I’ve been having a bit of a Michael Connelly moment recently. This last week I have watched ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ film, watched the first episode of ‘Bosch’ on Amazon video and read the latest Connelly paperback – The Gods of Guilt, which was so good I read it in one sitting and completely ignored everyone and everything around me for 2 hours (sorry husband and dog). Connelly is definitely my guilty pleasure, I wouldn’t say I am a fan of crime fiction at all but I have loved all his books ever since I first read The Closers 5 years ago. My husband is currently working his way through the Haller books (which start with The Lincoln Lawyer) so today I pulled out all my Connellys and put them in order so I could find him the next one to read. I didn’t realise I had quite so many. Continue reading
Went to Waterstones for the first time in a while to pick up American Gods for my husband. I do like bookshops (although I must admit I am an Amazon girl) but it annoys me how books are categorised – even though Neil Gaiman is an exceptionally talented, well respected and award-winning author, I have to go upstairs to the tiny weeny teeny Fantasy/Science Fiction section (when other authors who I will not name and shame here are right at the front of the shop, some of them even in the Fiction section, and I’m using Fiction here in the broadest use of the word). Sorry for the rant. Anyway…. Continue reading
Recently at dinner, my educated friends and I had a lively debate about what an adverb is. The conclusion was that we didn’t know and because the 3G reception in the restaurant was bad we couldn’t cheat and google it. We got over it pretty quickly but I remembered this when book shopping the next day and I saw this beautiful little book. Continue reading
There is an interesting debate going on in the UK at the moment about GCSE English set texts – nice article here – where the education secretary has removed some classic American texts that have been in the set books lists for years and replacing them with English authors. There was a massive backlash at the start of this week as a couple of the books – John Steinbecks Of Mice and Men and Harper Lees To Kill A Mockingbird, are the ones that are going, with accusations that it’s because of Michael Goves personal hatred of Steinbeck (he read English at Oxford). At first, I was totally outraged, how can the government ban books, not right, rah rah, but having looked at some of the new books, I am kind of coming round to the idea. I LOVE John Steinbeck, East of Eden is my favourite book of all time and I dragged my husband to the John Steinbeck museum on our honeymoon (and saw Cannery Row – awesome!) and I do understand that these books deal with important themes; racism, unemployment, recession, poverty – all of which are still important today. And, obviously, are incredibly well written. But at the same time, I like that teenagers will be reading some real English classics – Frankenstein, Great Expectations, Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm are all on the new list. And the themes of these books are important too – identity, culture, politics. So I am feeling quite positive about the change. Continue reading
I have just finished 12 Years a Slave, which I really enjoyed, even if it was quite upsetting in parts. The other book I have on the go at the moment is Anna Karenina which I feel like I have been reading for years! I have been picking it up and putting it down for the last 6 months. I really like it but I am finding that I can only read a couple of chapters at a time then I have to break off and digest it for a while. I think this is because every minute detail of every conversation is described, and there are so many characters! Hopefully I will finish it this week as I have a big pile of new books to read. On my kindle I have just started The Awakening by Kate Chopin (which I chose as I saw a lovely quote from the book on Etsy and I have never heard of her before) and after finishing 11-22-63 on audible I am now listening to Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (who is fab – she has never written a bad book!)
At my favourite bookshop – the Little Apple bookshop in York – I saw a poster on the wall that completely summed up all that is amazing about reading, and really made me think about how I discussed books with people. The poster was The Rights of The Reader by Daniel Pennac.
Every single point is so true! Being a big reader myself I have always been a bit suspicious of people who don’t read, so I loved the warning – and I like to think it has made me a bit more tolerant. I can now understand my best friend Emma a little better, who always reads the last chapter of a book first because she doesn’t like surprises. Even though I may not agree (I don’t, she’s crazy) I can respect her decision to do that. Everyone has different reading habits and different ways of reading, and this poster reminds me of that in a beautiful way. It went straight on Pinterest so hopefully more people will see it and love it.
Yesterday I went to Waterstones and picked up some of the new Penguin classic editions. They are just gorgeous – stunning artwork plus the covers feel slightly waxy and lovely. I restrained myself and only got 3, but I will probably end up getting all of them! The three I chose are books that I don’t have and haven’t read before, so as well as having some lovely looking new books I also have three new editions to the ‘to be read’ pile (which I must admit is now getting a little out of hand!)