I've had to get a wriggle on this week having realised that the online discussion I'm moderating for a book magazine for their panel of book reviewers doesn't begin on July 25th but ENDS on that day. Jodie Picoult's Perfect Match arrived a few weeks ago but by Monday morning I still hadn't even opened the book and, all a bit inconvenient, I had to pitch up for my 22.5 hours work at the NHS coalface.
Let me confirm that this week I have been driving around in a brand new model Ford, the Fiesta Oven. Having got into my oven and turned it to 250 deg C plus grill setting and embarked on my visits, it's my misfortune to get trapped behind the malodorous but stately progress of the village refuse collection lorry no less than 3 times in the same morning. The binmen thought it was hilarious, I tried my best to look amused but secretly wished I'd sneaked a mask out of the surgery treatment room.
Work has been about overheating babies who can't decide if they are hungry, thirsty or both, toddlers who have got into a foot-stamping, heat induced lather and have reduced their extensive vocabulary to a single meaningful word ..."NO", and meetings in very hot rooms.
But are we down-hearted? No, because my weekend begins on a Wednesday evening and this morning an intense and enjoyable readathon sees Jodie 75% polished off and online discussion cranking into life.
I have one problem with Jodie Picoult and it's not a personal criticism of her in any way as she looks much too nice and lovely to criticise and it's hardly her fault.
I assume that the success of Plain Truth, which I enjoyed for its Amish theme back in 2004, gave her publishers optimistic reason to bombard us with everything Jodie has ever written, I'm expecting her school essays any day.
Every time you go into W.H.Smith's there is another "Jodie's latest book" barely a week after you saw the last one. Every bookish magazine you pick up features the Jodie phenomenon and there's her lovely curly hair bouncing off the page at you. This seems like marketing by force feeding to the point where many people I know are feeling a little jaded and Jodie-d out.
A more measured approach may have ensured an intensely loyal following and perhaps she has that, but many I know who jumped on the Jodie horse with great enthusiasm are not champing at the bit now.
In fact have been heard to groan "not another one" and slip sideways out of the saddle.
Eventually presumably, the backlist will run out and we'll be kept waiting in a year-long state of perfectly reasonable suspended animation for each succesive book, it's a necessary torture that you almost relish...like a crime series I know, only 11 months to go.