Time is playing strange tricks as we come to terms with a new way of living. For me, the first week of lockdown felt a lifetime, but this week has flown by.
I hope you are managing to get everything you need for yourself and for your family members.
There were a few hours in the past week when it looked like the supply of books had seized up, but once again publishers and suppliers and bookshops have adapted. So, while we still have people who are prepared to deliver the post to our doors - and let's remember to thank them whenever we can - we are able once again to receive new reading matter.
If you're looking for ideas, you might like to get a copy of next month's book group title. It's 'Lost Children Archive' by Valeria Luiselli.
I've read it already as I felt I needed to get an idea of the content of the book before nominating it as our collective reading in these difficult times. It's not a light subject, but I think it's sensitively done, with humour as well as poignancy, and it's divided into short passages within chapters, and sections, so it's very accessible if you, like me, have had problems with concentration. Take it in small chunks.
Our discussion for the book will once again need to be done remotely and I'll be in touch nearer the time regarding the format we'll use.
Do think about getting the book from an independent bookseller. Browsers Bookshop in Woodbridge can now arrange for books to be mailed to you direct from the wholesaler Gardners Books, for a small contribution towards postage. Go to the website here for more details or sign up for the weekly bookshop updates here.
Tomorrow things are a little different for my monthly on-air book group discussion with Lesley Dolphin on the Afternoon Programme for BBC Radio Suffolk. First of all, it's 2.20pm on a Monday (we usually meet on a Tuesday)! And naturally I won't be in the studio, so it will be a shorter chat than usual. But I hope you'll join us if you can.
We're talking about 'The Binding' by Bridget Collins and I'll be announcing the title we'll be reading together in the next few weeks, for our discussion at the beginning of May.
If, though, you're still struggling to read anything at the moment - and I'm finding it has to be absolutely 'the right book' to keep me focused - then perhaps you might like to continue with my suggestion from last week, to take up a children's book.
‘The Skylarks’ War’ by Hilary Mckay is a beautiful story which has won lots of awards. It is full of nostalgia, humour and, though aimed at readers aged eight and above, has many layers and will appeal to anyone! It is a tale of a brother and sister growing up before, then through, and then after the first world war. It’s a wonderful account of a time of innocence, sunshine, holidays by the sea in Cornwall, and has great wit and charm. Do try it!
This weekend, though, I've been reading a murder mystery, or a psychological thriller, if you will.
Now, I know: not really a positive theme for these times, and it's not something I thought I would turn to, but actually a pacy plot where justice prevailed proved remarkably all-consuming and an escapist tonic. (Though I have to say the sunshine outside has also helped.)
My thriller of choice was a new book by Suffolk author, Phoebe Morgan, due out in May, but her other books 'The Girl Next Door' and 'The Doll House' are also great page-turners.
For other news...
Don't forget that each Thursday evening at 7pm the National Theatre is streaming some of its recent productions via YouTube. This week, on Thursday 9 April, it is 'Jane Eyre' which is well worth watching if you can. Find out more here.
Also, although the HighTide Festival cannot take place in Aldeburgh this year, there will be initiatives online to celebrate new work which speaks to our current situation. Called Love in the Time of Corona, five monologues by exciting UK writers will be streamed week by week. The first, available on YouTube and the HighTide Facebook page, will be available from Thursday evening.