Just finished reviewing my 25th book. So, by mid-May I am half way to my target of reading 50 books and seeing 50 films this year. I feel pleased with progress but not smug! Finishing a book a week is not happening by accident. It requires commitment – reading has to be prioritised over other things.
I’ve also discovered that the experiences of reading and film-viewing are significantly altered when you know that you have to write about them afterwards. It’s more difficult to ‘go with the flow’. Sentences and phrases half-form in my head in the middle of a chapter, opinions form when the camera pans across a landscape.
Recommendations are tricky. Whilst it’s fascinating to hear suggestions from people about novels and movies I might enjoy, I feel an overwhelming urge to be nice about everything! This is particularly true of books. Giving an honest review when a book has not impressed me, feels treacherous, a betrayal of all the hard work which has gone into creating the work. Knowing a film is a team effort somehow diffuses the pressure, it’s easier to be critical.
Oh. And the weight loss. Well, there is an elephant in the room. Literally. It’s me.
When you are losing weight everyone is delighted to comment, congratulate and encourage. When you are gaining weight, of course people notice, but everyone is too polite to mention it. I count myself lucky to be surrounded by family, friends and colleagues who are only too aware of my anxieties around food and fat. The weight loss has yet to be achieved but I have not given up hope of conquering my demons.
Stick with me on my journey. The books and films are in the bag – or in the blog.