In a recent review post, I described a novel as an undemanding read, and when, I did so a second time, I was challenged to define what I meant. Pondering this on a morning walk, it struck me that it’s easier to identify what such a book isn’t than what it is, which feels rather negative or damning with faint praise. Which wasn’t my intention, at least consciously. But don’t you also find that some books – and particularly novels – are just okay, without there being anything special about them? And is that in itself okay?
Perhaps my undemanding read is what I was looking for at the end of last month: the type of book to read when unwell. Something that doesn’t stretch already limited resources but nor does it pretend everything’s rosy when all I can feel are thorns.
I’m not sure if I’ve nailed it or simply said that reading preferences vary, as I might have mentioned before. You can see my other posts on reading here.
In my dreams, I’m a literary eminence, advising – no, dictating – what everyone should read. Should I make this the subject of this week’s 99-word story, or is there a more pertinent kind of eminence I ought to mark on the day Britain was due to leave the EU? It’s a bittersweet moment for we Remainers: happy to be citizens of Europe a little longer; angry and embarrassed at the shambles our parliament has been shown to be. So I’ll hand over to the Leavers to explain:
We voted to abolish experts. Let the people have their say! Don’t bore us with details, wave your magic wand and make it happen. Would a surgeon go through such a back-and-forth to amputate a limb?
Yes, the Leave campaign deceived us. Yes, the rich will win whichever way we go. We’ll wave our flags as pigs fly in eminence above us. We’ll plug our ears when boffins threaten to explain.
We are the mother of parliaments. We are the brave who take back control. We are the laughing stock of Europe. We are the fools of the world.