August’s Goodreads Challenge – Lucky Jim

Here’s to a bad book blogger!

In August, I think it was, I was meant to read Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim. A short book about mishaps in academia, I thought it would be a quick zip through – probably why I didn’t pick it up until the last week in August. But then somehow life caught up with me and tripped me up, and now look at me: writing that review in October! It took me most of September to finally read. So then, having not learnt from my mistakes, I picked an even bigger book to try and cram in the last five days of September – A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Hackness. Well, in terms of speed I’m managing that much better, but it’s October now and I’m not even halfway through.

I’ve not been reading much and I’ve certainly not been writing much. It makes you feel loads rubbish about it all – even though I know things like self-imposed challenges aren’t exactly life or death. There has been a lot going on recently, and I am trying to organise myself. I started a new job, we’re moving house, lots of exciting things are happening on the farm – and slowly I’m getting back into writing.

I enjoyed Lucky Jim and I did laugh out loud for quite a few bits. It’s not my usual fare and reads a little too high-brow-making-fun-of-low-brow. I think my main issue was with the character of Jim. He thought too much about all of the wrong things, and while his escapades were very funny and outrageous, it all just felt a little too heartless. The university environment was nicely recreated, and there was something great about his eternally-distracted head of department. While I maybe didn’t have a lecturer quite at that level, there were echoes of familiarity.

I’ve started on A Discovery of Witches and while I’m fighting the neverending stereotypes that perpetuate that kind of supernatural writing – of which I’ve read a great deal – I am enjoying it. It is reading a little bit like Twilight for graduates, and I can’t help but see Matthew Clairmont as a bit of a cliche. There’s time yet, though!

I have three more books in my stack to read. At least one is non-fiction, another is an Ian McEwan, and I can’t remember what the third one is. As I’m packing things up for the big move, I can help but stress at the sheer volume of books I own. I’m a book addict!



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