The thought had been at the back of my mind that maybe, just maybe, having to actually sit down and review the books I read would slow me down somewhat. Certainly I could do with a break after last year’s hectic pace of, on average, one book every two days. But it hasn’t quite worked out that way and lately I’ve found myself playing catch-up with my posts.
Of course, those library books did have to be finished. And my mother did want to read Total Control, and I wouldn’t want to keep her waiting, now would I? ;-)
I’ve finally hit upon a solution: Diana Gabaldon’s Cross Stitch. It took me the best part of a fortnight to read the first time around, so I’ve got my breathing space. And there’s no rush, because it turns out my mother can’t stand Diana Gabaldon: she waffles.
In Mum’s view, waffle is one of the cardinal sins available for a writer to commit. It involves any text she deems excess to requirements: flowing sentences, lengthy descriptions, slow action, any kind of meandering. I think in her perfect literary world, all books would be written in a snappy style and all plots would barrel along energetically. I personally don’t see the problem with a writer taking their time over a story as long as it holds my interest, as Cross Stitch definitely does; but I guess once you’ve read Henry James you’ve necessarily developed patience. As little as I understand this difference of opinion, it suits me well just now, and it’s nice to know there are some books I can hog all to myself.
And in a way we’re even: I can’t tolerate some of the movies she goes in for. The Horse Whisperer, anyone? Slow action, lots of meandering....