Monday, 13 December 2010

Breaking the Spell

I've been in a curious frame of mind for the past year or so, which I realise is an odd thing to say.  What I mean is that after a lifetime of reading all sorts of books, including lots of fiction, when we got back from Galápagos a year ago, I couldn't stand fiction and simply read factual stuff.  In that way I read Alexander von Humboldt's book about his travels in tropical South America, Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle and Origin of Species, Sean Carrol, Janet Brown and others you can see in the side bar on the right.  I tried fiction several times, but just got impatient with it and set it aside.  Vikram Seth and Stieg Larsson were treated the same; I read a few pages, then put them down.

But the other day I picked up Ariana Franklin's Mistress of the Art of Death which is a murder mystery set in 12th century Cambridge and I simply could not put it down!  Today I was supposed to be going into the Zoology Museum in Cambridge to resume preparation some of the fossils we brought back from near Berwick in July, an activity I really enjoy, but I couldn't bring myself to abandon the book.  The fossils are still in Cambridge, and I've just finished the book!

So I don't know what it was about Galápagos that stopped me enjoying fiction, but that particular spell is broken, and I'm really glad!


Steve said...

Great points! Thanks for posting this.

Sparx said...

Ooh... and have you read Wolf Hall yet? Sooo worth reading, you know, now you're back on the hoss...

Rob Clack said...

Thanks Sparx, I've not yet read Wolf Hall, but my wife has, and recommended it, so it's on the list.

Just finished a rather disappointing Susanna Gregory The mark of a murderer, also a mediaeval whodunnit. I found it overly contrived with too many sub-plots and unlikely scenarios.

Now reading Cloudspotter's Handbook and have several other books lined up!