Saturday, 22 November 2014

breakdown and some book talk

        So.........that was not intended, that blogging break.  As most of you know, I live in Ottawa, Canada, the capital city of our country.  The shooting that took place here on Oct 22 has had an effect on me due to past traumas, and I am now off work for an undetermined length of time.  Something happened at work that shocked me deeply that day.  I won't go into details here, except to say that it is a kind of breakdown and means I am now in therapy to heal. 

You would think this would leave me plenty of time to read.  I am so sad to say the opposite has happened.  I am only able to read a little, an hour or there, a few times now 2 hours in a row, though it's difficult for me to concentrate in the second hour.  I know because I was reading the ending to Revolution by C.J. Sansom this morning, and even though it was incredibly gripping, I had to force myself to concentrate to get through the ending.  I get easily distracted, loud noises bother me, and I'm still in a kind of state of alert still.  Concentrating on anything is difficult, even tv and movies I get bored with quickly.  So, please bear with me over the next few months as I work my way through what's happened to me.  I want to talk about books! 

It has been so bad that other than buying a book at the end of October, I haven't been able to look for books really.  If I go into a bookstore, I gaze at the shelves, knowing it's futile to look when I can't read what I have at home.  I was beginning to despair - Christmas is coming!  I have two books so far on my Christmas wishlist - Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food, and the new Stephen King - Revival . Nothing else. Would I even get a list started this year?  Then, today, I felt a little bored - yes, bored! I want to know what's new in books.  I went to a blog randomly, a RIP roundup, and there it was!  A book I WANT TO READ!!!!

Jackaby by William Ritter. The blog I went to was We Be Reading, her post with the book is here.

Part of my difficulty with reading is that I couldn't read mysteries with their murders since Oct 22.  A young man died during the shooting here, and I can't read much made-up stories while the grief and the horror are still fresh.  So I've picked up so many books in the weeks since and put them down.  I have a stack of first chapters' read books now.  I can't get past most of them, not yet.  So to finish Revolution was fabulous.

I was doing so well before the shooting in terms of my reading goals.  I was up to 76 books, and figured I could get to 80 before the end of Oct, and so had a good chance of getting to 100 this year.  That goal is gone.  It was a goal, but as with many things, since Oct 22, it's not for me right now.  Now, finishing a book is a goal for me to know I am mending in my mind and spirit.

So, while Jackaby looks light and fluffy, it also looks fun and adventurous and in the past.  Yes, so far the books I have been able to read - 2 so far - have been set in the past.  The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory  - I figured based on historical fact, and their lives were much more stressful and dangerous than mine, and Revolution by Sansom.  Both set in Henry 8th times, too.  Hmm.

Anyway, no book review today, and I will do a final RIP round-up hopefully during the week. I wanted to let you know that this break was not intended, and that I do miss being able to talk about books regularly.  I miss you, dear gentle readers.  I will be in as I'm able to. More, now that I've been able to start again.  I hope.  Fingers crossed.


Nan said...

I'm so sorry. I didn't know you lived there. And to have something personally upsetting as well is just too much. I wish I lived closer. Perhaps reading kinder, gentler books would be easier? Miss Read always does it for me. Or your own Bill Richardson's little masterpiece, says I, Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast. Gladys Taber is always wonderful. Again, I'm sorry and will be thinking of you.

Susan said...

Nan: thank you so much! I have been trying all kinds of books, from Charles Dickens, to Dodie Smith - I Capture the Castle, to non-fiction biographies, to George Eliot, and several mysteries. Thank you for your suggestions, I am going to go look up Gladys Taber now. I know I've thought about picking up a Miss REad, but can't remember if I did. Our library usually has one, so I will look for one to try. Thank you for your kind thoughts, too. I wish you lived closer too! It would be wonderful if the group of us who lived in the Northeast here could meet up somehow one day :-) I'd love that.

Susan said...

Nan: I just looked up Gladys Taber on Amazon. Wow, how did I ever miss her? She sounds perfect. Thank you so very much!!!

Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

I'm so sorry - I wondered about your silence on the blog! It's so hard when reading brings back the memories and horror of it all. I hope you fare better with Miss Read and Gladys Taber - both such gentle writers of beautiful books. Thinking of you - take care!

Cath said...

I knew what was going on with you from FB of course but I'm really pleased to see your post here as well. Take time to heal, Susan. Don't feel pressured by blogging or the feeling that you have to read. You don't. Give yourself space and time.

Angela Thirkell is another author I would add to Miss Read. I love both of them.

Take care. *Hugs*

Susan said...

Margaret: Thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts. My library has Gladys Taber so I have requested two of her books. Miss Read I hope to find in a good used book store tomorrow :-)

Cath: I know, FB is a good way to keep in touch, isn't it? I missed being on here though, and seeing people talk about books.

I am taking time to heal, as much as I can (and need). Thanks :-) It's mostly me wanting to read, knowing that reading is a comfort for me and a way that I heal, so it feels upsetting that I struggle with that too.

I wondered if you or Jodie would bring up Angela Thirkell! lol I've checked over here, and she's difficult to find, so as I can get back into bookstores to look, I will keep looking for her. So far it's hard to concentrate in bookstores, another sad sign for me :-(

Thank you for your hug, and hugs back.

Stefanie said...

So very sorry to hear your news. I am glad you are feeling well enough to do a post. I hope you continue on the path of healing. Big hugs!

Emily Barton said...

So sorry to hear what you've been going through. I imagine it may be a bit like the way I felt after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut -- although everyone is different. I didn't read much. Spent a lot of time playing addictive computer games. I've found, though, that going back to childhood favorites, when it comes to books, is a good thing to do in times of trauma. Good luck with your healing!

JaneGS said...

I'm sorry to hear that you're having trouble and my thoughts are with you as you work through the trauma. I can understand how reading mysteries would not be a good idea. I have a friend who swears by Austen and Heyer as therapeutic reading, and returning to old favorite might be a way of healing and finding a reading groove again. I find starting new books to be difficult sometimes--new characters, scenes, situations to learn about, but rereading is like visiting an old friend.

Take care and best wishes.

raidergirl3 said...

So sorry - it was just terrible in Ottawa, and so sorry that you're in a troubled state. I'm sending good thoughts and wishes and hopes for good books. When you're ready, the blog (and we) will be waiting for you.

Susan said...

Stefanie: thank you so much. I am still healing, it's slow going though. Much slower than I'd like!

Emily: thank you for sharing what you want through after Sandy Hook. I wondered at your silence, how you were doing. One problem I have is that I can't concentrate on anything so even video games start to annoy me quickly. I think I'm supposed to pay attention to me, right now! lol I did think about Anne of Green Gables (one of my childhood comfort books) but as I can't read long enough, and I know it's kind of long-winded in places, I can't read it :-(

Jane: thank you so much, also. Jane Austen is a possibility for me, though surprisingly I am finding non-fiction easier to read. Of the few I have been able to read!

raidergirl: thank you for all the good thoughts and wishes :-) I am hoping to do something fun with my blog for the advent season to help at least talk about books here with all of you!