So here goes …

Book heartOne of the things that preoccupies me unduly, in a hopefully remote future, is the prospect of losing my marbles and therefore by extension losing my love for books and my ability to gain pleasure from them. In the superlatively fantastic novel “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova, recently translated so well to the big screen to Oscar-ridden success, there is a passage that still resonates with me now, even though I read the book four or five years ago while our family was experiencing first hand the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s as it took its inexorable hold on my dad:

”  She’d been about half way through Moby-Dick and lost it…They’d looked in every peculiar spot that only a demented person would place a book – the refrigerator and freezer, the pantry, their dresser drawers, the linen closet, the fireplace…She hoped she’d left it on the beach. That was at least something she’d have done before Alzheimer’s.”

But there is worse to come:

“John had offered to pick her up another copy. Maybe he’d gone to the bookstore. She hoped he had. If she waited much longer, she’d forget what she’d already read and have to start over”.

And there lies the dreaded rub with this kind of hereditary illness. At the ripe old age of 52 there are still countless, innumerable stacks of books on my “To Read” list, not to mention my over-burdened shelves, and every time I go near the beloved Good Reads website I have to restrain myself from adding a whole batch more of novels I would like to get through before the year is out, not to mention the decade. So what could be worse than the thought of all those fantastic reads you have made your way through just being effaced from your memory bank? I have, sadly, Excel spreadsheets that record what I have been reading since I started taking note about ten years ago (‘tis pitiable, I know, but there are worse pastimes), and confess all these books have even been awarded points out of ten – are you grimacing out loud already…but the idea that I will sometime have no idea that it was the unhinged Mrs Rochester who set the place alight, or that it was unproven but most likely culpable Mrs Danvers who was up to similarly but more calculatedly nefarious acts her end too makes me feel inestimably saddened. To aspire to be well read is all well and good, but I sometimes sense the scope of it to be beyond me – and potentially fear that one day all will be well and truly lost.

Soooo, rather than trail around miserably waiting for the ceiling to cave in Chicken-Licken style, I thought I might try looking at things from the opposite end of the spectrum, and dedicate a little time to enjoying all those books past, present and future even more right here right now. For as a good friend would have it, a little touch of the ultra positive “carpe diem” philosophy might well be in order in celebrating living life to the full, and as my pen-pal keeps urging: “just write, my friend, write!”.

So here goes.

Images taken from here and here.
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14 Responses to So here goes …

  1. Caroline B says:

    All I can say Nicola, is ‘Bravo’ to you for taking the leap! It’s fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Caroline, here goes ….. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Monique Pannetier says:

    Well done Nicola! will now follow your readings from not so far away where books are a plenty but reviews not so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Keep me posted with your recommendations so we can compare notes and literally ramble to our heart’s content whenever you are in Paris xx


  5. Sharyn Farrell says:

    Thanks Nicola,now I can add a few more books to my long list still to read.Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Sharyn – it’s thanks to you via Julie that I bought “Burial Rites”, please send on more recommendations! Hope all is well, xx


  7. Kerstin C says:

    Nicola, your blog is fantastic, I love it! Do you know that Alicia Vikander is from Sweden?
    Keep on writing, I’ll keep on reading!
    k xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kerstin, I think Alicia is going to be one of the biggest stars of this new generation of actresses, don’t know if you agree? She was the pure Kitty in ‘Anna Karenina’, and before that was of course the perfectly brilliant (English) queen married to the batty Danish king in ‘A Royal Affair’. So that means she is very well acquainted not only with Michael F – but top crush of all time Mads Mikkelsen … Sigh. Yours wistfully, Nicola


  9. margot says:

    Love that your blog opens with Crossing to Safety. Especially that you’re jumping in with a leap of faith in your desire to share your literary love and musings with the rest of us starved creatures who will reslish on your every word. no pressure.. xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Margot, thank you! Looking forward to sharing some good books together and the odd spot of rambling… Nicola


  11. Rachel says:

    Nicola, this is BRILLIANT! You have a wonderful way with words and I can’t wait to read those of your favourites that I haven’t yet read. Thank you for inspiring me to try to read more than door handle brochures at the moment!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Rachel, hope that the brochures can all be filed away by the summer and that you can finally enjoy some lounging about doing some much deserved ‘serious’ reading! Looking forward to sharing many recommendations over the months and years to come. Nicolax


  13. Laurence says:

    Nicola, I am just back from the Springfest and now enjoying your blog ! I adore it. I am going to start by Donna Tartt, the Goldfinch. Bonne continuation … Laurence

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hello Laurence, how fantastic to see your comment – so soon!
    Please let me know what you think of “The Goldfinch”, will email you very soon and look forward to seeing you next time (not on the metro!).
    A très bientôt, bonne dimanche – in fact, bonne fête des mères tomorrow.


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