Mad About The Book(s)…

Book spree at Waterstone's 7th April 2016

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

Welcome to another book blog from your seriously random Chief Bookworm! Never mind the boy in the original song title, I’m mad about the book. Or rather, books. And I went a bit mad, as you can see, when I was at Waterstone’s on Thursday evening for my book club meeting, at which we were discussing High Rise, by J. G. Ballard. Not that I got very far with that one, other books distracted me, luring me away, lol, but I can safely say I have already read far more of our new choice, American Housewife, by Helen Ellis. It is funny. VERY funny! The Wainscoting War part is particularly amusing, as is the Dumpster Diving with the Stars part. I might even manage to read a book club book all the way through for the first time in bloody ages, so I would like to thank Emma, who runs our book club, for suggesting that one, and my fellow book club members for opting to go for it.

As you can see, I came home with a few others to go with American Housewife! Stuart Maconie’s latest, The Pie at Night, a companion book to Pies and Prejudice as he describes it, has just come out in paperback, so I bought it. I saw it a few weeks ago in hardback and it took my fancy! In Pies and Prejudice, which I read some years ago now, Maconie travels around the north of England in a general exploration of life up north, and he does so again in The Pie at Night, to discover what we Northerners do for fun, how we get our entertainment.

A couple of YA books made the list in the book spree, those being Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli, and The Art of Being Normal, by Lisa Williamson. Both have caught my eye on several occasions lately, so I decided those were joining my notorious TBR pile. That basically leaves us with four mentioned, three to go from the books in the photo…

How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup, by J. L. Carr, is a novella, and thus a Handbag Book, and, as such, has gone in my handbag, at least for now. It was written back in the early to mid 1970s, skips a few rounds, and not only is it highly improbable in terms of the rank outsiders of Steeple Sinderby Wanderers winning the cup, but there are Scottish teams in the tournament in this story, so it’s pretty far-fetched, they have an FA Cup of their own, the Scottish FA Cup, but seemed like a good short fun read, so I bought it. Howards End is on the Landing has come out of my handbag. Although it had a bookmark in it when I found it in the Book Chest the other week, it seems I’ve already read it according to Goodreads. I’m not averse to re-reading stuff I enjoyed, but it needs to make way in the handbag for fresh books I know I haven’t read before! Therefore, Howards End is on the Landing is now, appropriately enough, on our landing!

However, A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara, will NOT be going in my handbag! It is only “little” in the same way that A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James, is “brief” – in other words, they are definitions of little and brief which I have never previously considered, lol! How can you have little or brief in a book title when the book concerned is a whopping huge doorstopper?! Seriously! It’s mega chunky! 720 pages is NOT little by any stretch of the imagination! I don’t own a copy of the Marlon James book which won the Booker Prize last year, but I know that one is also a chunky one! I think it’s a good 600+ pages if I’m not mistaken!

One more book to mention from the photo, and that’s When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi, a former surgeon who wrote this book when he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer.He was only 36 and on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon. He passed away writing this book, his wife writes the epilogue at the end.

I am a VERY random reader, as regular readers of this blog will know, and if anyone has recently started reading my book blogs, welcome! Thanks for joining! I did mention my blog the other day in the Bookshop Cafe group on Facebook, so I could well have gained some new followers to Joanne’s Bookshelf. If so, I am delighted you chose to have a shufty at my blog, and I hope you enjoy it! Not only am I random in the books I mention, I am pretty random as to when I blog. It is not consistent. Sometimes I hardly blog for ages, other times, I blog every day!

Also, I mention a lot of books. It doesn’t mean I’ve read them all! Quite a few of them, I will have read, of course. Others are half-read or at least partially-read books, and others are either on my TBR list, or just books I’ve heard about. Sometimes it might be because I’ve read another book by that author. If some of the books are fairly recent children’s books, they may well be books my niece has read! Charlotte is 5 going on 6 and a right bookworm, so quite a few kids’ books crop up on here, particularly if Chief Bookworm has been on a book shopping spree for Junior Bookworm! Especially anything by Julia Donaldson, although I expect Charlotte has probably got everything she’s ever written by now, lol!

Anyway, back to some books on the go… I have actually finished Equal Rites, by Sir Terry Pratchett, and am nearing the end of The Story of Music, by Howard Goodall. I need to get on with Ghostwritten, the David Mitchell book, which I am halfway through at the moment, but perhaps getting American Housewife and the Steeple Sinderby one read would be a better priority. After all, I’ve put the CDs for the audiobook of Ghostwritten on my laptop already, and I know where I’m at when I want to resume. I have other audiobooks from the library I need to put on the laptop before I return them, and so the Mitchell takes a back seat for now, for several reasons.

Recent charity shop bargains have included a couple of Discworld books I’d not previously got, those being A Hat Full of Sky, and Making Money, the latter of which I acquired in hardback edition for a mere 99p. Bargain! I think the former was also 99p. That one is a paperback edition. I also got an interesting bit of travel writing, Beauty Tips From Moose Jaw, by Will Ferguson, who turns out to have come from Red Deer, Alberta, the same city as my very good friend Liz on Facebook! The book is about travels around Canada. I’ve been to Canada, back in 2009, although just near the east coast, in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. I’ve been to Toronto, Niagara Falls, Montreal and Quebec City, with a few hours in Ottawa, the national capital, on the way from Toronto to Montreal. It was the “Maple Leaf Trail” tour. I’d love to go to Canada again. Really enjoyed it, and I want to go to Tim Horton’s and have coffee and donuts, or at least a box of Timbits! I know we already do have some equivalent places over here in the UK, we do have Krispy Kreme, which I love, but I think we really ought to have Timmies in the UK!

There are several bookmarks on the go as well, including the blue version of the knitting Dutch lady – you’ll recall I stitched this design on white aida with orange floss, and at the same time I’d started that one, I started one in blue floss on light blue aida. I’m getting on with that one now, as well as a couple of other bookmarks. Actually, there are four bookmarks in progress, including the doggy one I mentioned in a previous blog. I have that many books, it makes sense for me to cross stitch a lot of bookmarks!

And, with that, perhaps it’s time I actually got on with some of that cross-stitch, or some more reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog, especially if it’s the first time you’ve read any of my waffle, lol! Feel free to browse through the archives, this drivel goes right back to 2010, or some of it does, anyway! Six years of vaguely book-related nonsense with a whole load of other random stuff thrown in because it seemed like a good idea at the time!

Take care, and, until next time, Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry:

  • High Rise – J. G. Ballard
  • American Housewife – Helen Ellis
  • The Pie at Night – Stuart Maconie
  • Pies and Prejudice – Stuart Maconie
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
  • The Art of Being Normal – Lisa Williamson
  • How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup – J. L. Carr
  • Howards End is on the Landing – Susan Hill
  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
  • A Brief History of Seven Killings – Marlon James
  • When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
  • Equal Rites – Sir Terry Pratchett
  • The Story of Music – Howard Goodall
  • Ghostwritten – David Mitchell
  • A Hat Full of Sky – Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Making Money – Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Beauty Tips From Moose Jaw – Will Ferguson
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Filed under Autobiography/Biography, Books, Charity Shop Bargains, Childrens' Books, Cross-Stitch, E-Books & Audiobooks, Football, Junior Bookworms, Manc Stuff!, Non-Fiction, Travel, YA Books

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