I have the builders in at the moment. If you’ve ever had building work done in your house, I’m sure you will be shuddering as you read this. The guys are very nice and pretty tidy, all things considered, but there is no doubt that it’s disruptive. This work (a loft conversion) has been in the planning for some time and I made sure to manage my own personal expectations about what I would achieve work-wise for the duration of the project. The continuous decision-making, tea-making and the noise and dust, have played havoc with my writing life; I’m currently working on a book, which picked up momentum at the start of the Autumn, but which this last couple of weeks has very much taken a back seat. And I’m struggling to get my book reviews written so I’ve got a couple of books that I’ve read recently which I’m dying to tell you about.
Funnily enough, though, the disruption has not affected my reading life. I set aside at least an hour each day to read (as you would expect from any self-respecting book reviewer) and I’m actually finding that the amount I am reading is increasing in direct inverse proportion to how stressful the building work is! My reading spot, in the sunniest corner of the living room, seems far away from the chaos and I find I am able to completely switch off. It’s like my own little DIY retreat.
I’m currently reading His Bloody Project the Man Booker-shortlisted novel by Graeme Macrae Burnet. It’s set in a remote rural Scottish Highland community in the mid-19th century, and tells the story of a brutal triple murder carried out by seventeen-year old crofter, Roddy Macrae. The events, the atmosphere and the setting of the book could not be further away from my present daily concerns: have I got enough coffee in, how thick is that layer of dust on the TV and how many electrical sockets do I want? It’s a real page-turner too, and for that I am very grateful.
I’ll finish it in the next couple of days so hopefully I will be able to concentrate long enough at some point in the next week to pen a more thoughtful and helpful review of it!
I’d love to hear about what you’re reading at the moment and whether reading provides a form of escape for you too.