When our flat becomes too messy I get more and more precariously close to mental breakdown.
I can bear it well for weeks (sometimes – shudder – months), but if I am in any way stressed or uncomfortable my resolve suddenly crumbles and we must, MUST tidy.
Sadly, we’re in a small flat and we’ve now reached peak bookshelf; i.e.: I keep buying books but we no longer have anywhere to put them.
In order to clear vital bookshelf space, this weekend I had to say goodbye to some of my babies. Here’s who got banished:
‘The Psalm Killer’ by Chris Pettit
I’ve tried to read this thing twice. Twice! That’s more effort than a book that didn’t interest me would normally get, but the blurb just made it sound so good:
A novel of bristling power–equal parts political thriller, murder mystery, and psychological drama–The Psalm Killer plunges readers into the terrifying heart of the crisis in Northern Ireland.
I think my main trouble with this book is that I don’t know or understand anything whatsoever about the Irish Troubles. However, I’m a lazy reader, and I expect the book I’m reading to teach me about the subject matter. ‘The Psalm Killer’ did not. In fact, it seemed to try to make everything more opaque as the book went on, and twice I bowed out before I was a third of the way through.
Into the banishment box it goes!
‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahnerman
Purely because I hatched a cunning plan to surprise Mr Shelf with a perfect present only to find out that it was so perfect that he’d already got it.
Still- ‘Thinking, fast and slow’ has been on my TBR for some time and Mr Shelf did actually love it, so we’re keeping the copy that is slightly less battered.
‘American Gods’ by Neil Gaiman
Another book I am inexplicably unable to get on with is ‘American Gods’. I was inspired by the epic trailer for the Amazon Prime TV show to get a copy – planning sneakily to watch the TV show afterwards – but again was foiled.
I think I would have appreciated ‘American Gods’ so much more if I had known more about Norse mythology (perhaps I should have read Neil Gaiman’s other book first) but sadly I felt like I was missing out on a few of the in-jokes and hidden significances of the story. I did finish it, I did enjoy it, but I won’t go back to it. Into the box with you!
‘Blood Meridian’ by Cormac McCarthy
I read it, I respected it, but it’s unlikely that I’ll ever put myself through the ordeal of reading it ever again.
If you haven’t read ‘Blood Meridian’, I do honestly recommend it. It is extremely well written, uniquely barbaric and very gripping. But it is not what I would describe is a ‘nice read’. I felt like I had been bludgeoned over the head when I finished it.
As one of the true American Greats, Cormac McCarthy really should be read by everyone.
But I can’t see myself settling in on a cold winter’s night and thinking: ‘ah! I’ll just leaf through that delightful book about scalping again’.
Ye be banished, McCarthy.
Any clear-outs happening at your house today?