So here I am a week into a fortnight away from work and finally getting fingers to keys. MrsB has come down with Sinusitis and spent the last couple of days in bed, so we haven't been out and about as much as planned, but that does mean I've got through a couple of books which I am going to waffle on about today. Site reports from where we have managed to go another time.
Following the Fiction Fatigue mentioned previously, I decided to try something out of my normal comfort zone. Grey Area, a collection of short stories by Will Self has been sat on the shelf for a number of years (MrsB bought it for me when he first became a team captain on Shooting Stars) and part of me kind of wishes it was still there untouched. At least then I'd still have a reason to be unsure if I liked it or not! As it is, I just don't know. I have tended to shy away from what I call "literary fiction" over the years as the bits I have dipped into just don't seem to go anywhere. I want my books to engage me and give me something to look forward to beyond my life. But when I have to stop to look words up, or people just sit around not doing much I tend to lose interest. It is the same reason I don't watch certain films or tv shows.
Here we meet junkies, researchers, office workers, school kids and more - all of whom have been given enough of a tale to stop me skipping any of the stories, but not enough to have me jumping ahead to make sure they come out OK or to want to meet them again. So, nothing that really engaged me and I wouldn't agree with the rave review quotes on the jacket either. I'll maybe try something else of his if I see it cheap (or venture into the Library) but I'm not exactly rushing to Amazon.
Far more enjoyable (and back in the real world of non-fiction) was Seb Hunter's memoir Hell Bent For Leather. As may have been made obvious by posts about music, I do like a bit of the old heavy metal and Seb lived the lifestyle to the full. Born the same year as me, he picked up a guitar and made use of it rather than just listening in from the sides. Never made it big, so I can't comment on whether any of his bands were any good, but a real page-turner to find out what happened next. (And I've just spotted his website here which has MP3s, so will have to investigate those later - and he has more books I will now have to order). My only problem was that I bought this in Canada so it is a North American edition, edited for that market. Surely they can cope with the London Underground being referred to as that (or the Tube) and don't need every reference changing to the Subway? And other such cross-culturalism.
Anyhow, this brought back loads of memories for me relating how I felt about the same bands, clothes, magazines etc that Hunter mentions and has also made me dig out several old tapes to add to the "find this on CD or at least digitise it" pile. Recommended for anyone who has ever liked a guitar played loud.