I’d spotted this old bookshop in Pickering on arrival, decided it would be best visited just before departure. So, after a 5 mile morning constitutional on Monday, to the bookshop we went. I didn’t let a wall of Mills and Boon distract me and went straight for the classics shelf searching for old Penguins that may be on the Guardian’s 1,000 novels list that I’ve been reading from, on and off for the past four years. My pocket £8.75 lighter, am super happy with the finds. The top Edgar Allan Poe and G.K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday are Beloved’s picks (I will read them too) and the bottom Angela Carter is ‘off the list’ but I’ve wanted to read it for a while. Am particularly looking forward to Lady Audley’s Secret, don’t know much about it other than it being a Victorian sensation novel and have just found out (thank you Wikipedia) that elements of it mirror the Constance Kent case, of which Kate Summerscale wrote in Suspicions of Mr Whicher. That’ll do brilliantly.
I know I went overboard with book buying considering that there are so many unread books at home, but I am working through my ‘pile of shame’ and not doing too badly. I’d also taken Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn to read on Kindle and got frustrated with it beyond belief. Hence a splurge on books to compensate. Can not believe that every single newspaper’s book review section has been writing up new summer reads as ‘this summer’s Gone Girl‘ when the original is really not all that good. I thought the writing was pedestrian, especially early on but kept reading to see what would happen, not that the twists were totally unexpected or even that gripping – something obviously had to happen. I did get to the end, didn’t think that the characters were all that well developed – disturbed, yes, but the whole thing felt written ‘by the numbers’ as if to fit in to a 100 minute film without any real character development. There is nothing wrong with reading a book and thinking ‘this would make a great film’ but I don’t like when the book reads as if the author had already thought there may be extra money in this from scripts and film rights and that’s how this book felt. By the numbers. Perhaps I am being too harsh, perhaps it’s just not for me. I do like my Pickering haul very much though!