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Signing up for the 2010 Graphic Novel Challenge gave me the perfect excuse (in case I really thought I needed one) to re-read the Neil Gaiman Sandman series from scratch, alongside the fascinating-and-occasionally-dipped-into-but-never-properly-read Sandman Companion by Hy Bender. And of course you start at the beginning, with Preludes and Nocturnes.

The thing about the need for an excuse is that my TBR pile (which with my tendency to be unable to avoid buying books plus all the stuff the Book God has in his possession) has actually become a TBR room, if not taking over the whole house, and so any re-reading has to be carefully thought through because there are just so many new(ish) books waiting for me to pick them up.

This is a problem that will not go away for two reasons:

  • the Book God and I currently have a combined age of 106, and if you assume that we both started buying our own books as teenagers (let’s say arbitrarily 15) then that’s potentially 76 years of book buying

Which brings me to reason number 2:

  • I am constitutionally incapable of getting rid of anything vaguely book shaped. At all. So I almost certainly have just about everything I have bought since I was a teenager

So you can see my problem.

Nevertheless the draw of Sandman was irresistible and I ploughed on, really enjoying the opportunity to get back inside a world that I have always enjoyed. And then  another issue hit me – how do I review this? I mean, I can’t really review this as if I have come to it fresh, because I haven’t, and it is such a well-loved series and so many other bloggers have written about it all so eloquently. So I’m not going to attempt the feat at all.

I love it still, and if you haven’t read the series I urge you to have a go.


I’ve also had a couple of relatively rare outings this week (I don’t count cocktails with Silvery Dude and friend on Wednesday because in my simple little mind that’s the sort of thing I should be doing every day); no, this is proper going out for the evening stuff, involving:

  • on Thursday, the Birmingham Royal Ballet performing Sleeping Beauty at the London Coliseum – wonderful stuff with costumes based on the court of Louis XIV and a classic fairy tale on stage the way it should be done
  • on Saturday, The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers at the Royal Albert Hall, with the full score performed live by the London Philharmonic Orchestra – and lovely to see Howard Shore, the composer, take a bow at the end.

And then home to Dr Who and River Song. What more could a girl want?

Ilan Volkov prom38So I moaned quite a bit here about how much I dislike August and gave some (though by no means all, believe me) of the reasons why I felt that way. But we are now more than half way through the month and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

A number of things are conspiring to help me get through the month with only a modicum of my usual summer grumpiness:

  • my Crime Month book reading is going well and I’m keeping my reviews up to date;
  • from tomorrow I start working at home for a proportion of each week, so no more daily commute on hot and horrible trains; and
  • the BBC Proms have been really good this year (so far)

Yes, I have been enjoying my summer fix of classical music; in particular,  I headed off on a sunny, sultry London Saturday to the Royal Albert Hall, and despite the best efforts of London Transport got there in plenty of time to enjoy the lovely Ilan Volkov’s final appearance at the Proms with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra performing Beethoven’s Ninth. And it was absolutely wonderful, almost enough to make August worthwhile (but only almost).

Seriously, if you can access the BBC iPlayer I recommend that you have a listen; it’s Prom 40 and is available for the next seven days, I think. The concert itself will be broadcast on TV on BBC Four on 11 September, and again available on the iPlayer where allowed. Well worth a couple of hours of your valuable time, if you like that sort of thing, of course………

Bride of the Book God

Follow brideofthebook on Twitter

Scottish, in my fifties, love books but not always able to find the time to read them as much as I would like. I’m based in London and happily married to the Book God.

I also blog at Bride of the Screen God (all about movies and TV) and The Dowager Bride, if you are interested in ramblings about stuff of little consequence

If you would like to get in touch you can contact me at brideofthebookgod (at) btinternet (dot) com.

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March 2023