With the nice weather we’ve been having, I was musing about taking some cushions and a book out into the garden, but then thought again.  I just can’t concentrate on reading a book outside.  I’d be too distracted, listening to the birds, admiring the flowers, being hay-fevery, being on bug patrol, thinking ‘I need to mow the lawn/do more weeding/scoop the duckweed from the pond/insert your own gardening task here’.   I could go to the park, but then I’d be people, dog and cloud-watching.  

Ironically, indoors, as long as I’m snug on the sofa or in bed, I can read through anything – the radio or telly is often/usually on in the background.   I also can’t read in cars, buses or coaches due to car-sickness headaches (get’s me out of navigating duties!), but trains and planes are fine, I can turn off surrounding stimuli there and read too. 

Do you have places or situations where you just can’t read?

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I haven’t told you about any new books that have arrived at Gaskell Towers this month, here are some of them. If you persevere to the bottom, I also have a giveaway for you!   So, from the top …

- Seeking Whom he may Devour by Fred Vargas. I’ve yet to read any of her off-beat existentialist French crime novels – but looking forward to getting started.
Genesis by Bernard Beckett – a YA novel about philosophy and artificial intelligence (has a great cover with a robot apple too).
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa – sounds brilliant and DGR loved it.
Love and Summer – now out in paperback, this will be my first William Trevor read.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E Pearson. Another YA novel – girl wakes from a coma …
Peace by Richard Bausch. I’ve heard good things about this wartime story.
The Book of Disquiet (Serpent’s Tail Classics) by Fernando Pessoa. Looks intriguing but I’ve Paperback Reader has described it as ‘a Portuguese Ulysses’ – but it’s nowhere near as long.
Botticelli Secret, The by Marina Fiorato. A comfort read historical author of mine – her latest. Based on Botticelli’s wonderful painting ‘Primavera’.
Affair of the Mutilated Mink, The (Burford Family Mysteries 2) by James Anderson. Billed as Christie meets Sayers with a dash of Wodehouse. Could be fun.
The Middle Mind: Why Consumer Culture is Turning Us into the Living Dead by Curtis White. Charity shop find – I couldn’t resist given the title, and cover full of zombies, but it is a halfway serious look at the dumbing down of culture apparently.
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan. One of Nymeth’s all-time faves I gather, which has been on my wishlist for some time too.
Tony and Susan by Austin Wright – just looked totally intriguing!
The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of his friend Marilyn Monroe by Andrew O’Hagan. A comedy set in the 1960s as told by Maf – the dog that Frank Sinatra gave to Marilyn Monro. I enjoyed Me Cheeta: The Autobiography so this could be fun too.
The Great Perhaps by Joe Meno. Jackie loved this one – I’m sure I will too.


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Which brings me to my giveaway

For no sooner had I received a copy of The Great Perhaps
for my birthday, than an ARC arrived. So I will give the ARC away – I’ll send anywhere, but will have to send surface outside Europe due to weight/cost.  Just leave your name in the comments and I’ll make the draw on Sunday evening.

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