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Am continuing in reading ‘The Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes’. Am really enjoying it. Am about half way through with the book. I have to finish off ‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes’, then I get to skip ‘The Hound of Baskervilles’ as I have already read it, and onto ‘The Valley of Fear’. It’s a very easy book to read and am quite enjoying it. Finished reading ‘Temple of the Golden Pavilion’ by Yukio Mishima. It’s very hard to read as it’s set in the first person,  however, if someone sticks with it it is a very rewarding read. Now I know people will be going, ‘well wait, Doyle writes in the first person some of the time in his story through Watson’s descriptions, how come this was more difficult to read than that.’ Well, the difference, I think between the two is that Doyle through Watson is just setting about telling great mystery adventure tales that help in some instances by having such tales be told through the first person narrative. Mishima, the more contemporary author uses the first person narrative to delve into the fractured psyche of his character Mizoguchi. Mishima’s tale tells a story which is based on the story of a real life mentally deranged monk who did in fact burn down the Temple and who Mishima himself had met and interviewed before he wrote the book. Am reading another Mishima book now ‘The Decay of the Angel’, thankfully it’s much easier to read as it’s in the third person. Mishima’s books seem to look at human beings and human behaviour and give the reader an analyses of it. 

My big shame is that I failed to finish off the final Lord of the Rings novel ‘The Return of the King’ which I have in the complete book form along with ‘The Lord of the Rings’ itself and ‘The Two Towers’. My history with this novel is that I had manages successfully in finishing them before the films came out. However, I failed to do this when the last film was set to come out in the cinema owing to the fact that I was doing my Leaving Cert that year and had been busy right up to the time that the film was released. I saw the film and enjoyed it. But was disappointed that I didn’t finish the books to enjoy it more fully. I kind of shied away from the book then and only picked it up again in February of this year. Pleased to say that I am now near to Book Six, the final part of the book of ‘Return of the King’. I have also been motivated into reading ‘The Hobbit’ after years of it languishing on my bookshelves after my Dad had finished reading it and passing it on to me. Thankfully the reading of this is easier and am enjoying it thoroughly.Am also reading ‘Life, the Universe and Everything’ by Douglas Adams and like the Hobbit, am enjoying it thoroughly.

After I have finished any of these books, I plan to finally read ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald, another book which I’m ashamed to say, has been languishing on my bookshelves for a very long time now. An awful lot of book that I have bought for to read in my spare time have ended up that way. I would buy a book while I was in college with the expressed intention to read it, then leave it on my bookcase for ages. I think it’s because time is a big factor in things that I am doing. I have little time to devote to reading. I have had a lot of work for my Masters and have of course been reading for academic projects, however for more personal reading, my rhythm has been disrupted. However, I do hope to get back fully to it soon. I really enjoy reading.

I guess this leads me onto talking about the recent literacy OECD results. These results proved in paper format that when teenagers in Ireland were given the written OECD course they didn’t do so well, however when they did the same tests online, they scored highly. I have to say that although I do think that this is a good thing, I also view it with suspicion. I mean, who is to say whether, with access to a computer like for this sort of test whether students relied heavily on the spell checker on computers or even consulted Google for spelling. If this is the case then congratulations are in order on having a high level of information literacy. 

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