We meet one Wednesday every month and it varies because people have other commitments and we are such a small group we can be flexible. I am going there tonight with my head held high… because I liked the book! So often the books we read have not been to my taste… I guess I am a fussy reader. I wonder if I am narrow in what I read? Well, at the moment having just really enjoyed Bruce Chatwin, ‘On The Black Hill’, and am currently reading a biography of Sir Francis Walsingham and ‘The Rivers of London’ by Ben Aronovitch, three more dissimilar books you might not be able to think of, maybe I could say I am not a fussy reader but a particular reader.
Bruce Chatwin is the novel we have been reading with the group, and if you want an example of how to write beautifully, how to make every word count and how to present characters, follow a narrative, create a setting and keep you readers gripped and involved, then ‘On The Black Hill’ is the book. If I say it made me slightly depressed, it is only because I never, never could aspire to be even one tenth as good at writing as Chatwin; he is superb. I now write on my computer for the most part (I do have a note-book which I use while travelling – a paper one I mean) so the actual physical task of writing is much easier… you want to change a name? Easy, go to ‘replace’; you want to check how many times you’ve used the word ‘bounding’ – you can check and rewrite; you want to move this piece of conversation from here to there – easy! How many words? How many pages? Get rid of a character? Insert a description? Easy with modern technology. I don’t know if Chatwin wrote using a typewriter or using a pen or even pencil and paper, but certainly he crafted magic without all the short-cuts we have.