You may have noticed that things have been rather quiet of late on the Landing. Rest assured that I have not been entirely idle, merely adjusting to the demands of the New Year (it usually takes me until well into January to become accustomed to the year). After reading my way through a mini crime wave in library books, I have finally started reading the latest on the Landing Eight list. That’s probably as far as my New Year resolutions for my Reading Challenge will take me in the short term.
I have opted to read The Diary of Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith (Guild Publishing 1981) as my next book since I felt that this potentially dreary time of the year deserved a little light comedy. The edition that I have on the shelves dates back to the early 1980s when I was in the throes of a book club binge. By ‘book club’ I mean the kind where you promise to buy a book every month (possibly forever) after being lured in by a too good to be true special offer. Eventually I weaned myself off this habit after spending rather a lot of money. I did however end up with the guts of a decent classics collections so it was not all bad news by any means.
All in all then, I feel it is high time that I tackled this comedy classic (originally published in 1894) which has been languishing on our shelves for so long. Charles Pooter is a lower middle class clerk who lives with his beloved wife Carrie (Caroline) in a respectable London suburb. Mr Pooter’s diary describes his day-to day life over a period of fifteen months, telling of his battles with recalcitrant tradespeople and forays into ‘Society’ as well as quiet evenings at home with his friends.
I will return to Mr and Mrs Charles Pooter anon. Meanwhile, I will leave you with the diarist’s own words to give you a little taster, while I go off and finish the book:
Why should I not publish my diary?
I have often seen reminiscences of people
I have never even heard of, and I fail
to see-because I do not happen to be
a ‘Somebody’ – why my diary should
not be interesting. My only regret is
that I did not commence it when I was
(The illustration of the first edition of The Diary of a Nobody was taken from Wikipedia)
Book, books, books…
I was pondering the vexed question of what my first post for 2013 should be: progress report on the Landing Eight; review of last year’s books; looking ahead to this year’s reading or maybe about tackling a new angle in my Reading Challenge.
Finally, I decided to side step all of the above and feature a paragraph that I wrote on a previous New Year for Paragraph Planet:
New Year, New You. Ring out the old and ring in the new. In Janus’s month twixt past and future we try diets, makeovers, new resolutions and evening classes. De-clutter, downsize and de-tox; perhaps try yoga classes or join a gym. Pilates sounds good, there’s a special offer too. Then comes the inevitable backslide into laziness, excuses and over indulgence. That two-faced Janus strikes again. New you, old you, which do you want to be?
The above question was posed and previously published New Year 2011 (and no, I didn’t try the de-tox)
Let me know if you have made any resolutions, literary or otherwise! Drop them in the comment box below.
Meanwhile I’ll leave you with a link to a piece I wrote this week for the Irish News Review featuring a couple of Reading and Writing Challenges to give you a little zest…
As 2012 draws to a close and 2013 creeps tantalizingly nearer, I will leave you with a final poem from Read Me and Laugh (edited by Gaby Morgan) about a topic that causes much angst at the turn of the year:
‘New Year Resolution’ (by Steve Turner)
Funny poems galore
It was January the 1st
I turned over a new leaf
It was clean on the top side
But had bugs underneath.
This says it all really: behind every good resolution is a creepy crawly waiting to get us. It is also quite an evocative image to any gardener, conjuring up visions of pesky greenfly.
I have yet to make any resolutions although I have signed up for a new course so I suppose that counts in my favour. I usually try to come up with a book challenge, but as I still have to finish my Landing Eight selection I may have to shelve (ha, ha) that idea for a while.
Meanwhile, if any readers would like to let me know about their reading resolutions, please drop a line in the comment box.
Wishing all of my blog and Twitter followers and anyone else who stumbles into The Landing Bookshelves:
‘A very Happy and Peaceful New Year!
‘Ring out the old, Ring in the new!
A seasonal peal…