There is an ever growing pile of books on my bedside table that, as it grows, gets ever more threatening. I’ve been in earthquakes in the past where the thing that woke me up was not the shaking but the stack of books that tumbled off the table and onto me. You would think I’d learn and yet…
I’ve started all of these books and the real problem is that they are all excellent. It’s so easy to choose one wonderful book from an otherwise mediocre selection. It’s much harder to prioritize one engaging, intelligent, entertaining book over its equal. And yet that is exactly what I need to do now or else I shall just be paralysed with indecision and the stack will keep growing and growing.
But what to pick? I’m furthest into Miss Ranskill Comes Home by Barbara Euphan Todd and I know it would be the quickest to finish, but, with a whole rainy Sunday stretching before me, Sailing to Sarantium by the fabulous Guy Gavriel Kay beckons. The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope is also calling to me, reminding me that Trollope really is the perfect Sunday author, full of humour, warm domestic scenes, and some of my favourite characters. And then there are all the non-fiction choices: The Politics of Washing by Polly Coles, which would let me escape to Venice for the day; The Village Effect by Susan Pinker, which would probably remind me that I should be out socialising instead of reading the day away; and Women of the World by Helen McCarthy, which is inspiring me with tales of diplomatic life and politics (and reminding me of my youthful desire to become a diplomat).
Difficult choices lie ahead but at least they’re pleasant ones.