Return Of The Bookworm/Reading Recommendations…

The Incredible Waterproof Book!

Hello again, Bookworms!

It’s me again, back home from my holidays, back at work and also back on the blog for yet another entry, some of it about book recommendations from friends and some of it on book-related musings I had when I was sunning myself in Turkey! As you can see from the photo, my reading matter included the anthology of seaside-related short stories in The Beach Book, whose waterproof properties were put to the test by yours truly when she went and sat in the Aegean Sea for a read! Conclusion: the boast is not idle. It is, indeed, a waterproof book!  I also continued with Nina Sankovitch’s year of reading detailed in Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, about which more later, and I downloaded, and read in its entirity, Gary Neville’s autobiography, Red, which I really enjoyed. I am a very biased Stretford Ender, as you probably know by now, lol! Oh, and some pages of both Crime and Punishment and The Flea Palace were also read during the holiday. Now I’m back home and really need to get on with my book club book, which is the true crime account, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.

Going back to Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, we have here a book full of books and very much a theme of books being recommended by friends and family to Nina, and she is passing those recommendations on to us through this autobiography. Sometimes there can be a kind of “chain of recommendation” where someone recommends a book to you, which you read and love so much that you then recommend it to at least one of your friends who also goes on to read and enjoy that book. That has certainly been the case, as far as I’m concerned, when it comes to The Book Thief, which at least two of my Facebook friends (Lizzie Harvey and Andrew Bennett) raved about to me back in 2008 and said I really must read it. I did and loved it so much I’ve been trying to spread the word ever since! On a slightly smaller scale but still a chain of recommendation, this has happened again with another book, namely Under The Frog by Tibor Fischer. You will recall this is also in my Top 10 which I submitted to the World Book Night website for consideration for WBN2012, and had been recommended to me, also in 2008, by my Facebook friend, David Hunt. Anyway, I’d fallen about laughing while reading Fischer’s novel and mentioned it on my book group on Facebook (I’d spend all day in Waterstone’s if I could get away with it!) at least once or twice. Imagine my joy, last week, when another FB friend, Gitte Hannus, wrote on my Facebook wall to let me know she’d found and bought a copy of Under The Frog and had also enjoyed it!

What is it, though, with some books? Perhaps it’s the publishers who do this, but how can a book have two different titles in the same language? This question stems from the Sankovitch book and the fact that she read a novel called Little Bee by Chris Cleave. I have also read this book, a couple of years ago for my book club, but over here the book was known as The Other Hand! Seemingly, it’s Little Bee in the USA and New Zealand but The Other Hand in the UK and elsewhere where this book has been published in English. Most odd! I could understand this matter if it were a translation! For example, the original French version of Eric Cantona’s autobiography is entitled Un Rêve Modeste Et Fou, whereas, when the English translation came out, it was very plainly titled My Story. Personally, I think they should’ve made more effort to translate the original into English, giving us A Modest And Crazy Dream or something along those lines! Not that this really takes anything away from the fact that I have a copy of both books and both are signed by King Eric! Back in those days, you could still go to The Cliff and get autographs after watching the lads being put through their paces in training!

Seems there’s now a film been made of the John Le Carré novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I could’ve sworn this had already been a film, as the book has been around for donkey’s years (first published in 1974, when I was a mere 1 year old baby bookworm!) and I know my dad had a copy of this along with several other spy thrillers! Anyway, it seems that it has only just been made into a film, but the reason I thought it had already been done is because it was adapted for tv in the late 70s – it was made into a series and shown on the BBC in 1979, with Alec Guinness as George Smiley. My dad watched it, so that’s probably why it sprung to mind – that it was on in our house when I was a kid! Bit like The Day of the Triffids, actually! I’m sure that sci-fi novel adaptation was on telly at around the same time, give or take a year, so I was only about 6 or 7, and the little bit I saw scared the shit out of me and I didn’t watch the rest of it. My dad enjoyed it, though! I prefer comedy and humour when it comes to science fiction.

Well, I think I’d better give some thought to a few hours of serious snoozing shortly, so I’ll have to love you and leave you for now. I will be back with another blog entry fairly soon, though, as the Man Booker Prize Shortlist was announced last week and I wish to make some mention of this matter!

Take care and Happy Reading!

Books mentioned in this blog entry:

  • The Beach Book – Various Authors
  • Tolstoy and the Purple Chair – Nina Sankovitch
  • Red – Gary Neville
  • Crime and Punishment  – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • The Flea Palace – Elif Shafak
  • In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
  • The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  • Under The Frog – Tibor Fischer
  • The Other Hand (Little Bee) – Chris Cleave
  • Un Rêve Modeste Et Fou – Eric Cantona
  • My Story – Eric Cantona
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – John Le Carré
  • The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham
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