Today has been one of those days of frustration where the posts I was trying to write weren't coming together properly at all, so I've abandoned them and thought we might just have a bit of a blether instead. This suggestion may be met with silence broken only by the sound of readers clicking over to other more interesting blogs, but I hope someone will feel like hanging around for a bit of chat, or raising some bookish (or other) subject we can all talk about. Meanwhile, I'll put the virtual kettle on and offer one or two casual questions to start us off:
- Has studying a book for an exam ever made you sick of it that years later you still shudder to think of it and would never re-read it or try anything else by that author?
- Has a novelist ever written of a place or person so convincingly that you've believed them to be real? (I ask that because still people come here searching for the paintings of the fictitious artist Jennet Mallow from Francesca Kay's An Equal Stillness - I'm not surprised, as they are so convincingly 'realised' in the novel).
- If you had the collective ear of all the big publishers, what - as a reader or consumer of books - would you say to them? Would you request more of this and less of that? More attention paid to editing and higher production values? Support for the so-called midlist authors who are often abandoned in favour of debut novelists? If you had power and influence to shape things in publishing, what might you do?
- Would you prefer tea or coffee, and who's for a slice of the best banana bread ever? (Recipe in Leon: Baking & Puddings, made by Harriet to help fuel her revision of The Go-Between for today's Higher English exam - see above).