On Monday 14 December I finished James Hogg - The Growth of a Writer, by David Groves. It's been on my list of 'Current reading on 1/1/..' in my diaries since 2003, the first year I made that list, so I'm not sure how long it was on the list before then. I actually restarted it a couple of years ago, as I hadn't got very far. Then last week I was realising how many more books I've started this year that will appear on the 1/1/16 list, and I had a look to see if there were any that I might be able to finish this month, and there it was.
It didn't actually take long to finish it - it's not that long. It's a not very good academic trot through James Hogg's writing career, with a couple of academic theories which aren't that engaging.
I borrowed it off a friend, who I'm not in touch with any more, but I'm not worried about getting it back to him, because he only bought it because he thought James Hogg was an old minister/theologian, tricked by the title of his most famous book.
I enjoyed The Private Memoirs & Confessions of a Justified Sinner a lot when I read it years ago. I'd like to read it again (despite David Groves' book), to see if I still think it's as misjudged as I thought it was then - it's generally perceived as an anti-Christian novel, but it seemed to me an anti-heresy novel; I don't think Christians who are familiar with the theological issues behind it would find it anti-Christian, but would agree with it (including the reality of the devil and evil, which again I haven't seen taken that seriously in things about it). I also found it very modern in structure. I was pleased to see it recently in a list of greatest British books compiled from non-British critics' views. But so many other things to read...