View (of the weeds) over the top of my book.

Firstly, in my defence, I can’t mow my lawn as it’s about half an acre and has relief-map worthy pot holes, bits where old troughs have been dug out, fallen trees, the lot. The farmer/landlord has always sent a lad in a tractor to do it, so that fact my grass is long enough for the cat to happily hide in, is not my fault. When farms get busy, lawns get forgotten.

This also means the weeds know no holds, they just march across the lawn as they like. I have decided to go with this, and class my garden as butterfly-friendly with an abundance of wild flowers. And in this unusually-actually-seasonably warm weather I’ve been sitting out and reading Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread. It’s one of those books that makes your own bizarre family, and the issue of elderly parents and difficult siblings seem normal. Just as it’s hip to be square, it’s normal to be messed-up. Tyler’s special skill is drawing characters, and I can’t believe this is just the first books of her’s I’ve read. And in case you’re wondering, yes, those are little solar lights poked between the stones of the weed-covered wall. Putting multi-coloured lights among the weeds helps substantiate my claim that I purposely want my garden to look like this.


After A Spool of Blue Thread I was in the mood for more family sagas, and so stopped off at the library where I got Anne Enright’s The Green Road. I read one page while standing at the shelves and saw the words ‘cheese on toast’ and that was me sold.


And while I love historical fiction I am usually very wary of books with clothes on the front. Arranged ruffles and curls make me think these books are what would happen if Channel 5 teamed up with Closer magazine to make a period drama. I’ve opened the dress one (Janet Ellis, her off the telly!) and truly did not give it a chance as the narrator was annoying, so after ten pages I left it. The Shoes One is yet to be judged, but it’s already got some ground to make up due to the horrid, dire, wrong cover. Scroll back up the interesting, atmospheric Anne Enright Covers, then back down to these. If it’s wrong to judge books by their covers, they need to make them less patently CRAP.