Wednesday, September 05, 2018

inconsequential sequential

Here's a funny thing, or rather two things. Firstly I noticed as I was publishing the Drowning Ruth book review last night that it was the fourth successive book review (i.e. an uninterrupted sequence of posts without any intervening ones that weren't book reviews). That's a fairly unusual occurrence, in fact the only similar one I could find (and I can't promise I scanned the entire archives exhaustively) was the sequence of four that ran from The Little Friend through Hotel Du Lac and The Tortilla Curtain to The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest. Those four were all written within a couple of days of each other on our return from honeymoon in July 2011, whereas these most recent four span about a month. What it mostly is is reflective of the general drop-off in non-book-related blogging over the past few years; I'm conscious that this post right here breaks the sequence in what might be deemed a slightly contrived way, i.e. if I'd let nature take its course the next one might have been a book review as well that would have taken the sequence to five. Not so, I suspect, as I have a couple of other things in the pipeline, though the gestation period from idea to blog post is, as always, uncertain and highly variable.

Secondly, what I do once I've scanned the book cover for the review post and kept it to hand for reference during the review-writing process is place it back on the shelves in its appointed place (those shelves being arranged alphabetically by author's surname as are everyone's who owns more than one book and isn't LITERALLY INSANE). What I noticed when doing this was that Drowning Ruth slotted back into what is now a sequence of five books, all featured at various times on this blog, and all by different authors: A Sport And A Pastime, The Double, Nausea, Drowning Ruth and Vertigo. I'm fairly sure this is unique too (or I was, see below): longer continuous sequences exist featuring multiple books by the same author, for instance there is a sequence of nine comprising five William Boyds and four TC Boyles. These seem less satisfactory, partly because, unforgivably, I have no particular system for ordering books by the same author. Ascending order of publication date would be the rational choice, but I can't really be arsed to implement it.

Obviously on checking (and again this was by no means exhaustive) I find one other similar sequence in the J area comprising Rider On The Rain, The Piano Teacher, A New Dominion, Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry and The Illusionist.

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