Sunday, June 21, 2015

What I'm reading right now

"If I wish to believe that my infancy was an Idyll, I had better not remember any more of it." Troy Chimneys by Margaret Kennedy.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Another letter from Sarah

In the spirit of experimentation, I've decided on a hiatus from SCP - and to write a weekly TinyLetter instead. Lately I've been enjoying receiving pretty great emails, and when I am keen on things, I want to EMULATE. Stat.

I started this blog a long time ago now, strictly in the vein of a Live Journal - and it's swung from the very personal to a strange hybrid that I'm not entirely in love with. I'd like a change and the space to start fresh.

So: my plan is to send out a letter once a week on a Friday. I'm hoping that it will be chatty and fabulous and that it will give me some scope to be a bit more personal, but I foresee that it will also include things that I've eaten/read/heard/watched and loved, and ideas about money and saving.

So. This is your subscribe link. I'm not creating an online archive but I guess if I write something super amazing I could regurgitate it here.

I'm excited to see you in your inbox x

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Something I saw today

Here is a sweater I knitted for my mum's dog. #t

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Books, re-reading, and finding something to be anxious about

Pile of books
books, by Pimthida.

I am an avid reader, if not always particularly discerning. Voracious might be the best term. I’ll consume pretty much anything, especially if I’m over-anxious, sitting in the sun, or sick.

This year, I’ve set myself the goal of reading fifty books. So far I’ve read 12 and they run the gamut - from the sublimely silly to the truly fabulous.

Recently I read a piece in the Guardian about choosing your books carefully - the theory being, that there is a limit to how many books you can possibly read in your life so you'd better make them Worth Your While (insert panic here). The conclusion being: life is too short - too short to read Ayn Rand (agreed), Infinite Jest, and maybe anything by Virginia Woolf. The writer doesn’t pan the Lite and Silly outright, doesn’t condemn reading YA books as an adult - and the commenters appear mostly concerned with defending Virginia Woolf, rather than making their own lists of unworthy books.

This made me think Many Things - or rather, worry about things. Worry that I was wasting my time re-reading books (too many books in the world!), or reading infinitely disposable books. I mean - I just completed some research into the Zeitgeist (ahem) by reading all three of the Fifty Shades books. I probably could have finished Middlemarch by now.

But the thing is, I think that I mostly read books for atmosphere. For the feeling that a book gives me while I dip in and out on the bus or at lunchtime, or the feeling I get when I read a book in one sitting, fully immersed and outside on a summer’s day. So does it matter if I’m not sublimely well-read in terms of 'high literature' or the canon? I don’t think it does terribly much - especially given that essential reading changes from place to place, and person to person. I have my own categories of books good, bad and indifferent, and I guess you do to.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I wrote some of my categories down:

  • The kind that is best to read when you're sick with glandular fever. The protagonist will be southern and the prose will be badly written; you'll discover that you're deliriously desperate for all characters to get married, no matter how minor.
    Examples: any Sookie Stackhouse book, The Wedding Bees by Sarah-Kate Lynch.
  • The kind that you initially read as a child or a teenager and really enjoyed, especially for their portrayal of historical times. Later re-reading will destroy your earlier opinions as the books prove to be horribly full of violence against women and otherwise deeply problematic.
    Example: The Sonne in Splendour by Sharon Penman.
  • The kind described as "cult" that was recommended to you by an apparently well-read but overbearing man while you were drunk and insecure at a party aged 25. Sex will be described in ways that will recur to you in flashbacks throughout the rest of your life, all the female characters are hollow and hateful projections.
    Examples: anything by Henry Miller, Last Exit to Brooklyn, On the Road.
  • The kind you know are very clever, and possibly too clever for you - so you claim you will read them twice, the first time for the plot and the second time for the cleverness. You never read them the second time.
    Examples: anything by Umberto Eco, The Luminaries.
Conclusions? I have none. I just have a head filled with irritating Anastasia Steele lines, and bookshelf of good intentions.
But, you - do you have categories? What are they? Does the thought you can only read, say 2500 books in your life, freak you out as much as it does me?

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Sunday Film Fest: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Have you seen this whimsical guy? I am awfully fond of him. And part three is a recent(ish) release!

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

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