Long Hot Summer

Joanna Cannon 1

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

I am home from Waterstone’s, and, believe it or not, only bought the ONE book! Yep, you read that right! Mind you, that’s because I went for an author event, so I was specifically attending for the purpose of buying the copy of The Trouble With Goats and Sheep which Joanna Cannon had signed for me! When we were at the event, in which Joanna read to us from the book, and had a Q & A session with us, the question cropped up as to which genre the book would fall into. It’s quite a cross-genre book, really, given the blurb. You could regard it as a mystery and treat it as crime fiction – there is a missing person in the plot and suspicions increase as the summer goes on and the heatwave continues. Given that the story is set during the long hot summer of 1976, which is 40 years ago this summer, I would actually be inclined to regard it as historical fiction. The weather and events of 1976 have a bearing on the plot, and being more than 25 years ago, I’d say it falls into that category quite easily.

You could also argue the case for it ending up as Young Adult fiction. Two of the main characters are children, a couple of ten-year-old girls, and the whole mystery of one of their neighbours disappearing is seen through their eyes, so it could attract a young readership as well as adults.

Joanna Cannon 2

So, there’s the signed book for your viewing pleasure! And a cheeky vino! There was spare wine, so I was able to enjoy a second glass! A dirty job, but someone’s got to do it, lol! Actually, the whole concept of author events and free wine reminds me of a book we read as a book club book not long ago, I think it was last year. It was certainly no earlier than 2014, anyway.

That particular book was Francis Plug: How To Be a Public Author, by Paul Ewen. The protagonist, Plug, is basically a complete pisshead! He’s supposedly writing a self-help book for writers, but this is really just an excuse to stalk famous authors at author events. He goes to these events, particularly those of Booker Prize winners such as Sir Salman Rushdie and Hilary Mantel, tries to wangle more free booze than he’s actually entitled to, and makes a complete embarrassing tit of himself! I have not finished the book, it’s a partially-read one of mine, but it is funny, which is always a good thing in my opinion. The only thing is, it’s quite repetitive in a way, as it is mostly Plug attending yet another event and making a drunken arse of himself on each and every occasion! I’m not sure he even gets his own book written, either! I’ll have to get round to finishing this novel to see if he actually does manage, but I have my doubts that he does!

Got a certain Style Council song on my brain. My own doing, I guess, for calling this blog entry Long Hot Summer! It’s an 80s song, though, so I need to go back a bit further – for reading the Joanna Cannon book, I need a 70s soundtrack, 1976 in particular. Plenty of Abba, Brotherhood of Man, and that sort of stuff… My earliest memory goes back to that summer, as that was when I became a big sister. I can recall my dad telling me, that morning, that Mum had had a little girl, I had a sister, which is what I wanted, and then Mum came home from hospital later that day with little Eleanor, or Ellie as she would come to be known! She’s only ever Eleanor on official documents, or if you’re annoyed with her, lol! Most of the time, she’s Ellie. Or Mummy, in Charlotte’s case. I think “You To Me Are Everything” by The Real Thing was number one when Ellie was born. I’d already entered the world three years and two months previously, in April 1973, when the number one was Dawn featuring Tony Orlando, with “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree”!

I stopped listening to the charts years ago, so I haven’t the foggiest what was number one when my niece was born in 2010. Sadly, I’m guessing it was something completely rubbish, as most songs are these days! I listen to 70s and 80s music, a hell of a lot of which has consisted of David Bowie songs of late.

Anyway, for your listening pleasure, let’s get back to 1976 and the number one when my sister entered the world…

You’re not just getting books, you’re getting music as well! Proper tunes, of course, none of today’s drivel! I’m sure there are good tunes out there, but they’re vastly outnumbered by Crap Factor stuff and other assorted drivel. As I’ve hinted in previous blogs, not only was the music far better in the 70s and 80s, so were the television programmes! Sure, they had talent shows back then, from time to time, but none of those actually sought to monopolise the charts every Christmas like Crap Factor does! Indeed, talent shows back then catered for a range of different entertainment-based talents. Not just pop singers and bands, but also magicians, comedians, ventriloquists, dancers, acrobats, etc. Britain’s Got Talent is today’s equivalent of New Faces or Opportunity Knocks, so, while I don’t watch it, I can accept that one as just the modern version of those shows. The winner gets to perform at the Royal Variety Performance. It’s Crap Factor I have a big problem with, and it’s time they pulled the plug on that shite once and for all! Long outstayed its welcome on telly!

Anyway, enough of that waffle, let’s get back to books. I have actually only mentioned two books thus far in this entry, but that is the way things go sometimes in my blogs. There are times when I have a huge list of books, and others, like this, when I only mention two or three items of reading matter. As I type this blog, I am in Facebook Messenger with my friend Liz, who has just informed me how much she is enjoying An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green. Isn’t it lovely when others take you up on a book recommendation and also love the book as much as you did?! Colin and Hassan are such great characters. It’s the second John Green novel I’ve read, the first being The Fault In Our Stars, which was recommended to me by my friend, Gabrielle. I also own a copy of Paper Towns, so when the time comes for my next dose of John Green, that will be the one! It would also qualify as a Handbag Book, which gives it a distinct advantage! While we’re on Handbag Books, good progress is being made with Breakfast At Tiffany’s. That’s the novella, of course, NOT the film, nor the song by Deep Blue Something, lol! Thus it looks like the Truman Capote book will be the first of the current Handbag Books to exit the handbag and make way for new reading matter.

I, for my part, shall get this finished off and published so you can see the photos and read about the Joanna Cannon book! Until next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry:

  • The Trouble With Goats and Sheep – Joanna Cannon
  • Francis Plug: How To Be A Public Author – Paul Ewen
  • An Abundance of Katherines – John Green
  • The Fault In Our Stars – John Green
  • Paper Towns – John Green
  • Breakfast At Tiffany’s – Truman Capote



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Filed under Authors, Books, British Weather, Facebook & Other Social Media, Food & Drink, Humour, Junior Bookworms, Literary Issues, Music, My Bookworm History, Television, YA Books

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