Saturday 9 January 2016

Bout of Books 15: Saturday

Bout of Books

Ugh.  Another night where I just couldn't get comfy enough to drift off to sleep...  I ended up having a lie-in until about 10am this morning, despite my alarm being set for 7am so I could get up and do something useful, but... c'est la vie.  It's more important that I get enough sleep at this time of year, potential for seasonal depression and all, so I'm never too worried about what time that sleep happens as long as it does.  Aaaaaanyway, I'm up now, so ON WITH THE READATHON!


Books I've read from:  Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge; The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
Pages read today:  132
Books finished today:  None
Running total:  2 books; 690 pages 
The menu: Blueberry muffin, mixed tinned fruit and coffee; sweet tea; buttered toast with orange and ginger marmalade; apple; Graze 'chocolate pudding' punnet (sultanas, jumbo raisins and chocolate chips); my stepdad's amazing kedgeree with smoked fish, boiled egg, rice, peas and herbs; cocoa puffs with sultanas; vanilla rooibos tea
Today #insixwords:  'Ellie and Charles Dickens: The Reunion'

10:30am:  We begin the day, naturellement, WITHOUT the call of the laptop but WITH the readathon breakfast of champions: blueberry muffin, fruity goodness, and a small bucket of coffee.  I'm diving straight back into Zoo this morning, because I'm intrigued and worried and puzzled and I'm not quiiiiite sure what's happening.  The sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach (as well as the hefty remaining page count) is telling me that the animal-human conflict is probably going to get a lot worse before it gets better.  Always a good draw to keep turning those pages!

1:30pm:  Oooooh, things are getting really scary in Zoo!  I'm still reading, over a lunch of buttered toast with orange and ginger marmalade (my favourite), an apple and more coffee.  Our protagonist Oz, a young biologist, and his new friend Chloe have just returned from their scary trip to Botswana and are now up against government red tape, disbelieving officials and the awful possibility that the change in animal behaviour may have made it to the US.  Properly, not just the odd isolated incident.  What I like about this book so far is that it combines the best of all elements of a biothriller - intelligent theories, interesting characters, overarching menace and just enough shocking moments to remind the reader that the situation isn't just bad, it's outright terrifying.

4:30pm:  STOP THE PRESSES.  I HAVE BEEN FOR A WALK.  Yes, this IS news, in my world anyway.  Regular readers of this blog and people I've known from days of yore may remember that I left university due to crippling levels of agoraphobia which left me completely housebound.  Obviously things are not at that point any more - I don't have a panic attack every time I go outside - but I've noticed that over recent months I've been deteriorating again to the point where I only really leave the house to hop in the car and visit my sister, or go to Tesco or to the doctor's surgery for my prescriptions.  Even then it's not always voluntary.  It's not good.  My world has narrowed to my room again, and if I'm not careful it will stay that way.  And obviously, this has health implications for everything else too, including my weight, my cholesterol, my bad hip, my sleep patterns, my IBS, my potential for depression... EVERYTHING.

So, I decided to go for a walk.  Just one, little, fifteen-minute, round-the-block walk.  Even then I had to psych myself up for a few minutes first, and I thought about putting it off 'until another day' because it was raining a bit.  BUT I WENT.  Without my phone, but with my camera, because some of my favourite photos that I've ever taken have been a result of happening to have my camera in my pocket at the right moment.  Gently, at a relaxed pace, just enjoying the breeze on my face and the scent of damp trees and earth, for the first time in MONTHS.  I have a bit of a headache now (cold wind whistling in my ears, it's been getting me like this since I was a kid), and I think my dicky hip will feel the sudden switch from 'sitting still' to 'striding purposefully up and down hills', but... I went.  One step at a time, right?

8:45pm: Another readathon day draws to a close... I've kind of faltered a bit with Zoo as the day's worn on (I'm wondering if the title should actually be ZOO, as it's a government acronym in the book now, but whatever), but I HAVE spent a few sweet minutes diving back into the first chapter of The Pickwick Papers.  Back in 2014 there was a readalong of this book going on, which I was really enjoying.  Unfortunately everyone else, including the host (*eyes Bex sternly*) was bored stiff, and the whole thing fell apart.  After several months of it just sitting there on my bookshelf, I pulled the bookmark on it, and I've decided to start again from the beginning.  This time I'll read one or two chapters a week instead of cramming a ton of them in there (all the better to appreciate the humour and the many stories-within-the-story), PLUS I won't have a blog feed full of weekly doses of hatred for it this time around.  So hopefully it'll be a more positive reading experience all round!

Aaaanyway, I read the first little chapter - reintroducing myself to the key four Pickwickians: honourable Mr Pickwick, romantic Mr Tupman, sporting Mr Winkle and poetic Mr Snodgrass - and now I'm going to turn the laptop off (as per the rules of a digital sundown, which I'm trying in an attempt to counter my ongoing inability to get to sleep at night), read a bit, maybe do some colouring in the fancy Secret Garden artist edition thingy my sister bought me for Christmas?  One more day left, fellow readers!  UNTIL TOMORROW!

Quote of the day:  "Turns out an apocalypse actually comes on pretty slowly.  Not fire and brimstone but rust and dandelions.  Not a bang but a whimper."
- from Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Hosted by Once Upon a Chapter

I have two comfy reading spots, kinda.  The most obvious one is, of course, my library corner.  It's got a bright light and books and lots of cushions - including my two new ones, based on Psycho and Beauty and the Beast (the Gemini in me is strong - Disney and death, that's the best way).  HOWEVER, the Ikea chair is not as comfy as it appeared in the store - it tips me backwards so my head's at the wrong angle to read, and it pulls on my bad hip - so I don't sit there often at the moment.  I might have to admit defeat and buy a new chair sometime soon.  Maybe a Poang one from Ikea?

My favoured reading spot at the moment is on my bed.  See the picture of my library above?  Well, on the left hand side there's another set of Kallax cubes, forming the last part of a square 'U' shape of shelving.  On the other side of THAT is my bed.  The library side of the shelves are filled with more books, and the bed side houses some of my DVDs, my sunrise alarm clock lamp radio thingy, my current reads and a heap of backlogged Graze boxes.  I have more cushions, my 'Bee Happy' canvas from our local honey farm, plus lots of natural light from the big window.  Also it's nearer the radiator, which comes in quite handy at this time of year.  :)

Just a few more hours of the readathon to go...