read_warbler (read_warbler) wrote,

To read or not to read?

I'm about 80 pages into the book I'm reading - and struggling. I can't decide whether I can't concentrate because real life is a little difficult at the moment or whether I genuinely don't like the book. It's The Whale Road by Robert Low, an historical about Vikings, and very 'blokey' if you know what I mean? A lot of blood and gore, axes in foreheads and entrails all over the place. I even had dreams about it the other night and not very nice ones either. I know I've said this before but I honestly don't like giving up on a book but one of my reading resolutions this year (along with the short story thing) was to be more relaxed about reading. Not so obsessed with numbers and allowing myself to stop reading a novel long enough to read a few magazines or short stories. I'm inclined to think that should also include giving up on a book when it starts to give you nightmares. So, that's the first book of the year for the charity shop pile. *Unless* you like blood and gore? Please say and it's yours!

In the meantime I'm loving Trollope the Traveller edited by Graham Handley. It's chock full of snippets like

Bear in mind Trollope worked for the Post Office all his life.

I have said that the cross mail conveyances in Canada did not seem to be very closely bound as to time; but they are regulated by clock-work in comparison with some of them in the United States. 'Are you going this morning?' I said to a mail-driver in Vermont. 'I thought you always started in the evening.' 'Wa'll; I guess I do. But it rained some last night, so I jist stayed at home.' I do not know that I have ever felt more shocked in my life, and I could hardly keep my tongue off the man. The mails, however, would have paid no respect to me in Vermont, and I was obliged to walk away crestfallen.


'I doubt if the lady can do it,' one man said to me. I asked if ladies did not sometimes go up. 'Yes; young women do, at times,' he said. After that my wife resolved that she would see the top of the Owl's Head, or die in the attempt, and so we started. They never think of sending a guide with one in these places, whereas in Europe a traveller is not allowed to go a step without one. When I asked for one to show us the way up Mt. Washington, I was told there were no idle boys about that place. The path was indicated to us, and off we started with high hopes.

The book is sheer joy if you like 19th. century travel books. I now need to find out where 'the Owl's Head' mountain is. They saw the sun set from the top... entirely forgetting that would then mean they had to come down the mountain in the dark! Ooops.

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