Thursday, 1 May 2014


Is it really May? It's too cold for May, too grey, too wet, and too miserable. It's minus 2 outside. But there's enough leaves on the trees to convince me it's not really February. The daffodils are slowly fading, but dandelions and daisies are in full force (a few buttercups are starting to peek through, as well) and, best of all, I heard the cuckoo yesterday. 

April was very busy, but things are settling and for the first time since December I've been able to think more about my Zola website. I keep wanting to make it public, but there's not nearly enough on it yet. I'm starting 'The Four Gospels' series this month: Fruitfulness, Labour, and Truth. Zola died (possibly murdered) whilst writing the fourth, Justice. Perhaps when I've finished, and when I've tidied up the million drafts, I'll make it public. Perhaps I ought to aim for autumn? 

For now, my May goals. Firstly, Doctor Thorne: I'm looking forward to this, the third in the 'Barchester Chronicles'. I'm so grateful to Amanda and Melissa for this read-along! I've written about The Warden and Barchester Towers, and of course I'll review Doctor Thorne when I've read it. Before I start it, though, I want to finish George Eliot's Adam Bede. I love this book and I love George Eliot. I do think she may be the best English writer. And I've still got Proust on the go: I'm about a quarter of the way through Within a Budding Grove. This is not easy, but I think it will be worth it. I'm hoping that by the end of the month I'll be over half way through Remembrance of Things Past. Finally, one last 'specific' goal: I'm aiming to read The Insulted and the Injured by Dostoevsky for my Dostoyevsky and Russian Literature challenge. It will be my 10th Dostoyevsky, with 6 left to go, however as I'm wanting to re-read all the 'big four' (Crime and Punishment, The Brother Karamazov, The Idiot, and The Devils) I don't see myself as anywhere near finished. 

As for other books for May... I do want to read a Virginia Woolf. It's been too long. And I do want to finish my review of Oliver Twist. And, finally, I want to read one book by John Fowles. I'm coming close to the end of my Classic Club list and I have two on there by Fowles - The Magus and The French Lieutenant's Woman. I don't want to read them! I'm going to have to bite the bullet one of these days. Someone told me The Magus was so miserable it threw him into a rather long depression, and obviously I don't want that to happen! If anyone has read either of these books, let me know if I'm right to dread them?

There, then, are the book goals. But there is one other bit of news. In fact, it's a big announcement (which you already know if you follow me on Twitter): on Monday, we shall be rescuing another ex-battery hen. I am both excited and nervous in equal measures! This weekend I'll be preparing for her, and on Monday afternoon we will be going to collect her. I've had a name in mind for a few weeks, but I'm not absolutely set on it. I think I am. So on Monday evening I'll put up a post and, depending on the condition of her, I'll share a few pictures. It's such a big thing, of course it's daunting, but it's the right thing. I'm looking forward to meeting our new pet! 

So that is May! I'm going to go and read a little Proust then have a reasonably early night. Lots to do over the weekend, but I do hope I'll finish that Oliver Twist post soon! 

Happy May, everyone :)


  1. I look forward to visiting your Zola website when you finally make it public. I have wanted to read Zola and should have in April but I never got around to it. I am sure that your website will offer some great information about his works :)

  2. The Magus is a great book! I first read it when I was 14 and it really amazed me. But it has a lot of layers and games with the reader, as all postmodern big ones have.

    1. OK, well that's positive - I'll try it this month :) I've built it up a bit in my mind, I'll probably end up enjoying it!

  3. I've read both The Magus and The French Lieutenant's Woman and consider both my favourites, especially the latter, which I've read more than once. But tastes are so different! :) I'd recommend The French Lieutenant's though if you already know someone who had such a negative emotion connected to The Magus, it's likely to shadow your judgement a bit in one way or another.

    Ooh, congratulations on new family member :) Looking forward to your post on Monday :)

    1. Thank you :)

      Reckon I'm going to try The Magus (see my above comment), but I'll *have* to get around to FLW soon too!


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