Messing about on the river

We’re off on a family barge holiday next week. Keen to leave the tussling for the captaincy of the vessel to my husband, son and daughter, I’m more concerned about what books to take with me.

I already have Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat at the ready – reading it while drifting along a canal is too good an opportunity to miss, and after watching the BBC documentary about Angela Carter that was on last week, I’ve dug out The Passion of New Eve and Fireworks which I own but haven’t got around to yet. I loved Wise Children and The Magic Toyship but have read mixed reviews of both of these, so we’ll have to see.

To escape from the filthy mire of UK politics and the Tories’ inexcusable courting of the far right, I feel like I’d rather spend time in the company of animals than humans right now, and what cheerier prospect could there be than immersing myself into the world of otters. I’ve always been drawn to their sleek playfulness, and strong family bonds, and have just ordered secondhand copies of Henry Williamson’s Tarka the Otter and Gavin Maxwell’s Ring of Bright Water.

After reading Lucy’s post from a while back, I’ve fancied reading Charles Foster’s account of his unusual immersive experiment of living as various animals, Being a Beast. I just hope it’s not too compelling –  my opinion of the human race is so low right now, I might just jack it all in and take up life as a badger!