Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

winter stories

All my life I have tried to enjoy short stories because I believe them to be – at best – taut, well crafted works of art. But even by my favourite authors, I cannot really abide them. This I think is because for me, leisure reading is about disappearing for a couple of hours into another world of time or place or experience and short stories simply don’t deliver that. I managed to read A winter book because the stories are sufficiently themed and sequential to almost deliver the other sense of time and place that a novel would. Unlike Emily, that place is beguiling for me, a place I believe I’d love to be (though I’d need it without the mosquitoes, sea sickness and fish). As in A summer book, Jansson writes beautifully, evoking that time and place and those lives with effortless (?) skill. And, a good choice of story to end with.

As to choosing our own books for TIS – good idea. I think by now we have some notion of each other’s tastes, sufficient to choose suitable reading matter which extends rather than extinguishes. Shall we do it by alphabetical order of first names, which is particularly memorable for Valerie and me as that’s how we work our proximal reading group. You may find yourself out of a job Emily. So by my calculation, that’s Helen to start us off, when given the go-ahead.