Actual Facts – None of your Alternative nonsense here!


Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

Welcome to another blog entry, and as usual, there’ll probably be plenty of waffle, but you know that already if you are a regular reader of this nonsense, lol! What you do know is that you will get actual facts from me! You’ll get a shedload of opinion too, that goes without saying, but you will get facts. No bullshit, or “alternative facts” as Mr Fart calls them! The less said about that arsehole, the better, other than to say that this blog is the anti-Fart! We’re old-fashioned here, we still do truth, we still do facts, we don’t do bollocks or bullshit – if I did, I’d be an MP, not a blogger!

Right, let’s not waste any more time or typing on knobheads. Let’s get on to the subject at hand… BOOKS! I finished off In Bloom, by Matthew Crow, the other night, so I now have two finished books on my Goodreads Challenge for 2017. Just another 28 to go, then, lol! Over half-way with The Ashes of London, by Andrew Taylor, and also with the above biography of George Michael, by Rob Jovanovic, so that particular book should be read fairly soon, I would think. Particularly as it’s fairly slim and a good Handbag Book! I was in Waterstone’s the other day, as I’d been in town, and I saw it and bought it. I also bought Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M. Pirsig.

Not sure entirely what caused that, bit of a whim, I think, but anyway, it’s one of those much talked-about books. Some have listed it on their “life changing books” lists. As I’ve probably said in previous blog entries, I am not sure any book has been life-changing for me, and I’ve been a bookworm since before I started school. That’s a bloody long time! I started in the reception class at primary school in September 1977, so it will be 40 years ago this autumn! And, how do you define life-changing anyway? Perhaps, in my case, it was whichever book turned me into a bookworm even at pre-school age. I have a long memory, but can’t remember exactly which book did it for me. I do know, however, that I was very partial to The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle, when I was a little girl, so it may well have been that classic! It was certainly a fun book to read, with all the holes in the food to give the appearance of having been munched through by the caterpillar in question, so it helped me to associate books with fun.

I may hesitate to describe any book as life changing, but there have been some which have helped me out of a slump when I’ve had reader’s block, and some which have reminded me of certain holidays (vacations, if you’re one of my US readers). I’d had a bad bout of Reader’s Block which had caused me to read very little from 2012 to 2015, only the very occasional book giving me enjoyment, such as Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent, and Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple, and my 40th birthday holiday in Mexico resulted in my discovery of the brilliant Attention All Shipping, by Charlie Connelly, a journey around the Shipping Forecast which I heartily recommend if you want a good laugh, especially the bit about Faroese puffins, but towards the end of 2015, a couple of books, one non-fiction, and one fiction, helped me back on the book wagon. Those books were Why The Dutch Are Different, by Ben Coates, and The Art of Racing In The Rain, by Garth Stein.

As I said in a recent blog, The Saffron Trail, by Rosanna Ley, is taking me back to Marrakech as I read, making me think of the souks and Jemaa El-Fna Square, and more tagines than you can shake a stick at, lol, but I did buy that book over here before I jetted off to Morocco, and am reading most of it at home, even if I did read some of it at the Riu Tikida Gardens in Marrakech. With Attention All Shipping, it was a different matter, the book had bugger all to do with Mexico, but I actually found it on one of the bookshelves at the El Dorado Seaside Suites and read most of it on a beach bed. It’s just that I hadn’t finished it by the time we jetted off home, so I took it home with me! It reminds me of Mexico because I found the book over there on my jollies, whereas one of my current reads reminds me of a holiday because it’s at least partially set in that particular destination.

The book about the Dutch, and the novel, narrated by the dog, Enzo, helped me out of a reading slump, and I think The Ashes of London is helping me out of a fiction slump which was caused by reading A Little Life last year! Yeah, I’ve read books since I finished Hanya Yanagihara’s epic novel, but the few I read for the remainder of 2016 were non-fiction! Similarly, I’ve been reading a fair bit of non-fiction so far this year, other than The Ashes of London and In Bloom! Currently on the go, I have Why We Love Music, by John Powell, I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic, by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, rather obviously, lol, and George Michael: The Biography, by Rob Jovanovic.

This should come as no surprise whatsoever – you know I love non-fiction as much as I love fiction, always have enjoyed factual books as much as stories since I was little, and we’re talking about books concerning two of my other favourite subject matters other than books themselves… music and football! Regular blog readers will know that other favourite subject matters include language, travel, food, various aspects and periods of history, and for some mad reason, volcanoes!

The volcanoes are my dad’s fault, lol! If you go back to really old blogs, particularly where I mention All In The Best Possible Taste, by Tom Bromley, a book I read a few years ago now, I go back to my own square-eyed childhood, which was the same era as Tom’s – I worked out he was only a few months older than me – and I blogged about the programmes that were on telly in our house. Programmes I watched, and programmes that Mum and Dad watched. In at least one blog entry around that time, I certainly mentioned that my dad watched a lot of Open University programmes, usually at weekends or late at night on BBC2. I must have been around 7 or 8, I think, in the juniors at primary school, and a right night owl, as I’ve always been. Dad let me come down to watch a programme with him because he thought it would interest me. It was an erupting volcano, and it was fascinating! Like watching a natural firework display! So, the fact that I’ve had a thing for volcanoes since I was about eight is my dad’s fault! Still pretty glad we don’t have any in the UK, though!


I mentioned, earlier, The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein, a book which had helped me out of a bout of Reader’s Block towards the end of 2015. That book is narrated by the dog, and I must have a thing for unusual narration in fiction, as one of my favourite books is The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, and that is narrated by Death. Thanks to the Bookshop Cafe group on Facebook, I have discovered another interesting novel, with unusual narration, that being The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, by Mitch Albom. Music is the narrator of this novel, so there’s a theme of music, and unusual narration. Definitely sounded like my cup of tea! (Even if that’s a coffee in the photo, along with the doughnuts, lol!)

Anyway, talking of liquid refreshment, I need a brew, and that’s a fact, so I am off to put the kettle on, and further book talk will be saved for the next blog, when I hope I might even have got at least one of my current reads finished off, possibly the George Michael biography, and I will probably be waffling on just as much about music or football as about books, but you must be used to that by now, surely?!

Until next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry:

  • In Bloom – Matthew Crow
  • The Ashes of London – Andrew Taylor
  • George Michael: The Biography – Rob Jovanovic
  • Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
  • Burial Rites – Hannah Kent
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette? – Maria Semple
  • Attention All Shipping – Charlie Connelly
  • Why The Dutch Are Different – Ben Coates
  • The Art of Racing In The Rain – Garth Stein
  • The Saffron Trail – Rosanna Ley
  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
  • Why We Love Music – John Powell
  • I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • All In The Best Possible Taste – Tom Bromley
  • The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  • The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto – Mitch Albom

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Filed under Arsehole Politicians, Autobiography/Biography, Books, My Bookworm History, Non-Fiction, Television, Travel, Volcanoes

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