|Avebury, but not as it was on Sunday|
Well, Wiltshire turned out to be not so sunny after all, so my plan to read in the garden didn’t quite work out. Never mind, it was a very nice weekend, and on Sunday we braved the drizzle to walk around Avebury.
For anyone who doesn’t know it, Avebury is a village set in the middle of a massive circle of megalithic stones that are even older than Stonehenge. The stones aren’t as big as at Stonehenge, but it is still an amazingly impressive monument, and it’s impossible not to be moved by the sheer size and scale of it. Here I am sitting on the Witch’s Seat (oh, ho,ho,ho) in my summer garb …
We also went to Silbury Hill and the West Kennet long barrow, in keeping with the prehistoric theme of the weekend, so although the sun didn’t shine, it was still really interesting. I’d love to know more about that period. One of my favourite books is Clan of the Cave Bear, by Jean Auel, the first and still the best of her Earth’s Children series. No one else has made that world so vivid, and I loved the fact that the story was based on real excavations and her own research into cooking, weaving, flint knapping etc.
Having bought all the later books, I was delighted to see that she has a new one out – The Land of Painted Caves - but made the mistake of reading the reviews on Amazon before I ordered it. Generally I don’t take much notice of reviews, as everyone’s tastes differ, but in this case they were so overwhelmingly negative that I decided to save myself the disappointment. Finding an author you really enjoy is one of the best things in life, I think, and whenever I do, I can’t wait to read my way through their backlist. It takes a lot to lose my loyalty as a reader, and I can’t help feeling a little guilty for not making up my own mind. And perhaps I will – just with the paperback version!
Do you read reviews? Do they influence what you do and don’t buy?