Eric the Seagull – he’s following the trawler!
Good evening, fellow Bookworms!
Those who have ever read at least the first book of the Discworld series, The Colour of Magic, by the late Sir Terry Pratchett, will know of a character called The Luggage, which is a wooden treasure-style chest on a lot of little legs. I am beginning to think some of my books have similar little legs as I can think of quite a few in my collection which I cannot put my hands on and I haven’t a Scooby where they’ve got to!
I know I had a bit of a clear-out last year, taking a number of books to charity shops in the local area, but I am pretty convinced that the books I have in mind as being AWOL were not amongst those taken and dished out to help local causes in 2016! Thus the Missing Words title of this blog – also, as music fans will know, a song by ska band The Selecter, in the late 70s or early 80s. (It was 1980 – I’ve just looked it up.) Fronted by Pauline Black, whose autobiography, Black By Design: A 2-Tone Memoir, should be available from all good book shops, as the saying goes!
Anyhow, onto the missing books themselves, and the first, which has been AWOL for some time, is The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy. I have absolutely NO idea where that has got to! It used to be around here, near Computer Corner, but it hasn’t been for some time now and I am at a loss as to where it has got to. It could be in the Book Chest, but I can’t remember seeing it when I went in the garage the other week.
The English Patient has also gone walkabouts, and I don’t mean discharged from hospital, lol! In my case, it’s actually part of a box set of various Picador books, the rest of which are on our landing, in their box, and I have read one of the books from that set, that being Holidays In Hell by P. J. O’Rourke. I had started on The English Patient, by Michael Ondaatje, but I can’t continue it at any time in the near future unless I actually get my hands on the damn book!
A Man Called Ove is also amongst the disappeared! The Fredrik Backman novel about Sweden’s answer to Victor Meldrew is nowhere to be seen! I know I’ve got this book somewhere , but the fact that it has gone missing is enough for me to do a Victor Meldrew impersonation and exclaim loudly I DON’T BELIEVE IT!!!
The fourth and final book of the quartet of missing reading matter is one of my YA novels, Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. Again, I’d started the damn thing, and I now haven’t got a Scooby where it’s buggered off to! In fact, apart from The God of Small Things, I had actually started the other three on this list, which makes it even more bloody frustrating that I haven’t a clue where they are! They could well be in hard to get to places, they could be lurking in a dark corner of my room. They are not in Computer Corner, that’s for sure. If they were round here, they wouldn’t be missing as I’d have found the little buggers by now!
That reminds me, I had a bookmark when I was a kid or at least a teenager, and I think it was a Forever Friends one with one of those teddies on it… I probably still have it somewhere. Anyway, it had a little rhyme on it, which went…
If this book should chance to roam
Box its ears and send it home!
Well, there are at least four books of mine right now which could do with a clip round the ear for doing a runner on me! I know there was a time, a few years ago when I thought I had a book but didn’t know where it was, but it turned out I didn’t have that book, however, one of my Facebook friends very kindly sent me a copy! The book in question, in that instance, was Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and the irony is that I DO know where that book is, even if I can’t find these four others which are clearly having a game of hide and seek with me, and are very much winning right now, lol!
The Ongoing Concerns
With seven books on my Ongoing Concerns list, I’m not really in a major hurry to add any of the Missing Books to the list and resume them, but I still want to know where the damn things are in good time for when I get a book or two finished and need some new ones on the OC front!
As yesterday was a Tuesday, I made good inroads with Tuesdays With Morrie, and it is now part of the OC list, as seen in the above photo! I still need to decide if I’m just going to read it on Tuesdays, or going to get it finished off sooner and not care what day I read it. I want to get some more finished, and the short ones are a decent bet, especially as they make for good Handbag Books, so there’s always a chance I can do some reading when out and about. My current placement, though, is pretty local, so, as I think I said the other day, unless I’m stuck in particularly heavy traffic coming home from Eccles, there’s little chance of getting some epic Bus Reading done! I’m not there tomorrow, though, and have to go to town, so that’s a better bet for a bit of reading on the bus or tram!
No need to go to Wythenshawe now, however, as my dad is back home in Macclesfield. Hopefully looking after himself, but I know what he’s like and he is going to have to change the habits of a lifetime and get off his arse a damn sight more than he had been doing! He is such a stubborn git, always has been, and won’t be told! He thinks advice doesn’t apply to him and that he can do what he wants and he’ll be fine. Over the years, my sister has tried her hardest to get it through to him that his lifestyle has been doing him no favours, but he wouldn’t listen to her. The one sensible thing he did do was when he gave up smoking back at the end of 1987, so this December, just before Christmas, it’ll be 30 years since he gave that up!
He used to smoke a pipe, but that particular December, he had the flu and was having a massive coughing fit any time he tried to light his pipe, so he decided to pack it in while he was ill. By the time he was well again, probably early in January 1988, he realised he’d not smoked for about 2 or 3 weeks and just didn’t go back to it!
Anyhow, enough of that waffle about my dad! Back to the books! I am well aware that today is International Women’s Day, but I have said in countless previous blogs that we should move away from fussing over whether authors, or even main characters, are female. There is only one true distinction we need to make when considering any book… Is it non-fiction or fiction? Or, as The Fart would put it, does the book contain facts or alternative facts?! This is 2017 – we shouldn’t be caring about what an author looks like, we should be more bothered about what he or she has put in their books!
There is no need to over-analyse! Yeah, I’ve been to school, college and uni, I learned to read things into books, and into poems, and I’m not saying it’s completely useless once you graduate, but it’s mostly unnecessary! It’s a skill which comes in handy AT TIMES, like working out what some lying arsehole politician is not telling us, for instance, lol, but I truly believe analysis of literature is done to death and it’s annoying and actually gives a false idea that people even care about these things!
If an author writes that the room was blue, can we not just accept that as a description, without reading anything else into it?! The room was blue, as opposed to being red, or green, or cream, or whatever alternative colour scheme you choose! It does NOT mean the author was depressed! He or she could be as happy as Larry, but they were simply describing a room in a house which had clearly been furnished and decorated with a blue colour scheme!
And, for crying out loud, STOP over-analysing children’s books! Especially those for young children nowhere near going to college or uni yet! They should just be encouraged to enjoy books, reading whatever takes their fancy. They generally couldn’t give a toss if the main character is a girl, a boy, a polar bear, a hippopotamus or even a damn caterpillar! And why the hell should they?! There’s plenty of years ahead, when they’re much older, for all that shite, but for f**k’s sake let them develop a love of reading so that they’re not put off reading when they are in their teens and have to suffer that obsession with analysing every damn word of a novel or poem which they’ll probably be forced to do when they are working towards their GCSEs!
Look, I fulfilled my childhood ambition in 1994 when I graduated, I wore my cap and gown and I am still proud of that, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have issues with education as a whole. There is so much unnecessary rubbish we seem to need to learn in order to get those qualifications which we will never or rarely need again once we’ve got them! And don’t even start me on that crap about it preparing you for work – it does nothing of the sort!
Why the hell is education such a big long test of how good one’s memory is?! I’m lucky that I have a very good memory, but others aren’t so fortunate. But you can’t take notes into a test or an exam because that’s “cheating”. Why?! Seriously, why?!
When you’re in work, you are ACTIVELY ENCOURAGED to take notes! You are also ACTIVELY ENCOURAGED to take notes into interviews in order to try to get a job! People do NOT expect you to memorise stuff! Companies are perfectly happy for you to make notes, in fact it’s expected! They KNOW you’re not going to remember everything, and there’s a lot of important stuff for you to know, so you have to write it down and have it with you the first few times you perform a certain procedure, or if you’re doing something you don’t need to do very often. Yes, you’ll get used to some things which you’ll need to do every day, or at least quite frequently, in your job, but you will need those notes you made in training and, seriously, no-one is going to mind at all! They’d rather you had your notes than you forgot how to do something important, or you forgot some vital piece of information because you didn’t write it down!
If you REALLY want to make education a good preparation for work, you need to make a lot of changes, mostly in your attitude towards those at school! Have a dress code, perhaps smart casual, as not everywhere has uniforms. Sure, some places still do, but not everywhere. Plus, that old tale about school uniforms being a great leveller is just a load of bullshit! They’re not. They don’t prevent bullying for a bloody start-off!
Don’t make a big fuss about hairdos or jewellery except where there are hygiene or health & safety concerns. I was a civil servant for 13 years, and worked with some great colleagues, some of whom were long-haired guys. Some of my colleagues had multiple piercings and tattoos. Didn’t stop them getting hired or doing a bloody good job once they were in work! So stop trying to knock the individuality out of kids! They need to stand out at least a little bit in order to get noticed and chosen, so stop doing them a disservice! And, for crying out loud, stop expecting them to rely on memory! They wouldn’t need to in work, so why the hell should they have to at school?!
I guess you could argue that school assemblies prepare you for being bored out of your arse in meetings, though, so that is SOME preparation for working life, lol!
Anyway, I really should stop waffling on and get this published! Just had to get a few things off my chest, but having done that, I can bring this to a conclusion until next time when, maybe, the Missing Books might have turned up. Stranger things have happened, lol!
So, until that next blog, take care and Happy Reading!
Joanne x x x
Books mentioned in this blog entry…
- The Colour of Magic – Sir Terry Pratchett
- Black By Design: A 2-Tone Memoir – Pauline Black
- The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
- The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
- Holidays In Hell – P. J. O’Rourke
- A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman
- Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher
- Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom