Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Right. Day 3. Today, I decided that my 'first time' should actually involve some change in the way I usually do things. In my humble opinion, there's nothing more 'first-time-ish' than doing something old in a new way. I'm not saying that I'm a creature of habit (although clearly I am) but even people whose views of things are just plain right sometimes need to try something new, right?

OK, so today I needed a new book to read. This is a very regular occurrence. There's something about having a small child who needs to go to bed every night at 7pm and therefore being confined to the house, which is very conducive to reading. And eating chocolate - but that's another story. So, I went to the bookshop and decided that I wouldn't go with my usual comfort zone books. I only ever read foreign, modern novels. The more obscure the better. Mainstream is fine too. But I don't do British and I certainly don't do historical. I am proud of never having read Dickens. So today for the first time I decided to try something completely new.

I've just spent my lunch hour with the results. Oh and what results they are. I considered Dickens, but I bought 'Mapp and Lucia' by EF Benson. It's British and it was written in the 1920s. Now, this blog is not about book reviews, so I'll spare you. It's enough to say that it's about two old ladies who compete for supremacy in a small English town and that the character of Lucia has given new joy to my life. She is funny, mean, scheming, and so well-written that I can't believe that EF Benson was (a) very much British and (b) not alive in my lifetime (you see - this first time hasn't changed me or anything).

The best thing about this first time was that I had that rush you get when you discover a new author you love and then you realise that the back cover says "this author has published over 80 books". Hurrah! New reading for months and months.

So yes - a great first time. I recommend Lucia very highly.


Points for making me fall in love with a character: 8 (this hasn't happened in a long time either)

Points for embarassment when asking the man in the bookshop what the 'most traditional British historical novel' was: 7

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