It’s been awhile

Having skimmed through Pullman and Gaiman in a matter of days (they both end in 'man'!), I'm currently on Bawden.

It's strange how books are like people; to further facilitate the analogy, Pullman's books the type of person that you get to know first before you realise a lot of people approve of him; Gaiman's books the kind of person whose reputation precedes him before you realise he's nothing great at all, nothing like what you've heard. And Bawden? Nina Bawden, who wrote Circles of Deceit which I'm reading now's the girl, that girl you've always known since like forever and never really cared about, she was just there. Then one day you take a second look at her and she seems a different person, astonishingly attractive, someone you'd like to get to know better since you couldn't believe you'd ignored her all these years.

But that's taking the analogy a bit far, I admit. I grew up reading her books, two of them to be precise. They were childrens books, but as any sufficiently read person will tell you, writing what we casually toss off as books for kids takes a lot of effort, if not more than your usual novel. Dad used to buy tons of books for me, loads of them that still lie around the house, now collecting dust since I know them by heart.

The books themselves were forgettable, not exactly my favourites. Not that I actually have favourites when it comes to books, there being so many of them around. Pretty much like asking an emperor of ancient China which concubine he likes most — given the size of the harems in those days I doubt any one of them'd be disposed to favouring one. But I digress.

It's pretty nice to one day, walk into the library and find a book that has a name that resonates. Circles of Deceit was nominated for the Booker prize, so back to that analogy I go: it's interesting, it really is. Someone (books, in case it's eating you as to what) there all along, just being in your life and then looking at the person one day to realise she's come a long way, quite different from that person you knew when you were young. And there's a whole new side, one you've never really thought was there.

Yeah, it's pretty nice. Carrie's War, this other book she wrote that I read once, and didn't like because it was dull, or so I thought, won the Phoenix Award. What's that, you ask? Apparently it's something awarded annually to a book originally published twenty years ago, that didn't receive a major award at that time. Strange what bores you 3/4ths of a decade ago now becomes tolerable, interesting even; but maybe it's just that coming-of-age thing they talk about. Maturing thought process, all that. There was a lot of character development in that book, emotionally relevant moments that I didn't really appreciate then. My idea of a good book had fantasy, 'supernatural' elements like how a certain opposition party would term it. Carrie's War had nothing of that, just two kids, a brother and a sister, living with terrible guardians in a war I didn't remember.

Nice to know that someone's out there, noticing.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Authors, Literature, Novels

One Comment on “It’s been awhile”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I’m sure the Chinese emperors had their favourites…. heheh.
    Who wouldn’t…? ;)

    Anyway… ah. Fascination with books. I think you’re on the on the write tack to primordial righting seminality.

    Just remember to not get too self-indulgent tho. Once in a while can… or maybe the disciplinarians might say, ‘nay nay’ even. You decide the pace, i guess.

    Scratch marks,
    Yosh


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