P-Pick Up A Penguin!

Penguin orange book spines

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

Apparently, according to Farcebook at least, today is World Penguin Day! Therefore, I thought there was only one way to celebrate this as a bookworm… with some Penguin books! Of course, Penguin Books were celebrating all last year, as it was their 80th birthday since the publishing house was started in 1935!

I may well be picking up a Penguin or two soon enough, although that depends which books take my fancy. I reached the ripe old age of 43 on Saturday and one of my pressies was a £20 Waterstone’s gift card. Add to that the fact that I met up with a couple of my aunties the previous weekend, and got a National Book Tokens gift card from Auntie Andrea! Yay! That one’s for £15, so I have £35 worth of book-related gift cards! I also received The Road to Little Dribbling, by Bill Bryson, which I am looking forward to reading! So, all in all, a pretty good birthday on the book front.

I finished American Housewife last week, which was pretty good, very funny in parts, and the first book club choice I’ve finished in absolutely ages! Progress has been made with How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup, which is rather appropriate given that my lads added to my birthday celebrations by booking their place in this year’s FA Cup Final with a 2-1 victory over Everton at Wembley. We did it in the traditional United manner, too… last-minute winner, three minutes into stoppage time! As with 1990, we will play Crystal Palace in this year’s FA Cup Final on 21st May.

Actually, in terms of birthday and books, the bookfest started the previous day, on 22nd April, when I was in town. After my appointment, it was time to wander to Chapter One, a cafe and book shop on Lever Street in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. Ahead of World Book Night, the following night, they had a few free books on the table, one per customer, although Liam, the owner, let me take an extra book when I mentioned my birthday! Of the free books, I selected Last Bus to Coffeeville, by J. Paul Henderson, and Treachery, by S. J. Parris.

I also bought a couple of books while I was there and got a bit of discount off those, as they were the last remaining “reading copies” of each book. Chapter One has lots of brand new copies, wrapped in shrinkwrap, but there are reading copies available for anyone to sit and read while they’re having a drink and perhaps something to eat. If they are down to that last reading copy, and you wish to buy it, you get 20% off because it’s been opened and read. I bought Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne, and Viper Wine, by Hermione Eyre.

A lot of books have come and gone in recent times, although the mass exodus to the charity shops of Greater Manchester has calmed down for now. Thing is, although I have offloaded plenty of books, a fair few new ones have made their way in return! When I say new, some of them might be brand new, some might be second-hand, but if they are new to me, that is what counts. Having said that, I recently bought one at a charity shop which I had previously tried and not got in to. It was a former book club choice, and a Booker Prize winner, actually… The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton. Thing is, I now don’t know if I couldn’t get into it because of the writing style, or whether it was simply a case of not getting into anything much at that time because I had reader’s block. I didn’t really feel like reading much back then. This was around 3 years ago, and my mind was not really on books, other than Attention All Shipping, which I read and loved on holiday in Mexico that October, so perhaps I should give some book club books another go to see if I like them second time round.

This is why I have not parted with some former book club books. Indeed, The Sisters Brothers is on my notorious Duplicate Books List! Other books I still have, which were Waterstone’s Deansgate book club choices, (although I only have ONE copy of these, or at least I think I do, lol), include The Axeman’s Jazz, by Ray Celestin, and High-Rise by J. G. Ballard, which was the recent book before American Housewife.

The next book club meeting is on 12th May, so a couple of weeks away yet. Having already read the book, it gives me a chance to get others finished and start new ones. In my recent book reshuffles, a couple of chunky Ken Follett books have made their way into my room from the book chest in the garage. Steven, who has been helping me at Remploy, recommended The Pillars of the Earth. He said even though it’s a chunky book, it is very readable. I have made a start on When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi, and on Treachery, by S. J. Parris, which, as I mentioned earlier, was one of the free World Book Day titles I picked up on Friday.

So, with that, I think I shall go and pick up a book, whether that is a Penguin or not, and listen to a bit of Prince. I seriously can’t believe this year! The Grim Reaper really needs to take a chill pill and stop bumping people off! If they’re in their late 80s or have reached their 90s, you can say they’ve had a good innings, but far too many talented people are being taken from us far too young this year, including Victoria Wood at only 62, and Prince at the ridiculously young age of 57! What the hell is Death playing at?! It’s NOT big, and it’s NOT clever! Give over with taking people from us! We are not amused!

Anyway, until the next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry:

  • The Road to Little Dribbling – Bill Bryson
  • American Housewife – Helen Ellis
  • How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup – J. L. Carr
  • Last Bus to Coffeeville – J. Paul Henderson
  • Treachery – S. J. Parris
  • Am I Normal Yet? – Holly Bourne
  • Viper Wine – Hermione Eyre
  • The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
  • Attention All Shipping – Charlie Connelly
  • The Sisters Brothers – Patrick deWitt
  • The Axeman’s Jazz – Ray Celestin
  • High-Rise – J. G. Ballard
  • The Pillars of the Earth  – Ken Follett
  • When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
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Filed under Books, Charity Shop Bargains, Football, Free Books, Historical Fiction, Humour, Music, World Book Night

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