I need to confess, I’ve been in a tiny reading slump. For me, a tiny reading slump feels like a massive canyon of ‘I don’t want to read, who the hell am I?’. Reading is such a key part of my identity that I’m always really confused by a slump. However, when I think about it, it has happened before and being in a slump now makes perfect sense. I’m in a slump in other areas of my life (witness my inability to hoover the stairs for the last 7 weeks!). This is also not the only time (remember February 2011 where I read one new book the whole month?)
I know what this is. It’s stress. I’m worried about my lack of a permanent job which translates to being worried about money and in a roundabout fashion about my whole entire life. I’m working but it’s insecure and I’m not feeling that my work is particularly appreciated because I was told three months temp to perm and it’s five months later and no permanent job has appeared. Which means that I spend quite a bit of time applying for other permanent positions and that leads to a degree of introspection that it quite tricky to deal with especially when it doesn’t seem to be paying off. It makes it hard to shrug off the question ‘what is wrong with me?’. Constantly having to describe yourself and your skills and what you’re good at is really hard on the mind, soul and ego.
All of this is why I’m finding it hard to read. Reading makes me think and because I’m doing a lot of thinking right now, some of it, I’d rather not think about, reading is hard. In my downtime I’m doing things that switch my brain off, watching films, looking at pictures on instagram and watching videos that my brother sends me of my youngest nephew saying his name and asking for ‘pudding please’ and then specifying apples and/or grapes. That’s all my brain can handle at the moment.
That was a very long explanation for this short list of books.
I had held off reading this, because of this review. I wanted to leave it for a bit and see if the version updated and it did. It’s still not great and it’s a shame because I love Lisa Kleypas, I’m loving this series and I loved this story. Although I’m calling bullshit on someone being born and raised in London with Irish parents keeping his accent but that’s my own stuff. It’s ‘blarney-fication’ and it needs to stop.
Another Courtney Milan book – take all my money. This is lovely, it felt to me that Camilla should have been older to be so worn down and not angry. Milan works hard to include diversity in her books and this is no different. Adrian is a child of the daughter of a duke and an abolitionist, a black abolitionist. He’s in a weird position because he’s black and wealthy and Camilla, the daughter of an earl isn’t. So there’s an element of role reversal. This is just so good and you know I’m going to read all of them as they come out but hopefully not after the years we waited for this. There is a reason for that and this feels like a ‘me too’ book. Go read
This is the last of three books about a bar. I wondered how she was going to deal with Eric, he’s an immature pain in the neck and he let another character down hugely. The book is told all the way through from his point of view. His behaviour doesn’t suddenly change for the love of a good woman and her baby. You see the change in him, he’s not really sure what’s going on at first. The truth is, he was ready to be a grown up and she was part of the reason he wants to. Easy and fun to read.
I’ve read the other two and had pre-ordered this, all of these books have so much angst. Here’s the thing I found tricky, through the books, Rai has written about flawed characters doing the best they can and coming to some kind of resolution. Except one. He’s a complete bastard from start to finish and the only ‘reason’ offered for it is that he was in love and rejected. All of the people in this book trying so hard to be their best selves and deal with their (considerable) shit, except him. Everyone seems to get a resolution but this one character. Everyone gets to live in big, happy and sometimes tricky relationship, except him. He gets to go off and be malevolent and that’s it. It felt unfinished because Rai has spent three books telling me that hard stuff can be overcome and people are good and bad. It just felt off. But I will love this book for the heroine’s description of the hero as ‘sex closed captioning’