On the Shelf

Writing is not on the menu for me at the moment. With teaching and marking and copyediting and any number of other little jobs all demanding attention nownownow, I don’t have the time or the headspace that writing requires. I can potter on smaller projects, like picture books, but it’s busy work mostly; it’s tiny gestures towards writing so I can tell myself it’s okay, that I’m still doing it – look, see? But the truth is that I can’t really make any creative progress until I move the other piles, and to some extent, myself, out of the way.

So in the meantime, I’m reading. All sorts of things. Here’s a snapshot from the last few weeks:


It’s kind of all over the place, really, but I guess in some ways it’s a snapshot of me. There are kids’ books in there partly because I write for kids and partly because I have a new nephew and partly because I like to keep up with what my daughter is reading. There’s poetry in there because I am, or have been, a poet, and somewhere in the midst of all the skateboards and the exploding hoses and the difficult, demanding ducks, that side of me has slipped quietly away. And I need to have it back. The adult books are mostly recommendations from friends – thanks to Julia Lawrinson for The Vintner’s Luck, which I finally got around to after only five years. And Art & Fear is there because, well, you know.

3 thoughts on “On the Shelf

  1. squib

    I'm only reading one book at the moment and I feel like I've been reading it since 1952. Don Quixote. The first part was good but the second part is getting very magic pudding-esque for, no matter how many chapters I read, I still seem no closer to the end


  2. Meg McKinlay

    You know, I've never actually read that, Squib. It's the kind of book, like Moby Dick, which I imagine I've read because it's so much a part of the landscape somehow. But I should read it, and Moby Dick, too. And not so much We Are All Made of Glue, though it's too late for that now.



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