I love how memes lead me to new bloggers, new books & new ideas. I enjoy the social aspect of memes.
But can I be frank?
I also spend a lot of time looking at blogs and books that I have no interest in whatsoever.
I'm happy that in this big wide world of blogging, there are blogs, books and ideas to suit every type of blogger. The hard part can be finding ones that appeal to your own taste.
I love to read classics, which led to me The Classics Club several years ago. A match made in heaven.
But I don't read classics all the time.
I like to read the new stuff, the award winning stuff and the occasional gentle crime comfort read. I love reading Australian authors. I appreciate diversity. I enjoy quirky and experimental. I love history - fiction, biographies, memoirs and non-fiction.
Like most of you, I also have an out of control TBR pile.
My recent move helped me to recreate a semblance of order. It also helped me rediscover lots of forgotten gems.
So, I've decided to join She is Too Fond of Books with her TBR Thursday meme to highlight one classic and one new release from my TBR pile each week.
Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover
A mother who invented her past, a father who was often absent, a son who wondered if this could really be his family.
Richard Glover's favourite dinner party game is called 'Who's Got the Weirdest Parents?'. It's a game he always thinks he'll win. There was his mother, a deluded snob, who made up large swathes of her past and who ran away with Richard's English teacher, a Tolkien devotee, nudist and stuffed-toy collector. There was his father, a distant alcoholic, who ran through a gamut of wives, yachts and failed dreams. And there was Richard himself, a confused teenager, vulnerable to strange men, trying to find a family he could belong to. As he eventually accepted, the only way to make sense of the present was to go back to the past - but beware of what you might find there. Truth can leave wounds - even if they are only flesh wounds.
Part poignant family memoir, part rollicking venture into a 1970s Australia, this is a book for anyone who's wondered if their family is the oddest one on the planet. The answer: 'No'. There is always something stranger out there.
'Sad, funny, revealing, optimistic and hopeful.' Jeanette Winterson
Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell
I think I must be an improper woman without knowing it, I do so manage to shock people.'
Elizabeth Gaskell's second novel challenged contemporary social attitudes by taking as its heroine a fallen woman. Ruth Hilton is an orphan and an overworked seamstress, an innocent preyed upon by a weak, wealthy seducer. When he heartlessly abandons her she finds shelter and kindness in the home of a dissenting minister and his sister, who do not reject her when she gives birth to an illegitimate child. But Ruth's self-sacrificing love and devotion are tested to the limit by a twist of fate
that brings her past back to haunt her.
Gaskell's depiction of Ruth lays bare Victorian hypocrisy and sexual double-standards, and her novel is a remarkable story of love, of the sanctuary and tyranny of the family, and of the consequences of lies and deception.
Have you read either of these books yet?
What did you think?