Hello, fellow Bookworms! I know, I know…. long time, no blog! But I have returned with a new blog.
First up, I’d like to wish all the best to Helen Adams who seems to have had her publishing issues resolved and “Gorgeous: Inside And Out” has now been sent for publishing, complete with a dedication to her father inside. Looking forward to receiving my copy of this forthcoming self-help book! 🙂
Secondly, I’ve just finished my book club book, with quite a few weeks to spare, actually. Strangely, I didn’t pick it up much at first after I got it on 24th May following our most recent book club meeting, but in the past week or so, I picked it up to give it another go and found myself unable to put it down to the point where it was doing my head in having to go to work as I just wanted to read and didn’t want anything else getting in the way of that! Really enjoyed “The Anatomy of Ghosts”. I’ll try not to spoil it for you but let’s just say some of these “ghosts” are not as ghostly as you or certain characters may think….
With my family getting together recently for my niece’s Christening, I was able to have some book-related chat with my auntie and godmother, Jenny, who recommended to me “The Hare With Amber Eyes” by Edmund De Waal. This book, the 2010 Costa Biography Award winner, has been raved about and recommended by many, so I have acquired a copy. It is also one of those books I had already picked up and looked at in bookshops several times with a view to purchasing and reading it some time in the near future.
In the meantime, I have returned to “Holidays In Hell” by P J O’Rourke, which I am nearly at the end of now. I have largely enjoyed and been amused by this book, although I have a few quibbles and issues I wish to clear up with the author, particularly regarding the bit about Europe. Let me set a few matters straight, P J…
Firstly, I have NEVER liked the “Special Relationship” between the UK and USA since I became politically aware, which I was from the age of about 11 onwards (yes I was young, but we had Spitting Image back then!) and even as a 13 year old in 1986 I was not the remotest bit happy at the USA using UK bases to bomb Libya, and thus putting us ordinary Brits at risk of terrorist reprisals! It is one of the MANY reasons why I utterly HATE M****e T******r. Let’s just say that in an ideal world, where I was Prime Minister, I would NOT go along with any of the USA’s harebrained schemes – I would not do anything that would put British citizens at unnecessary risk (and most of the US’s ventures do just that! And they still do. Iraq springs readily to mind here…)
Secondly, there’s your inaccuracy regarding the metric system. Yes, most of Europe does measure in metric and they do try and foist it upon us, but I think you’ve done us Brits another disservice, P J, as most of us, as much as we can get away with, still prefer to use the imperial system of weights and measurements! If you go into a Maccy D’s in the UK, you can get a Quarter Pounder with Cheese – we still call it that, even if it’s known as a Royale With Cheese on the continent, as famously mentioned by John Travolta & Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction! Many of us in the UK hate the EU and wish we weren’t in it because of all the bureaucracy, red tape and stupid pointless rules that get foisted on us by people in Brussels with evidently nothing better to do in their sad lives than to inflict stupid crap on an entire continent!
Don’t get me wrong, P J, I’m only dissing the governing of Europe by the European Union. Ordinary European people from the many countries across our continent are a fine lot and you have done them all a disservice by dissing their countries and writing them off. Just because they are much smaller, geographically, than yours, does NOT give you the right to slag them off! Well, maybe Parisians deserve it a bit! After all, they’re snotty about everyone else! If you’re not from Paris yourself, they’ll be snotty to you, and even if you are from Paris, they’ll probably still be snotty towards you because you don’t live in the same arrondissement as they do! And leave the rest of the French alone! They’re not cowardly. They just happen to be wise enough not to get involved with any of America’s idiotic foreign policy “ideas” – I just wish the same could be said about my own country! 😦
Thirdly, your question about dentists. Yes, we have dentists on this side of the “Pond” – both here in the UK and in mainland Europe. And they’re bloody good. Apparently, Hungary is the place to go for top quality dental work at low prices – well it was in 2006, anyway, or so someone told me when Mum and I were about to jet off to do Prague, Budapest and Vienna! However, I would point out that, unlike the USA, your average European does NOT have a dental fixation! Quite frankly, I think rather too many Americans are appearance-obsessed, vain, shallow and could do with remembering that beauty is only skin deep! Also, given that many of your fellow Yanks claim to be so damn religious, it’s a bit rich for you to be fixating on outward appearances! Think about Samuel choosing the next king from Jesse’s offspring… all those “handsome” older brothers – I can imagine some of them thought they were quite the catch and bound to attract the ladies! But did Samuel anoint them? No, he chose the “runt of the litter”, the teenage shepherd, David!
Alternatively, if you’re not of a religious bent, think about Dorian Gray, as in the Oscar Wilde novel! Beautiful in appearance, he remained so outwardly (as his portrait changed appearance) but he became a nasty piece of work on the inside! Doesn’t matter if you’re drop-dead gorgeous with perfect dental features… if you behave like an arsehole (or asshole, as Americans would say), it doesn’t matter how gorgeous you look, you’re still not an attractive catch overall! Plus, I believe it is utterly WRONG to try and make people believe they need to fork out lots of money which they probably haven’t got to have surgery they don’t even bloody need! As far as I’m concerned, cosmetic surgery is for when people are born with obvious disfigurements or become disfigured due to some accident (e.g. burned in a fire, savaged by a vicious animal, etc.) but otherwise, such surgical procedures are not remotely necessary! Most people look perfectly fine just the way they turned out!
As I said before, I’ve not quite finished this book, and I have enjoyed it despite my above misgivings, but given all the things P J gets told about his own country, perhaps he could write a book to try and help the rest of his countrymen (and women) to become less unpopular amongst those of us in the rest of the world! P J himself comes across as a knowledgeable and tolerant bloke and sometimes I felt for him with the abuse he was getting, but he really could do with trying to educate his fellow Americans rather more, even if it’s only for his own good, so he no longer gets dog’s abuse just for being American when he goes abroad!
Oh, and by the way, I do wish they’d bring back Spitting Image!
Books mentioned in this blog:
- Gorgeous: Inside And Out – Helen Adams (nearing publication!)
- The Anatomy Of Ghosts – Andrew Taylor
- The Hare With Amber Eyes – Edmund De Waal
- Holidays In Hell – P J O’Rourke
- The Portrait Of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde