelves).
On Wednesday, it was the turn of the Women’s Prize 2021 longlist. Great to see Piranesi, and Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan featured – the only two I’ve read so far, although I’ve just started reading Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller. Small Pleasures, Consent and The Vanishing Half are the three other titles that attract me in particular.
In previous years, I’ve followed the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Rathbones Folio prize closely, but they’ve escaped me so far this year. However, the Dylan Thomas Prize isn’t announced until mid May, so I hope to catch up a little with that one; the Rathbones Folio Prize is announced on March 24. Just as well the Wellcome Book Prize is still on hiatus – how would I have coped?! 😀
As always, I’m struggling to keep up with writing reviews of the books I do read and have four to get to grips with for Shiny New Books – all of which I enjoyed immensely. They include Niven Govinden’s Diary of a Film and the new Becky Chambers novel. Watch this space over at Shiny.
I have reviewed one book at Shiny this week – The Disciple by Michael Mallon.
This is a slowburn novel which details the relationship between a young American scholar and his ageing art historian hero, a patrician Brit. Obsession and love turns to that bitter kind of hatred over the years as a young man’s ambition is thwarted by the circumstances he was so keen to thrown himself into. If you enjoy art history, it’s set in Florence, and this kind of claustrophobic relationship, and a scholarly text written by someone who’s been there, done that – this could be a book for you.
Read my full review here.
Having got through the busy part of my weekend by lunchtime, an early supermarket shop before it got busy and the tree surgeons coming to trim my trees and shrubs which have gone mad this past year, I intend to just read as much as I can, and watch a couple of movies perhaps for the rest of the day and tomorrow. How about you?