My biggest fear is losing my memory. That one day I shall wake up to find that I have forgotten who I am. That all I have worked to become has dissolved into nothing. Just a void where once I could list my life in chronological order replaced now by an ocean of nothingness. Words cannot begin to describe the tantamount fear that grips me whenever I think that it may/could happen at any time and to any one of us. I could have an accident, get knocked on the head or run down by a moving car and voila, memory deleted. So why am I bringing this up? Because I have just finished reading 'Before I Go to Sleep' by SJ Watson. This is a fascinating thriller and is the best thing I have personally read in a long time. Watson is famous for being one of the first people to sign up for the Faber & Faber writing projects and all that hard work has paid off. This is a deliciously meaty novel that will stick with you for a long time. The writing is exquisite and the plot is so intricate and finely woven, the sort that makes one jealous that one had not written it. Read it now!
Still ploughing my way through 'Jerusalem: the Autobiography' by Simon Sebag Montefiore. And I must say 'ploughing' is a harsh verb to use as Simon Sebag Montefiore has written a book that EVERYONE can read. You don't have to be an academic or historian to get this, in fact to get it about the Middle East, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and what the big deal is about Jerusalem this is the book you should be reading. I haven't finished it yet and it might be a while but truly a delight so far.
Another book I have really enjoyed this week has been 'In Leah's Wake' by Terri Giuliano Long. For any parent who is raising a teenager in this day and age, this gives a glimpse into their lives and thoughts. It offers no solutions but it does highlight the confusing world surrounding young people and how easy it is for them to come face-to-face with the dangers parents spend their whole lives trying to shield them from. Even with parents' good intentions things can go wrong and the cliche that love is all you can offer your children rings truer than ever. Leah is a high achiever with everything going for her: football, cool friends, great grades, and a family that loves her. But when she meets her boyfriend things start to take a different turn and the dynamics of Leah's family as they have come to know them disintegrate forcing the entire family to re-evaluate its priorities. A beautiful read and kind of like a new age 'Catcher in the Rye' sort of thing. For a complete blurb on what the book is about, click HERE
I am writing this after completing my morning run (smug smug!). Why is this a big deal and worth a mention? Because although running may come naturally to some, for years I have struggled with issues related to running. I start with good intentions and then slowly I lose interest, feel despondent and end up where I always do: the couch!
But, (and this calls for a capitalised BUT) things have changed. Since February I have diligently stuck to my running program missing not one scheduled run come rain or shine (except for the week I had my mouth and eyebrows tattooed with permanent makeup but that should be self explanatory) and wait for this... I am actually having a good time.
So what happened? Well, a friend at school recommended reading Run Fat Bitch Run by Ruth Field and I tell you with hand on heart if you are seriously thinking you'd like to take on running and are hesitant and keep putting it off then this is the book for you. Field had me from the title. This is a no-nonsense approach to get out there and just do it. No ifs, no buts but lots of whys you should. I used this as a bible and have now managed to hit my 10k, a feat I never imagined possible. Go Me!
Running aside, this week I've enjoyed reading Michael Morpurgo's Letter for Carlos, a short story published in The Guardian. Please take a look at this and do read it to your child. It is an opportunity to teach children and remind ourselves in the process to think outside the box and to always look at the world from different angles. My 9 year-old really enjoyed it and since he read Warhorse last month, he thinks Michael Morpurgo is "awesome!".