Neglected Structures & Overgrown Place #29 — Part-time Leather Chairs & Secret Reading

Leather Chairs

Throughout the year, these chairs have come and gone from their present position. I reckon they’re family rumpus chairs that are kept hidden from visitors: most especially from snooty relatives coming to stay for Christmas and the New Year.

As you can see, their basic framework is good and the leather well maintained (ignore the bird droppings and rain on them) but, if you look closely, the seat cushions have indents in them, each of them bearing the shape of their usual occupant’s bottom. And just because people are related to one another, it doesn’t mean they all have the same size backside.

Personally, I’ve not hidden any item of furniture from visitors. However, this year I admit to removing a particular novel from the sitting-room when some of Mister’s erudite friends came to our house for a meeting about local arts and culture events. The book was such an embarrassment that, even on Goodreads, I didn’t own up to reading it; although there were two perfectly valid reasons for it being in my possession. Firstly, because my daughter lent it to me and, secondly, because I wanted to know why the darned thing was a bestseller. Let’s just say that I won’t bother with the other two novels in the trilogy and would have given it 2-stars in a review.

What, if anything, have you hidden from visitors?

Head-hopping: A Cardinal Sin, Says Who?

I just awarded one of my favourite Nordic Crime authors, Karin Fossum, four stars for her novel Black Seconds on Goodreads, despite the frequent shifts of viewpoint between her characters within individual scenes. If not for this, I would have awarded her novel five stars as it was brilliant in all other respects. You can read my review here

The difference between me and Karin Fossum — apart from the fact she’s Norwegian and I’m English and head-hopping in novels isn’t such an issue for many of the Nordic writers — is that she’s a published novelist and I’m not. I haven’t read her earliest novels, so have no idea if she has always head-hopped, or has become lazy, although the latter is most unlikely as she’s a disciplined and talented writer with a meticulous eye for detail.

As I surmise in my review, maybe head-hopping doesn’t bother  non-writing readers in the way it alarms, if not infuriates readers who also write. I’m trying to think back to the time before I knew about the absolute no-nos of creative writing. Did I even notice if novelists broke the rules? Perhaps it only effected me on a sub-conscious level, in that I became bored with a book or kept losing concentration whenever head-hopping impeded the flow of the text on the page.

In attempting to weigh up whether readers’ expectations always match those of authors, I’m interested to hear what others think about this, so please spare a second or two to respond to my poll below.


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