Russian Misery and Children’s Parties

To kick off the new year, I have started ‘Anna Karenina’. So far, all I’ve read of Tolstoy has been ‘War and Peace’, and seeing as this is also not a quick read, I thought starting it with the new year, and plod through at my leisure. However, I’m moving through it quicker than I thought, as it’s good! While Tolstoy was a huge snob and not very nice about peasants, he was also not that nice about many of his own class, and rich people being human and fragile is very entertaining.




I am also reading ‘A Man In Love’ but Karlย ร˜ve Knausgaard, which I had been steeling myself for as I hadn’t entirely enjoyed the slow pace of the first one, but that also has turned out better than I expected. Early in the book there is a description of a child’s birthday party that brought back so many agonising memories for me, I think it should be given to teenagers on laminated cards as a form of contraception. Midnight nappy changes and vomit down your top have nothing on crippling, awkward small talk with other parents while children don’t behave and the clock goes in slow motion, until it’s finally an acceptable time to leave. There’s also a trip to a theme park on a roasting hot day that had me breaking out in hives.


This is the face of a man who has seen hell, and knows what it is to seek solitary respite in a toilet for a few minutes.

Either of these could be used as my Around The World 80 Books list, however, I shall be embracing this challenge as a way to read books about places I have not thought about, and I’ve been aware for a while I have read very few Indian authors, and so have ordered this as my first twig of branching out –