No, not a comment on certain politicians — my word, aren’t there a lot of candidates for this epithet at the moment! — but a lovely pot boiler of a prompt otherwise called ‘My Life in Books 2019’ which was passed on by Annabel:
Using only books you have read this year (2019), answer these questions. Try not to repeat a book title.
- In high school I was—
- People might be surprised by—
- I will never be—
- My fantasy job is—
- At the end of a long day I need—
- I hate—
- Wish I had—
- My family reunions are—
- At a party you’d find me with—
- I’ve never been to—
- A happy day includes—
- Motto I live by:
- On my bucket list is—
- In my next life, I want to have—
Of course, this presupposes that like any assiduous bookworm you’ve actually read over fourteen books.
So, here are my offerings (with justificatory mutterings):
In high school I was Steppenwolf (Hermann Hesse) though nobody suspected
People might be surprised by A Murder of Quality (John le Carré) — well, wouldn’t you?
I will never be The Lorax (Dr Seuss) because hopefully forests will remain for a lot longer if nations recognise catastrophe staring them in the face
My fantasy job is The Coroner (M R Hall), maybe to adjudicate on that murder of quality
At the end of a long day I need Two Pints (Roddy Doyle) … just kidding, I’m 99% teetotal
I hate No Signposts in the Sea (Vita Sackville-West) — so when is the council going to put up some?!
Wish I had The Secret of Platform 13 (Eva Ibbotson) so that we could all escape this political mess
My family reunions are Evil Under the Sun (Agatha Christie) — just kidding again!
At a party you’d find me with The Plankton Collector (Cath Barton), talking about, well, fishy matters
I’ve never been to Rotherweird (Andrew Caldecott) and I never will, as it’s, um, rather weird
A happy day includes A Modest Proposal (Jonathan Swift) though it doesn’t involve either Ireland nor children, but maybe some politicians… Just. Kidding.
Motto I live by: Stopping for a Spell (Diana Wynne Jones) — the longer the better
On my bucket list is Northern Lights (Philip Pullman) because contemplating the universe puts it all into perspective
In my next life, I want to have Frankenstein’s Brain (John Sutherland) because I’d like to be able to pick up multiple languages in less than a year and I’d get to see the aurora borealis without needing a passport
Maybe this little exercise will appeal to you just as much it did to me because, if so, I’d look forward to reading your choices!
By now I had intended to do an update on my reading of Moby-Dick but having been introduced to our narrator, his shipmates, the Pequod’s superstructure, cetacean categories and a whole load of other diverting digressions I’ve realised that November and Christmas have gone, we’ve set sail and spotted our first whales and all I’ve done is chuckle at Melville’s humour and jot down two or three quotes. As a commentator on one of the great 19th-century novels I find I’ve already fallen overboard. Maybe once I’ve got past the digressions I’ll be able to take stock . . .