As I promised/threatened in an earlier post, I intend, on the third Tuesday of every month, to do a book review and also to announce my blog of the month.
My January book is ‘A Book of Silence’ by Sara Maitland. Maitland is an author whose feminist fiction I’ve admired and enjoyed for around thirty years (her novel ‘Women Fly When men Aren’t Watching’ would be one of my desert island volumes). ‘A Book of Silence’ is difficult to categorise, but it’s not fiction. It’s part memoir/autobiography, part travelogue, part reflection on her own writing processes, but is mainly a reflection and discussion of her study of the concept of silence. Silence is something she views as a presence rather than an absence. She sees being in silence as a religious and spiritual experience and as something she longs to have more of. I don’t completely agree with everything she says, but there’s a lot that resonates and it is beautifully and intelligently written.
I suspect this is a book for writers, especially those fascinated by the writing process. It’s also one for Maitland fans, not least because it has been a while since she published anything.
It’s not a light read. The reader needs to think, concentrate and reflect. I read it on my Kindle but maybe the old-fashioned paper version would have been better. This is a book to dip in and out of and to flick back and forth in as you read. It certainly gives the reader a lot to ponder.
BLOG OF THE MONTH
My blog of the month is Sleepwell and Fly written by a writer who goes by the name of Fletcher Moss. You can sample it for yourself at http://sleepwellandfly.blogspot.com Moss is a writer of young adult fiction and his book (of the same title as the blog) is on the longlist for The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2012. His blog is always entertaining and often thought-provoking. There’s humour, honesty, seriousness and insight – often within the one post. It’s a great example of a writer’s blog but will appeal to non-writers who appreciate good writing. Well worth a visit.