I try to catch up with my emails daily, and so that includes checking out my favourite blogs. And once in a while a post comes up which really catches my attention and sends me off blog hopping. Today this happened. The blog that started it was Hannah Ackroyd-Here is the post which started me off. And here is the post which got Hannah started. And here is Skye’s post which got Stephanie started. And what is it all about- why some Q&As about books and reading. Bliss!
Oh have I had fun today.
Here come the Questions.
What are you reading right now?
Revelation by C.J. Sansom. The book is a mix of historical (Tudor times- Henry 8th) and detective story. I started it three days ago and have read 181 pages. This story is set in London and concerns the mysterious and violent deaths of two seemingly unconnected learned men and the strange case of a young man admitted to Bedlam for becoming to fervent in his prayers. What I love about this book and others in this series is that I get caught up in the atmosphere of the story, I feel tangible fear emanating from the court of the tyrant Henry Tudor.
Do you have any idea what you’ll read after you finished this book?
I usually have a pretty good idea what I am going to read next as I always have a huge pile of books waiting to be read. The one I’ll read next is The Warden by Anthony Trollope. I have no idea if I’ll like it, but Trollope is one of those authors I’ve always meant to read. It’s the first in the Chronicles of Barsetshire, and I have wanted to read them as they are set in a Cathedral city , based on Salisbury. Not that I have ever been to Salisbury but I just love Cathedral cities- eg Winchester. And I found this copy in a charity shop on Tuesday, so it was meant to be.
Five Books you’ve always wanted to read but have never got round to.
Oh my this is hard as there are so many books I want to read and re read and time is ticking by. Like all the Dickens I have not yet read. But to be more specific, here are 5 books in my pile which never quite get to the Next Book stage.
The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck- I have actually started this but not got far. It’s supposed to be the book that has the most of Steinbeck himself in it, but it’s all marine biology and fishing and boats.
The Sea Wolf by Jack London-I bought this in San Francisco nearly 5 years ago. I read The Call of the Wild and White Fang also by Jack London which I loved. I just never got round to this.
Cervantes by Don Quixote – I bought this a while ago too. I was given a book token for £10 and managed to buy ten books with it from our now most lamented long gone book shop. It’s just so big….
The Romance of Tristan by Beroul- no excuses I just never read it
Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky- again no excuses – I have loved the Russian books I read before, I just never read this.
What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now.
No magazines as such in the bathroom, but there is a seed catalogue usually in the cloakroom on the window cill. And I’m embarrassed about those in the lounge- so many sewing and craft magazines it’s not true. The one I bought most recently was “Stitch”. I may incriminate myself to say any more!!!!!!!!!
What’s the worst book you ever read?
The Gangs of New York by Herbert Asbury. On which the film of the same name is based. I read this with my son Mr B when we got back from a holiday in New York. Both of us gave up on it. We both found the film fascinating but just got plain bored with the book. But both of us said we would go back and finish it one day, we just didn’t- it’s still on our shelves.
What book is really popular but you really hated?
There are two authors I really can’t stand – one is Barbara Cartland and the other is Catherine Cookson. Both popular and both oh YUK!
I will however plump for The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald- I just had no sympathy for the characters.
What’s the one book you recommend to everyone?
The BBC compiled a list of 100 Good Reads. Now to my mind a Good Read is not the same as a Good book. It needs to appeal to men and women and across lots of age groups. So the book I suggested is one I would recommend to everyone. It is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. If you’ve not read it or seen it on TV then read ASAP before a TV production spoils it for you. The book is MILES better than any film or TV production. It is a cracking good read.
What are your favourite three poems?
I love listening to poetry read out loud but loose concentration when reading poetry to myself. So top of my list is not very original but it has to be ..
If by Rudyard Kipling. Des Lyman recorded it following the world cup in which England exited rather ignominiously. I’ve still not forgiven a certain football player for his stupid kick. He broke my sons’ heart… Anyway this poem still makes me cry when I hear it read.If
Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep- Anon– found on a soldier who died in Northern Ireland. It is just beautiful.here And I see it has been attributed to someone now according to this site
This be the Verse by Philip Larkin . Sorry this is still in copyright and I can’t give you a link. But I try to forgive my parents in the hope my sons will forgive me…. you probably know the one I mean!
Where do you usually get your books?
The answer has to be Everywhere. Presents, book shops, charity shops, our second hand bookshop, car boot sales, borrowed from family and friends,the Library. The book I read a week or so ago was passed onto me by my son Mr J and my current book came from a charity shop. If somewhere has books than I go and usually buy!
Where do you usually read your books?
Always in bed, sometimes on the sofa- usually on a Saturday afternoon before I watch Final Score. Always on holiday and boats, airplanes and trains. Never on coaches or cars – I get sick! Oh and always when I have to make a phone call which is going to involve listening to Vivaldi- turns a nightmare to a joy!
When you were little did you have any reading habits?
“Cathy turn the light out!” “Yes Mum!”. Under the bedclothes with a torch.. didn’t we all
And I also read cereal packets at breakfast- it beat having to eat the contents!
I still read everything- On watching adverts on telly it’s always “How much %?!!!!!” Or “they asked 98 women and 35 said they would recommend it! Big Deal!”
What’s the last book you stayed up half the night to read?
Oh that was Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. After three months reading it I just had to get it finished and move onto something more agreeable. I don’t recommend it but I did read it to the bitter end. WHY?
Have you ever faked reading a book?
No, I don’t believe I did, why would I?
Have you ever bought a book just because you like the cover?
Sorry I forgot to turn the picture. I just love William Morris designs and so had to have the book- never read it but it looks great on the shelf! One day…
What was your favourite book as a child?
It has to be The Treasure Seekers by Enid Blyton. I owe her such a debt of gratitude for writing books that led to a lifetime of enjoyment in reading. I took the trouble to learn off by heart the opening paragraphs so that when I finally turned out the torch to go to sleep I recited them as I fell asleep.
Which book changed your life?
The Women’s Room by Marilyn French . Described as a hugely popular and feminist book here Just read it please ladies. It made me stronger as a woman, and I went back to studying.
What is your favourite passage from a book?
Apart from the Treasure Seekers?
Now I love Jane Austin ( Pride and Prejudice)so don’t get me wrong here , but I believe that Elizabeth Bennet was a gold digger of the worst order- I don’t blame her- poverty beckoned but consider on her first sight of Pemberley she goes into raptures in her description and then “and at that moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something” And from that moment Mr Darcy seems a lot nicer!
But my absolute favourite passage is from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. “I’ll think of it all tomorrow….After all tomorrow is another day” Good advice!
Who are your top five favourite authors?
Alexander McCall Smith- for the Number One Ladies Detective Agency
Maeve Bincy- my guilty pleasure
But that’s just today…
What is your favourite classic book?
Middlemarch by George Elliott- all of life is here and so beautifully written
Five notable mentions?
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury- if you love books then read this for certain sure
Pompeii by Robert Harris– I felt as if I was there… wonderful descriptions of life in Pompeii
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey- and why Richard the 3rd did not kill those Princes in the Tower
The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory- just a good read.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac- so evocative of the period and just made me want to travel in the States, and i have done
Narrowing that down to five was so hard