13th October 2010.
Hello, fellow Bookworms! Welcome back to the weird and wonderful book-related world that is my blog, and we have to start this entry by congratulating the Whitefield-born author Howard Jacobson on winning the Booker Prize for “The Finkler Question”, the announcement of which was made last night. For those who don’t know, Whitefield is an area of Manchester, on the way to Bury, and is particularly well-known for Slattery’s, a fantastic confectioner’s shop. Confectioner does not do it justice – they make awesome cakes and chocolate goodies and have an excellent dining room upstairs! The only problem with Slattery’s is that the car park is tidgy, but I digress….
Went to my book club last night where we discussed “The Year of the Flood” by Margaret Atwood which got a mixed reception. Most agreed it was an easy to read book, although some of us liked it more than others and there were plenty of talking points in the book, particularly the themes of environmental issues and religion which run throughout the novel, thus making it a great book club read! I personally enjoyed the book and would rather like to read “Oryx and Crake” as those characters feature in The Year of the Flood. Our new book, for our meeting on 23rd November, is “Your Presence Is Requested At Suvanto” by Maile Chapman. As it’s set in Finland, I may start my Around The World In 80 Books project early and start it off with this novel.
I am actually nearing the end of “Second Hand Heart” by Catherine Ryan Hyde, a book about a young woman in her late teens who is given a new chance of life with a heart transplant after a lady is killed in a road accident, and who then finds herself falling in love with the lady’s widowed husband! I guess it was just a case of The Call of the Book, as I’m not entirely sure what attracted me to this book, but something did and I’m glad this was the case as I’m enjoying the book.
Ok, a thyroid that doesn’t do what’s required is far less serious than a heart that doesn’t function properly, but I feel for Vida, particularly the sense of being overprotected and fussed-over all her life. It grates with me that if you have a disability or illness, however minor, there is a tendency for others to treat you like you’re much younger than you actually are. I used to collect used stamps for guide dogs and give them to my grandma to take to church. From what she’d said about the blind guy, James, I thought for ages that he was a young boy. I was rather taken aback when I first met him at some church do and discovered he was a grown man! The way my grandma had always talked about him, and the tone of voice she used, had made me think James was a child. Personally, I believe that, unless you actually KNOW that the person’s disability is a mental impairment, there is NO excuse for treating that person in such a patronising manner! I hope I’m preaching to the converted here, as this treatment of disabled people really infuriates me. If someone’s an adult, it’s best to treat them as one. Even if they turn out to have a mental impairment which limits their understanding, at least you have erred on the side of caution rather than talking down to them.
I don’t mean to lecture in my blogs but Second Hand Heart has touched on an issue I feel very strongly about. As I said, I have only a very minor health problem compared to many, but technically I do have a disability and have been overprotected by certain people in my family because of it, a treatment that I especially resent.
The Finkler Question – Howard Jacobson
The Year Of The Flood – Margaret Atwood
Oryx And Crake – Margaret Atwood
Your Presence Is Requested At Suvanto – Maile Chapman
Second Hand Heart – Catherine Ryan Hyde