Monday, 19 January 2009

A Case of Books.

A new beautiful carpet has just been fitted in our front room and a man has been and put a protective coating on it. While he was here I thought it might be a good idea to get the stair carpet cleaned.
So now I wait for the fumes to die down and the stairs to dry, and thought I would inflict some thoughts on you.

Aren't bookshelves a good idea?
I had to empty one set and look at the piles of books that it held.

I became re acquainted with some old friends.
I thought I'd share.

I bought this on the same day that I bought the newly released Beatles White Album.
I'd saved £8 from my saturday job in C&A and went out for a spend. I think I also bought some art materials that day too.

Here's the date. I was 17. Later that year, I went to college, caught glandular fever at the end of my first term and this was what I read while I was in isolation hospital for two weeks.

Here are some much earlier treasures. I was a big fan of Toby Twirl when I was very young and still have a couple of books.
'The Chestry Oak' is by Kate Seredy I bought the books for myself fairly recently but read them all when I was about 13 and 14. 'The Good Master', 'The Singing Tree', 'The Open Gate' .
She was a Hungarian who went to live in the USA and wrote stories about her Hungarian childhood. I loved them.

Here are possibly two of my favourite books of all time. Both set in Greece. It was reading Fugitive Pieces that really gave me the extra push to want to go to Greece again.
Its a very moving book.
I read Capatain Corelli on a Eurocamp Holiday to Brittany about 10 years ago. I lay reading it on a sunbed on the campsite, blubbing, and wouldn't do anything else until I'd finished it.

Anne Tyler is one of my favourites too. The first line of this book is great.
'Once upon a time there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person'.
How could you not read on?
I like the Patchwork Planet too and the Accidental Tourist.

Doesn't everyone have this old sewing book?

This gives real insight into life in Afghanistan, very enjoyable.

A Thousand Acres contains a real shocker..based on King Lear, and I put the other one in because it describes my condition!

The Gormenghast Trilogy was a 21st Birthday present and I read them with a dictionary next to me. I loved them at the time and used to imagine 'The Movie' I had all the characters played by appropriate actors in my imagination, but when the TV series came out not so long ago I was a bit disappointed.
If you ever come across 'Mr Pye' also by Mervyn Peake, read it! (But only if no one has told you about it first)
The 'Clayhanger trilogy' by Arnold Bennet kept me occupied when I had to go to work on a long bus journey. It was so restrained. I remember gasping when they at last held hands for a second.
Looking at all these books makes me realise how little I seem to read now. I think I've replaced books with blogs.
I sit up till all hours with my laptop until its too late to read in bed.
Must change.
Have you read any of these?


Swirlyarts said...

I've got a fair few of these but like you seem to suffer from 'no time to read!' I tried reading Gormenghast when I was about 15 and didn't get it at all. I might try again soon. I love HG Well and older sci fi - I have a shelf full :) I'm intrigued by A Thousand Acres - will have to keep my eyes open for that one.

Linda said...

How could I not resist a question like that, particularly as I spent the best part of last year, working at getting back into reading.

In my teens I went through a sci-fi phase but it was John Wyndham that was at the top of the list. Then there were the books on the schoolbook list - Lord of the Flies was a struggle, as was the Gormenghast Trilogy, but without it I wouldn't have found the pleasures of Thomas Hardy or Arnold Bennett!

And now? Now I struggle to find authors I like, but am working my way through Ann Patchett novels with great joy!

Gina said...

That was very interesting to have a tour through your bookcase and I have to confess although I've always been an avid reader there are not many there I have read, although I too am a fan of Anne Tyler and have read those. My time to read is half an hour every morning sat up in bed with a cuppa before I have to get up. I'm always too tired at night.

Jude said...

Living on a boat gave me a wonderful excuse to read read read!
Whenever we bumped into (whoops, no, not literally)other 'brits' I'd row over and ask if they had any books to swap...
Here, in Crete, English books are expensive so I trawl the various bazaars and bring and buy sales for a good read.I swap with friends too. Clayhanger, I remember reading. Have you read The Island by Victoria Hislop (she has a home near here)knowing your love of Greece I think you'd like it.It's based on Spinalonga.Going to bed now to read my historical novel.....

Liz said...

I've got that needlework one too!!! Not read it though....

Actually, considering the number of books we've got, I have very few of these... Captain Corelli's Mandolin, which is awaiting reading and the Arnold Bennett because I come from Stoke and that's about it....

But I DO love looking at other people's books... must photograph some of mine ...

Jan said...

I've read several of the books I see in your photos. Also read the Gormenghast trilogy but didn't enjoy it so much. Maybe I'd like it better now, 30 some years later. An author I like to recommend is Robin Hobb who writes fantasy fiction. Best books I have read in years. Assassins Apprentice is the one to start with. If you like it, you will be in for a treat as the rest are all intertwined, 3 sets of trilogy's.

Of course, this is not a book blog so I want to also say how much I love your art work and all the color!! I must leave some blog feedback to up your score. Thanks for your posts.

Paula Hewitt said...

I really like Anne Tyler, too. Saint Maybe was the first book of hers i read - and i had to read them all. I have been sorting out our bookshelves too and reminising. and im off og]n a second hand book buying spree today - i wonder if i will find any of these.....

Julie said...

I'm almost ashamed tosay I haven't read any but you've given me a few for my list. I do have the Needlecraft on which belonged to my late aunt who died very young.

I read all sorts now, mostly in bed at night once I've wrenched myself away from blog reading! I was introduced to Thomas Hardy at school and loved his works.

JaneO said...

There's nothing quite like nosing at someone else's bookcase. I have read Captain Corelli's Mandolin (wasn't the film a disappointment?) and At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances - must try some Anne Tyler as I love the quote.

Kitsch and Curious Elaine said...

I love books so much, and agree with many of yours. I recently blogged about Toby Twirl!

Shelly said...

I used to read every single night before bed . . . and then discovered Flickr . . . and then blogland. For shame.

Several good reads on your shelf. Must make it a point to put my head back into the books.


Anonymous said...

I have to say I haven't read any of these books ,I only read a book say once a year, Shame on me I know.
Me excuse being I'm slightly dyslexic ,sometimes I can read 2 or more pages and I couldn't tell you what I just read .
Since getting a computer I haven't read at all .

New Carpet sounds lovely !!

love from sesga xxx

PG said...

I adore the Gormenghast trilogy! But haven't read it for years, so am going to dig my battered old copy out. And yes, I do have that self same big needlework book.

Threadspider said...

I have several "near misses" with your collection-same author, different title and only share Captain Corelli.
I so struggled to read anything last year I have resolved to do better this. I'm renewing a love affair with poetry-bite size chunks seem to suit me better.

Kitty said...

I was incredibly strict with myself when we moved, and chucked out a zillion books. Just didn't have the room for them anymore :-( I still haunt the shelves in charity shops looking for wonderful finds though!

Oh and C&A?! What a great blast from the past! I loved the clockhouse bit which played loud pop music!


Lynne said...

I love Anne Tyler's books too. But I especialy enjoyed seeing the Kate Seredy book: I read them all as a child particularly The Good Master, and I always remember a description of someone wearing a special dress with lots of petticoats! I'd love to get copies of them now.

hippopip said...

A very enjoyable blog must now go and pick up a book and improve my failing mind

jennyflower said...

Mmmmmm books, a total addiction in this house. I too blubbed over the Captain, and refuse to watch the film, because I know it won't be the same. About to sort my craft books.......wish me luck! xx

MargaretR said...

What a lot of memories in your post. I love books, but moving to a flat I had to get rid of far too many. Now, mine are mostly embroidery and mixed media books, which I buy and don't have time to read. Hence, the reason I bought a book I already had last week. exchanged it and found I had that one as well. I must do something about this!

colleen said...

Toby Twirl. Loved him. Srange - I can hardly remember a thing about him, though I'm still an admirer of pigs. Anne Tyler - delectable. I'd add Ladder of Years to your list...actually, never found a dud.

No Carol Shields?

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