March’s Reading Round Up

Sleep is good, he said, and books are better ~ George R R Martin
Sleep is good, he said, and books are better ~ George R R Martin

I’m a bit late with my regular post about last month’s reading results.  But hey – life has been leaping a bit over the last few days and I figured that you guys would not mind too much about my getting a bit behind.

In fact, I have not got nearly as much reading done as I had hoped and anticipated in February’s round up.  Again, no worries.  As the lovely Susan Jeffers was known to have said, ‘It’s all happening perfectly’ and I am not going to beat myself up.  As I think I have said previously, none of this is about winning some kind of race.

I managed to finish two books:

  • Do No Harm by Henry Marsh
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Marsh’s book is incredible.  He has written about his experience as a neurosurgeon, warts and all.  There is plenty of detail about squishy, gory medical stuff.  But the most compelling aspects of his writing come when he discusses the constant tensions between whether to operate on patients or not; how to break news to them and their families about their condition properly to manage their expectations, while avoiding being cruel in difficult circumstances; how to cope with challenging resource constraints and management hierarchies in the NHS and elsewhere; and above all; how to deal with the fact that he is human and makes mistakes, some of which can have catastrophic consequences for other humans for whom he is caring.  In some ways it must have been a difficult and brave book to write.  But I can’t help but think that it must also have been a relief to let it all out too.

There is a link between this book and Ray Bradbury’s novella in that they both cover taboos.  The latter is perhaps easier to take these days, not least because one knows overall what it is about.  It is one of those books that is part of society’s DNA, so all the more important to have actually read it, rather than just be aware of it.  To say I enjoyed it would not be strictly accurate, but like any of Bradbury’s work, one cannot help but marvel at the ingenuity of ideas and beautifully crafted prose.

I gave up on one book:

  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

This started off as an enjoyable light read, but got very bogged down with itself after about 150 pages and a lot of perseverance.

I am STILL going with:

  • Guernica by Gijs Van Hensbergen (arrgghhhh)

Oh, and Lucy and I continue to read The Cat Burglar by Tamsin Cooke, but since we get together only once a week, this is perhaps not surprising.

So what is on the cards for April?

Well, I am determined to put Guernica to bed once and for all – either by finishing it or making a decision to abandon it.  I really don’t want to do the latter because this is a book I have long wanted to read, and in truth I have still not given it the attention it deserves.  Following last month’s post, I received lots of interesting ideas about how to achieve quality reading time – in addition to my ‘reading hour’ idea, which I have not really yet managed to deliver on, so I am planning to crack on for a couple more weeks and see how things go.

My ModernMrsDarcy read for this month is In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman.  I have already started this and it is looking promising.  I have also started another book by Lionel Shriver – The Post-Birthday World which I would like to finish.  And there are about a gazillion other things in my various ‘to read’ lists that I want to get around to, but you will have to wait until my April Reading Round Up post to see how I get on. 🙂


7 thoughts on “March’s Reading Round Up

  1. I am impressed with your staying power for Guernica, it does sound an intriguing book. Farenheit 451 is one of those books that everybody namechecks but I agree these days it’s impact is diminished, it is interesting how close it is with the big TV’s and everybody staying home…I did shudder at all mention of burning books though, even if he would have mentioned Fifty Shades in the same sentence it still would have been chilling.


    1. As you will have seen, I do usually give up much more easily on books that don’t stick, but I feel the need to keep going just a bit longer with Guernica – I hope it is worth it, but we will know by the end of this month… Meanwhile, yes F451 is extremely portentous isn’t it. But lol, what a different book it might have been with a Fifty Shades reference. I don’t really want to think about that too much, or indeed at all, thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Life does get in the way of reading lists. I think that a decision to abandon a book is a positive thing. Why waste time and effort on something we aren’t enjoying, and reading is meant to be a pleasure isn’t it? I wouldn’t have given up on a book 20 years ago but I was younger then and had more time…

    Liked by 1 person

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