There has been a bit of a break in normal reading and writing over the last week or so, as unfortunately I’ve not been well. Not covid, but apparently the easing of lockdown restrictions has meant that lots of other nasty germs are also now circulating.
I picked up “The Novel Cure” a few years ago, an “A-Z of Literary Remedies”: bibliotherapy for people wondering what to read next. It’s an alphabetised list of entries for ‘what to read’ when suffering from all sorts of ailments: the common cold (they recommend trying “A Study in Scarlet” or “Jamaica Inn”) – or man flu (“Les Misérables”), or something more esoteric like Monday Morning Feeling (“Mrs Dalloway”, apparently). “The Novel Cure” is very enjoyable book to flick through, though I didn’t take up their reading suggestions this time.
There aren’t many books where people get the cold. It’s hard to make it into a driving plot point. The wonderful Georgette Heyer, though, works it into two novels: my favourite is “Black Sheep” where the lovely Abigail and Miles have very little patience for Fanny’s tortured romance. I have a soft spot for Annis’ dressing gown in “Lady of Quality” as well: an extremely expensive item of clothing which I reckon would certainly help someone feel better.
I have also been reading Christine de Luca’s fantastic new collection “Veeve”, which I would highly recommend. It’s a beautifully designed book of new poems in English and Shetlandic.
Hopefully normal reading and writing will be resumed this week, as I actually have a lot of interesting things going on at the moment. I hope to post an update soon on Josephine Tey’s blue plaque – and I’m looking forward to speaking to the UHI’s Creative Writing students on Zoom tomorrow.