So this is the end of the Challenge and I’m finishing it a day late. What can I say, it’s been a busy month and I got a bit frustrated at the last few Days because the order doesn’t really work and the choices are a bit dull.
I wish I’d spotted that earlier in the month and done a bit of creative re-writing of the list – where’s the Day for book that makes you fear for the future? Or the book that you wish to give your worst enemy? The book you think would help your best friend?
The book you think should be compulsory reading at school? The book that every bride should read and every groom should fear? The book that mothers should be given a copy of by the NHS at their first midwife appointment and the book your partner should hold open as you try to feed your baby for the first time? The book that will stop your child’s tantrums and the book that they will choose a university from?
The book you want to press into the hands of strangers on the train? The book with the “chick-lit pink” cover that makes me grind my teeth? The book that’s left on a table in the pub because no one wants to be lumbered taking it home? Or the badly written twee-fest book that book club makes us draw lots for from Mrs Jess’s cleavage?
I’ve completed the 30-Day Challenge below but I’d love to know which Days you think are missing? What book do you need to tell all about?
Day 28 – Last book you read
I’ve already covered this – See Day 22
Day 29 – Book you’re currently reading
This is a real treat – a new Lord Peter Wimsey tale, The Attenbury Emeralds. But of course Sayers died in 1957 so this one is by Jill Paton Walsh, and is her third Wimsey novel. I was very nervous on opening her first attempt at continuing where Sayers laid off – Thrones, Dominations - but she stayed true to the characters and the writing. Her second – A Presumption of Death - was even more enjoyable, expanding on the post-marriage Wimsey family life that Sayers had only briefly touched on.
I have the greatest admiration for Walsh because Sayers set a very high standard to follow, peppering her novels and short stories with classical and literary quotes and references. There can’t be many authors willing to pick up such beloved characters and risk the wrath of generations of devoted readers.
Day 30 – Favourite coffee table book
We don’t keep books on the coffee table – Rhys believes the coffee table is for sitting on to watch TV and Meredith thinks pretty books and magazines are a tasty snack. Instead, our books are lined up on book shelves, peek out from under the foot stool, lurk in bags, sit next to the loo, hide under our beds, prop up my desk, get shoved at visitors…
If the Challenge writers mean an aspirational picture book to display to visitors so they know you have a secret passion for something intellectual, then I’m not sure if my choice is an anti-establishment revolt or mundane middle-class-mother-tries-too-hard.
I love Banksy’s Wall and Piece . It has a photo of the”Hitchhiker to nowhere” that reminds me of my time in London. I passed the Hitchhiker in Archway everyday for years but rarely actually saw the image because of its position; it was always a smile moment when I walked down Highgate Hill and spotted the figure lurking at the bottom.
It also reminds me of my first time abroad when we hitchhiked to Paris as part of a University of St Andrews charity fundraiser stunt. Stopping a mad illegal immigrant Estonian, driving – in the loosest sense of the word – an ancient Volvo and a prehistoric caravan, from reversing back onto the autoroute to avoid paying a toll is about as wild as my life has got.