Reader’s block

Am reading two rather tough books – tough for different reasons – at the moment. First up is John Keay’s India: A History lent me on the long term by a Norwegian colleague in the job before last; as you may have noticed I have been trying to prioritise my stack of unread history books this year. The basic problem with the early chapters are that he has almost no historical narrative to tie his descriptions of the archaeological evidence to, and I find it therefore a bit difficult to keep straight in my head. And I am looking at the end of the book and thinking, hmm, another 500 pages of this…

The second book is a rather amazing lost classic, The History of Richard Calmady by Lucas Malet (a pseudonym for Charles Kingsley’s daughter Mary) which I’m reading on my Palm Pilot courtesy of Project Gutenberg. I got hold of it because the main character is based to a certain extent on Arthur MacMorrough Kavanagh; it is proving a fascinating and attractive read, and I find myself wondering if Thomas Hardy is really so much better than this author that he deserves to be remembered while she is forgotten? But it is also very long – originally published in three large volumes, and I have barely started the second. Amd again, knowing that I will have to get through it all on the squinty Palm Pilot screen is a bit dismaying; I think the only book of this length I’ve tried reading this way before was A Feast for Crows, and I’m looking at the end and thinking, hmm, another 2500 pagedowns of this? Unfortunately Calmady doesn’t seem to be available in dead tree format for a reasonable price.

So I am looking through the other books at the top of my TBR pile, and hoping that one of them will be suitably diverting to help me get through Keay and Calmady. But am putting off Doctor Who – Vengeance on Varos until tomorrow’s commute.

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