I woke up this morning to hear that David Diop’s At Night All Blood Is Black had won the International Booker Prize for 2021. I recently reviewed this book and thought it was an amazing and powerful piece of writing about the effects of war on humanity and a sense of identity. You can read my review for this book here.
I went to Sydney yesterday on a quick trip (an hour and a quarter ride each way, but I didn’t spend long there) to visit the original and largest Dymocks store in Australia. I’d seen they had a complete set of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. Over the years my interest has been piqued by this large work, but whenever I’ve found copies they’ve been second hand copies in poor condition or there hasn’t been a complete set, and I wanted my set to match. I could have ordered it online, I guess, but I prefer to buy my books off the shelf if at all possible. I like to browse. No idea when I will get around to reading these (and many other books I have waiting). These are the cover images from the set I bought yesterday:
I’ve been busy with work and family recently, which has slowed my reading down a bit. But that’s not the only reason I’ve been delayed in posting a review for Paulette Jiles’s News of the World. It’s being doing a dance between my bedroom, the dining room table, the lounge room, my gym bag, possibly the cat’s litter tray and maybe even the oven. Things have become somewhat fluid. I’ve had to admit that I have lost the book. And it’s no use well-meaning people asking me where I lost it. If I knew that, it wouldn’t be lost. So, I’ve started another book for the moment, T.J. Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea, trusting that when I’m no longer looking for News of the World, like a child left hiding while the game of hide n seek has been abandoned by everyone else, it will emerge and look for some reassuring attention. At least, that’s how I think it will happen. Wish me luck!
Yesterday was a good day to get out of the house. I went to Penrith to do some geocaching, which I have done much less of lately, and ended up at the Nepean Rowing Club. We hadn’t had any new panoramas for our front page for some time – the pandemic hasn’t helped – so I thought it would be a good opportunity to put something new on our front page. The panorama, below, sits second in the cycle of panoramas on our front page at the moment. It shows me sitting at the launching pad of the Nepean Rowing club with the Victoria and Railway bridges, side by side, in the background. The orange bridge, further back, was added in the last couple of years for pedestrians, since the way across the Victoria Bridge was narrow and put pedestrians too close to cars.
News of the World has been found!!! (See my blog post for 10 June) Reading can resume!!!!!
I couldn’t find my running shoes this morning (are we seeing a pattern here?) and had to thoroughly search my room for them. The shoes weren’t in my room, but I did find my missing book. I was meant to spend a night in hospital at the end of May and packed my book in my overnight bag, to read that night. The hospital stay had to be postponed until next month, but I left the bag packed and ready to go. Then I got too busy to read for a few days and forgot my book was in that bag. To be honest, I forgot that I hadn’t unpacked the bag.
[Sounds like a senior moment to me - bikerbuddy]
And don’t fret about the shoes - I belatedly remembered they’d got wet last time I ran, and that I’d left them out on a rack to dry.
We’ve been pretty lucky here in Australia, so far, with the whole Covid19 pandemic. But we’ve hit a bit of a problem in the last week. There was a sudden outbreak, now totalling in the hundreds, so now Sydney and the Blue Mountains where we live is back in lockdown again. Our plan for yesterday, before all this happened, was to go into Sydney to rummage around in the bookstores, with a specific book also intended for purchase. Like all other businesses deemed non-essential, bookshops in Sydney are now closed and we can only leave our houses for specific reasons. I’m hoping we have a better vaccination take-up (ours has been very slow, partly because things have been good here, I think, and partly other reasons) and this whole mess is more under control by the end of the year.