Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated!

Soooo, I’m back…apparently. Did you miss me? Is anybody still even following me? Please say hi…I miss you all!

Since moving back to Yellowknife 😦 from Croatia 🙂 in February, life has been very tumultuous. I started a new job that didn’t really grant me much time for reading. When I was fortunate enough to get some spare time, there seemed to be so much else going on that reading sort of got lost in the hither and dither of life.

This was compounded by the fact that I experienced a sort of reading-soul-death earlier this year. This happens when I pick up book after book after book and each one turns out to be a DNF. Each false start drags me down just a little bit more and soon I start having dark thoughts…well, really just one dark thought, but it’s bad…the thought that I may never find another good book. It becomes a phobia; I become scared of picking up books, even books that I know are good, for fear that I might start reading it and be let down.

Early February started out with some fairly decent reads including:

Blindness by Jose Saramago

Fifth Business by Robertson Davies

Dinner Along the Amazon by Timothy Findley

Those were followed by a series of less fortunate encounters, false starts, DNFs and spectacular failures:

Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee (I read about 140/150 of this book and was so fed up with it I couldn’t finish the last ten pages)

God’s Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell (Finished it, but it was awful)

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Finished it, but it was very meh)

The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham (False Start)

The Inheritors by William Golding (False Start)

A Personal Matter by Kenzaburo Oe (Spectacular Fail)

I was particularly disappointed that I wasn’t able to get into the books by Golding, Oe or Maugham, I was looking forward to them all. If anybody knows some better titles by any of those authors please let me know, as I would like to try them again. Or, conversely, if anyone can vouch for the quality of one of the above books, I might be able to give one of them another shot in the future.

So, as I said, I’m back. Quite honestly, I don’t know for how long. At the moment my job is accomodating my ravenous reading habit and is permitting me time to write some days as well. I don’t know how long this is going to hold up, but I am going to do my best. No matter what happens though, I am truly happy to be back!!


About Robbie

Hi there, my name is Robbie Burns (no,really, that’s my name…hold the haggis jokes please) and I would like to welcome you to the Pink Sheep Cafe. I started this blog as a means of discussing books and all things literary in light of my perpetual isolation. At the time I began writing, I was living in Split, Croatia. There wasn’t much here in the way of English book clubs and I couldn’t work, so I badly needed something to help me bide my time. My partner and I have since left Croatia and returned to Canada to live in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. When we first moved back here, my blog writing sort of fell by the wayside, but now I seem to be back on track. I try to read and review a little bit of everything here; I think everyone can find something to their liking here. I find myself tending more towards more literary reads these days, but I also enjoy a lot of YA and children’s fiction. One of my ongoing goals is to work my way through all of the Nobel Laureates. My two most favorite authors are Timothy Findley and Halldor Laxness.
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14 Responses to Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated!

  1. amymckie says:

    Welcome back!! I’ve missed you! I can’t say any of those three authors really appeal to me so I’ll leave that to someone else to convince you 😉 I hope you can find something mind-blowing next to get you back into the love of reading.

    • Robbie says:

      Thanks Amy! I missed you too! I’m so happy to be back. I seem to have managed to find some really great reads that have put me back into the swing of things. When all else fails…Paddington Bear 🙂

  2. Welcome back! I wondered where you’d gone 🙂

    I’m really pleased that you enjoyed Blindness – it is one of my favourites.

    I haven’t read the three books you mention, so i’m afraid I can’t comment on how good they might be, but I do have some Oe in my pile so hope I enjoy him more than you.

    • Robbie says:

      I did quite like Blindness Jackie, although it wasn’t as spectacular as I was expecting. I would definitely try Saramago again though!! I will be watching closely to see what you think of Oe, you are always my barometer on these sorts of things!! 😉

  3. Lucybird says:

    Welcome back it’s good to see you 🙂
    Sorry you’re reading recently has been on such a down turn, maybe try an old favourite to get you going again? Or something easy to ease you in?

  4. Lucybird says:

    Oh and I notice you’re reading the one I just finished. Looking forward to seeing what you think. How’s it going so far?

  5. Leeswammes says:

    I did miss you! Glad to see that you’re still around and not completely disappeared. Well, you can only do so much with your time. Hope to see more of you, of course!

  6. Loni says:

    Glad you’re back. Don’t really have any comments on the bad books. I’ve never read any of them and except for Water for Elephants haven’t ever had the inclination to. I agree with Lucybird, maybe try an old favourite to get you going again. Maybe read some short stories for a quick punch of goodness?

    • Robbie says:

      Hey Loni, you must be getting excited about the baby coming. How much longer now? Did you ever get a chance to read The Piano Man’s Daughter?

  7. Fiona says:

    Ahh welcome back. I’m a bit late – I’m sure I came here a while ago and your blog wasn’t working. I thought you might have… given up!

    I know what you mean about picking up a string of duds… and you do start to wonder until finally your faith is restored in literature.

    Oh horribly sad about the Oe… I have not read him but I have a book by him. Not sure what the title is… I forget half the books I have read.

    Have you read “Three Bags Full” by someone… can’t remember who – it’s a sheep detective story. I haven’t but I hear it’s quite good. Sounds like something a little up your street…

    • Robbie says:

      I somehow think I have heard of it Fiona, but I can’t think who it’s by either. I will keep an eye out for it though, as it does sound like something I might like 🙂

  8. Fiona says:

    I mean I forget half the books I have got* not read. Well I forget those too.

    I’m making a horrible mess replying to blogs lately I’m going to give up for now.

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