Camping out with Goethe and Luther
I love an impromptu weekend at a £12-a-night campsite in the Highlands, but I don’t love the obligatory two hours of mother-daughter bickering punctuated by cries of ‘Not that left, the other left!’ that is us putting up our tent. So, I bought a small 2-man pop-up tent (or one woman-one cat as I have now judged it to be) to make the whole process easier. And seeing as it was so quick and easy, I decided to camp out in my garden to give the tent a test run. As it’s light pretty much all night at this time of year this meant I could spend the evening wrapped in my duvet in the garden, poring over a big haul of library books. And later, it was finally a reason to use a weird pink light up Buddha that was a novelty Christmas present. However, I noticed when approaching my tent after a night time loo-trip it did rather give it an Amsterdam vibe from the outside, so might be best not take it with me on my travels…
I picked the books due a reasons that range from sensible to contrary to no solid reason at all. The Maria Semple is because I thought the name was familiar but couldn’t remember why and the cover looked fun. Yrsa Sigurðardóttir was my sensible choice as I like a bit of Nordic Noir, and have liked other books of hers. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova was on one of those displays they have on the end of an isle to tempt browsing readers, and it rung a bell as being a I had heard about this Gothic/Vlad Tepes/Dracula debt novel that was ten years in the planning and writing. Andreï Makine appealed as a review on the back from ‘The Spectator’ states that Makine is better than Proust, so I was effectively goaded into getting it out.
I’ll never quite understand why I have over 50 unread novels and non-fiction history books on my shelves, yet I don’t fancy any of them and only what I don’t have. However, it’s really important to support libraries, as well as book shops, so whatever I do, I’m either helping the economy or engaging with public services that must be used or lost. So yay, go me!