Category Archives: Adult Fiction

Educational Porpoises

Books that make you happy

Hello again, fellow Bookworms!

Don’t you think that above photo contains some much-needed advice?! I have lost count of the times I’ve had to rant about the unnecessary issues which seem to crop up all too often in the otherwise wonderful world of books! Therefore, I’m going to offer bits of advice and some random waffle here…

Firstly, the ONLY age restriction,when it comes to books, is for erotic novels! Such “mucky books” should only be read by those of us 18 years old or over! That, for me, is the only age restriction I would ever place on any book! If the content is of a sexual nature, it’s adults only. Otherwise, anything goes! Read above your age, read below your age. You could be 77 and reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or you could be 7 and reading Pride and Prejudice. Whatever floats your boat!

Read books written by men, and read books written by women. If you only read one of those sets, you are missing out on some great books in the other set! Stop restricting yourself unnecessarily! It’s pointless and stupid!

The “Dead White Men” couldn’t help being white. Or male. And at least some of them may have been dead before their works finally got published! Some of them wrote some great books – don’t snub them just because you’ve heard some “right-on” person slagging them off! They didn’t choose their works to go on some literary canon or other, it wasn’t their decision, so don’t take it out on them! Try a bit of Dickens – I can recommend A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations.

PROPER diversity is about including everything, therefore in book terms, that means reading books by all sorts of authors INCLUDING some dead white men, it does not mean reading books by all sorts of authors except the DWM!

Read books by people from all around the world! Books give you the chance to “travel” when you have to stay where you are! Sometimes they can remind you of where you’ve been, or give you ideas of where you might want to go. Well, books set in real locations can, anyway. You might have a spot of bother doing this with fantasy fiction, as I’ve not yet discovered how any of us can get to Hogwarts, Narnia, Middle Earth or the Discworld! Sorry! You should still read some fantasy, though, but travel to those places is still only in our imaginations as yet. (A pity, ’cause I’d love to go to Hogwarts!)

Don’t over-analyse books and read loads of extra meanings into them! Yes, OK, you might have learned this skill at school, college or uni, and might have to apply it to certain books you are studying, but I can assure you there is NO need to apply it to any other books you’re NOT studying! I had to do it in my student days, but it’s not something I’ve bothered with since graduating! As I’ve said before, if an author describes a room as blue, it simply means the room was decorated in that colour scheme, it does not necessarily mean the author was going through a bout of depression when he or she wrote that book!

If you’ve ever read, or even heard of, A Farewell To Arms, by Ernest Hemingway, and wondered if there was such a book as A Farewell To Legs, I’m pleased to be able to tell you that such a novel does exist! It’s by Jeffrey Cohen, and it’s the second book in the Aaron Tucker mystery series. So now you know!

There’s NO shame in reading Young Adult novels when you’re an older adult! There’s some damn good stuff out there which is seen as YA – don’t be afraid to read it! Yes, even on buses, trams or trains! I was already in my late 20s when I started reading the Harry Potter series, and it was recommended to me by one of my colleagues at work.

There’s also NO shame in reading younger kids’ books, either! There’s loads of good books out there for youngsters, and you can’t beat a bit of Roald Dahl! I’ve recently read Esio Trot, one of my niece’s books.

Join a library and borrow books for free! Not just physical books, but you can also borrow audiobooks, too. You may even be able to borrow e-books which would then go on your device for a limited time, just as you would borrow a physical book from a library for a number of weeks, but you’d have to check with your local library.

Check out charity shops for cheap books! There are plenty of bargains to be had! It is still on my notorious TBR pile, but I bought The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern, from a charity shop, for a mere £1. AND it was the hardback edition! Epic Win! Also, if you do need to make space for new books, donate old ones you’ve read, or are probably not going to get around to reading, to charity shops so they can offer them as bargains to other bookworms!

As the penguin in the photo advised, read books which interest YOU! The raved-about books might not float your boat, and I myself have had issues with some of the books which have won prizes in recent years! Don’t get me started on Booker Prize Winners, lol! If you read the blurb, and the book appeals to you, read it. It doesn’t matter how popular it is, if it means something to you, that’s all you need to care about! No need to give a shit about what anyone else thinks!

If a book ISN’T grabbing you, give it around 70 to 100 pages, and if it still hasn’t done anything for you, put it down and find another book. There is NO point wasting time persisting with something you’re not enjoying, so unless you have to read it for educational purposes, or even educational porpoises, try another book. You can always try that book again later, see if it’s any better on a 2nd or even 3rd attempt, but you don’t have to finish it! Giving up is NOT a negative thing! It is a positive thing because it shows you’ve had the common sense to stop wasting your time with something you’re not enjoying, and you’ve decided to try something else instead! One day, I might try The Luminaries again, which was a book I didn’t make much progress with the first time I tried a few years ago. I swapped my original copy for a copy of Girl With a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier, which I loved, but I have since bought another copy of the Eleanor Catton novel at a charity shop, so it might end up being given a second chance.

Educational porpoises

Are there such things as educational porpoises? Who knows?!

Read fiction and non-fiction. Find factual stuff which interests you, and read about that, as well as reading stories. As I’ve said in other blogs, when I’ve been off on a rant, the ONLY distinction we ever need to make when it comes to any book is whether it is fact or fiction we are reading! We do NOT need to worry nor care whether an author is male or female! There is absolutely NO need to budget for any flying f**ks on that front, as they do not need to be given!

If you’re learning another language, try finding a translation of a book you already know in your own language. When I was studying GCSE Spanish at evening classes in the late 90s, I bought myself a copy of Charlie y la fábrica de chocolate – I’m pretty sure you can work out which Roald Dahl book that is…

Poetry anthologies can be dipped in to. Even with a “favourite poet” you’ll like some poems more than others. I don’t think we are meant to “get” every single poem, we are to find the ones which resonate with us. So, even if you’ve only read one or two poems by that particular poet, I’d still tick off the anthology if it turns up on List Challenges! A couple of my faves are quite long poems – The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Goblin Market, by Christina Rossetti. The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe, is pretty good too.

There’s no such thing as too many books! The most common problem amongst bookworms is having insufficient bookshelves! I definitely experience this problem, lol! I think it’s time I brought this entry to a close, as I think I have covered most issues! As long as it’s not spam, do feel free to comment on these blogs. I appreciate that a lot of people seem to enjoy them, some entries more than others, but if there’s anything you want to ask or say, please do! As I said, as long as no-one’s spamming, and people are asking relevant stuff, I don’t mind!

So, until I publish another long waffly post onto this blog, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books and poems mentioned in this blog entry…

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  • Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  • A Farewell To Arms – Ernest Hemingway
  • A Farewell To Legs – Jeffrey Cohen
  • The Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling
  • Esio Trot – Roald Dahl
  • The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
  • The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
  • Girl With a Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier
  • Charlie y la Fábrica de Chocolate – Roald Dahl
  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Samuel Taylor Coleridge (poem)
  • Goblin Market – Christina Rossetti (poem)
  • The Raven – Edgar Allan Poe (poem)

 

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Filed under Adult Fiction, Books, Charity Shop Bargains, Childrens' Books, E-Books & Audiobooks, Foreign Languages, Handbag Books, Humour, Literary Issues, Rants, YA Books

It’s The Fort That Counts…

Book Fort

Good afternoon, fellow Bookworms!

What do you do if you’re running a charity book shop and too many people donate copies of the same book? If you’re the Oxfam Bookstore in Swansea, South Wales, you build a fort out of them! The above photo is the fort which the staff built at their store after being inundated with copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James! That is quite incredible, I’m sure you’ll agree! I am most impressed! So, if you live in Swansea and have books to donate to charity shops, please do so, but no more Fifty Shades, ta very much! They have plenty already!

Anyway, the other pressing issue of the day is that THREE more books have been added to the Duplicate Books list! Yep, over the past couple of days, it has come to light that there are more books of which I own two copies! We had already reached double figures, but as I was looking for other books, I discovered three more duplicates. Sadly, I didn’t even find A Tall Man in a Low Land, by Harry Pearson, which I mentioned yesterday with regards to books about Belgium. I think I must have given it away when I moved house in 2006. I could always look for another copy or get it on my Kindle, I suppose.

The books I DID find, amongst others in my room, were duplicate copies of The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, The Periodic Table, by Primo Levi, and The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, by John Boyne.

Duplicate Books 23rd March 2016.jpg

So, these are all 13 of the Duplicate Books! Quite an assortment, really, isn’t it?! I have said, though, that I’m a random reader! Anyone fancy a read-a-long with me? Me and one other person could have a set each of the thirteen books and read them at the same time, discussing each one. I have read a couple of them already, Attention All Shipping, and Manual of the Warrior of Light, and I half-read The Joy Luck Club at university, but I would be willing to re-read them for a reading challenge if anyone else was up for it!

As well as the one person reading all 13 of these, anyone else who had any of those books could read along with us at the same time, as I would be blogging about it and give warning of what was being read next… So, say you had Anita And Me, and wanted to read it when we were reading it, that would be fine! The full Duplicate Books List now looks like this…

  • Attention All Shipping – Charlie Connelly
  • Manual of the Warrior of Light – Paulo Coelho
  • Anita and Me – Meera Syal
  • The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov
  • The Joy Luck Club – Amy Tan
  • The Year of Reading Dangerously – Andy Miller
  • The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell
  • The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid – Bill Bryson
  • The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
  • A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D. H. Lawrence
  • The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
  • The Periodic Table – Primo Levi

An eclectic selection if ever there was one, so I’m pretty sure that would make a good mix and a varied reading list should anyone wish to take me up on the offer of reading them along with me!

As I said earlier, I didn’t manage to find that book about Belgium, and I have the feeling I gave it away when I moved house. Just before I moved, we were having a charity book sale where I worked at the time, so I donated loads of books to that, therefore I expect the Harry Pearson book was one of them.However, I have found my copy of Neither Here Nor There, by Bill Bryson, which is his account of his travels throughout Europe, so that will probably include at least a bit of Belgium, and should be a good laugh, as Bryson’s travel books are!

Also, I have bookmarks I am working on, at least one, anyway, so I would like to get it finished. Therefore, that’s about all for the time being! Until next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry, other than the Duplicate Books:

  • Fifty Shades of Grey – E. L. James
  • A Tall Man in a Low Land – Harry Pearson
  • Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe – Bill Bryson

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Filed under Adult Fiction, Books, Charity Shop Bargains, Duplicate Books List, Travel

The Bookworm’s Glossary

Natural Born Bookworm!

I Read Therefore I Am!

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

This is a bit of a guide to this blog, as I sense I’ve had a few new followers of late, since I started blogging quite frequently this month. Basically, I just waffle on about books, often quite randomly, sometimes getting off topic. The books are usually a wide mix of reading matter, fiction and non-fiction alike, and it doesn’t mean I’ve read them. Some I will have read, some will have been partially-read, and others will not have been read.

Autobiographies: Books written by the authors about themselves. I particularly enjoy autobiographies by musicians and footballers, and recently read I Think Therefore I Play, by Andrea Pirlo.

Books About Books: Whether fact or fiction, I like reading books on the subject of other books, and fiction set in book shops or libraries!

Book Chest: This is in our garage, and contains a large quantity of my books, stacked three deep in places…

Book Club: A bunch of bookworms getting together on a regular basis for reading purposes. A book is decided on, and the date of the meeting. The aim is to have read the book, or as much of it as possible, and discuss it at the meeting, then choose the next book. I have been in a book club since 2008. Mine is at Waterstone’s on Deansgate, but many book groups are round at peoples’ houses.

Book Jar: A great idea in theory, but then you give some thought to using it and picking a random piece of paper from it, only to realise you don’t know where some of those books actually are, especially as you had a bit of a book reshuffle not long ago… You start wondering where the hell Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand is actually lurking at the moment…

Bookshelves: Mythical things! Or, at least, almost-mythical items, of which the average bookworm does not have a sufficient quantity for all their reading matter!

Computer Corner: Where I am right now. The corner of my room where my laptop and the printer/copier/scanner reside! There are piles of books surrounding me here, and more piles under this corner! Sometimes I get under the corner with the flashlight on my mobile phone and see what’s under there! I had a shufty the other day. Amongst other reading matter down there, I found four books by Edward Rutherfurd: The Forest, Dublin, New York, and Russka. You know the other day, when I was going on about historical fiction being chunky? Those certainly prove that point! I read The Forest a few years ago now, it was a book club choice, and one which I enjoyed, but I have not yet read the other three Rutherfurd books.

I did bring a book up from under Computer Corner the other night, but it was not one of the Rutherfurd books. I surfaced holding a copy of A Case of Exploding Mangoes, by Mohammed Hanif.

Crime: This genre covers a wide range, from the likes of Agatha Christie to the Scandinavian crime writers such as Jo Nesbo and Henning Mankell. Not really my genre, although I am about halfway through The Snowman, by Jo Nesbo. There is also True Crime, but that should really come under non-fiction.

Donaldson, Julia: Author of a huge range of children’s books, including Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book, and The Smartest Giant In Town. She is my niece’s favourite author.

Erotica: Fiction of a sexual nature, for readers aged 18 or over…

Fantasy: Fiction usually set in different worlds to our own, with lots of non-human creatures involved. Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series is an example of fantasy fiction, a very humorous example I might add!

Fiction: Stories. Non-factual stuff. Within fiction, though, you have different genres, e.g. fantasy, crime, science fiction, historical fiction, etc…

Football: Something I love watching, and thus reading about. (Soccer, to my US readers.)

Goodreads: Deadly website for bookworms, as it just tempts us into even more books than were already on our TBR piles!

Handbag Books: Books slim enough to fit in a decent-sized handbag (or purse, as my readers in the US would say). Preferably with a view to fitting more than one book in said bag at the same time and still having room for your other essentials, such as your keys and wallet.

Historical Fiction: A genre which generally results in chunky books! Definitions of what actually constitutes historical fiction vary, but here is the Wikipedia entry for the genre…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_fiction

If the book’s setting is a bloody long time ago, and that is the basis of the novel, then there is a decent bet it can be classed as historical fiction. The Goodreads definition is as follows… (see link provided)

https://www.goodreads.com/genres/historical-fiction

It is said that if the setting of the book is at least 25 years before the year in which the author is writing it, that novel may constitute historical fiction. I’m not so sure on that 25 year rule, but I’d think that if a significant period of time has elapsed since the setting of that book, it is historical. For me, anything set in the 1970s or 1980s would be historical fiction, thus Black Swan Green, by David Mitchell, set in 1982 at the time of the Falklands Conflict, is just as much a work of historical fiction as Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel.

If that’s the rule, and it’s 25 years, then anything set in 1991 would now be historical fiction! So, suppose you wrote a book set in that year against the backdrop of United winning the old European Cup-Winners’ Cup in Rotterdam, and Bryan Adams being number one for 16 weeks that summer, and it would, technically speaking, qualify as historical fiction!

Horror: Fiction designed to scare the living shit out of you! I am a wuss, so I really tend to avoid this sort of stuff!

In Off My Chest!: My football blog, also hosted by Word Press. However, I have been known to mention football on this blog fairly frequently, and have occasionally mentioned books in my football blog. If I am reading the biography or autobiography of a player or manager, it’s pretty obvious that there is going to be some football and book overlap! For those who don’t already know, I am a die-hard Manchester United supporter and a season-ticket holder in the Stretford End. I go to all home games.

Junior Bookworm: My niece, Charlotte. It can also be applied to any young readers, but I am usually referring to my niece. She is currently five going on six and loves reading, enjoying both fiction and non-fiction alike.

List Challenges: Another deadly and very tempting website, as the book challenges just act as recommendations for even more books! Mind you, it’s quite useful as a record of all the damn books I mention on here, lol!

Music: One of my favourite subject matters in works of fiction and non-fiction alike.

Non-fiction: Factual stuff, including reference material. I read a lot of factual stuff as well as fiction, and have done from a young age. It would appear my niece is doing likewise!

Olympic Games, The: Another of my favourite subject matters. Usually non-fiction.

Potterheads: Fans of the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. I am a Potterhead, thanks to one of my colleagues when I worked at Manchester DBC.

Science Fiction: Usually set in some imagined future, often with a space-aged theme, but could also be an alternative reality. Science fiction is sometimes lumped together with fantasy, as there can be elements of fantasy in some SF writing.

Sheet Music: Music in its written form. If that music is compiled into a book, I figure that it should be classed as a book on here, for example Best of Bowie, which I bought recently, as that is a book of sheet music for the songs on the double album of the same name. I have also mentioned an orchestral score before now. I have a lot of sheet music, for a variety of instruments, and combinations of instruments!

TBR Pile (or TBR List): To Be Read. A never-ending list of books you’d like to get around to reading when you’ve finished your current book or books. For the average bookworm, this is a very long list, so long we usually don’t know how long it is exactly and it would actually scare us to find out!

Travel Writing: Something I enjoy, both factual and fictional. I particularly recommend Bill Bryson as a travel writer.

Volcanoes: Another of my favourite subject matters, I have had an interest in volcanoes since I was about 7 or 8 and my dad let me come downstairs late one night to watch some television programme with him which featured an erupting volcano. I think it was an Open University programme on BBC2, he watched a lot of those, but anyway, it was enough to fascinate me and make me want to find out more about volcanoes.

Waterstone’s: UK book store chain. It is nigh on impossible for me to enter a branch without purchasing at least one book. In fact, it’s hard for me to buy just one – there are usually multiple purchases each time! The main one, locally, is on Deansgate in Manchester, and it is huge, and I belong to the book club there, but there is also a branch in the Arndale Centre in town, and at the Trafford Centre.

Young Adult: Books, mostly fiction, aimed at teenage readers. However, it does not just include books aimed particularly at the teenage market, but also general fiction which publishers think might also be enjoyed by 13-18 year olds, particularly if at least one of the main characters is a child or teenager. Mind you, ANY adult can also enjoy YA, and I enjoy a fair bit of it! It has a lot to recommend it!

Zeds: Something I say I need when sleep comes upon me! That is not quite true right now, but it does bring this blog entry to an end, so, until next time, Happy Reading!

Books mentioned in this blog entry:

  • I Think Therefore I Play – Andrea Pirlo
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – Helen Simonson
  • The Forest – Edward Rutherfurd
  • Dublin – Edward Rutherfurd
  • New York – Edward Rutherfurd
  • Russka – Edward Rutherfurd
  • A Case of Exploding Mangoes – Mohammed Hanif
  • The Snowman – Jo Nesbo
  • Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book – Julia Donaldson
  • The Smartest Giant In Town – Julia Donaldson
  • The Discworld series – Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Black Swan Green – David Mitchell
  • Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
  • The Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling
  • Best of Bowie – David Bowie (sheet music)

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Filed under Adult Fiction, Autobiography/Biography, Books, Books About Books, Childrens' Books, Football, Goodreads, Handbag Books, Historical Fiction, Junior Bookworms, List Challenges, Music, Non-Fiction, Sports, The TBR Pile, Travel, Volcanoes, YA Books

Essential Reading

to kill a mockingbird

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

Actually, it’s quite a sad day in the literary world, with the news breaking  yesterday that Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird, had died at the age of 89. I really must get round to reading that. Perhaps next up once I’ve finished one of the books I’m currently reading. I have to admit I have never read it, although I do know that it has been on the curriculum for years, so many others have read it at school. I think it was on the syllabus when I was doing my GCSEs at high school years ago, but four out of our eight English sets studied English Literature as well as English Language, so the set texts were divided between the four sets. I would have to find out which books, poems and plays others studied, but I’m pretty sure Harper Lee’s novel would have been one of them.

For the record, our main novel in my set was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and our play was Macbeth, about which I am sure our Shakespeare-mad teacher, Mrs Walsh, was delighted! We also studied Animal Farm by George Orwell, and quite a bit of First World War poetry, particularly by Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. The poems were not from a specific anthology, but I can recommend the Penguin Book of First World War Poetry should you wish to read any poems from that conflict.

I have put a question out on Facebook, both on my timeline, and on the book group I run, so we shall see if I get any responses about what other people studied when they were at school, and whether anyone read To Kill a Mockingbird as one of their set texts. I am sure quite a few people will have done so.

Reading, however, has to start years before you’re in an examination hall at high school. A love of books needs to start at home before you’ve even started school! Doesn’t matter what your background is, you don’t have to be well-off. We weren’t particularly flush when I was younger, but I had books of my own and also used to go to Eccles Library. My sister and I were regular patrons of the children’s library there when we were little! In this day and age, despite cutbacks, there are still libraries around, and there are also charity shops, so you can still borrow books for free or buy them pretty cheaply. My link is for a blog by the author James Patterson, and his blog entry about how a love of reading needs to start in infancy.

http://www.jamespatterson.com/about_we-can-get-kids-reading.php#.VscvnfmLTIV

There are a couple of provisos to that, I’d say. Firstly, that it depends on the age of the child. Even if they are an advanced reader for their age, there are some books which wouldn’t be suitable for them until they are older due to the subject matter. For example, I wouldn’t advise that they read erotica until they are of the age of consent.

Obviously, they will need factual books about the facts of life long before they are old enough to put some of them into practice. I think my mum gave me the book she had had on this matter when I was about 9 or 10. Everything from how you came into this world and how you changed from boys and girls into men and women, to relationships, courting, and some sexually transmitted diseases to watch out for. However, this book had come out years ago, so there was no mention of HIV or AIDS, which was unknown until the 1980s when I was a kid! I was a teenager when the whole “don’t die of ignorance” campaign hit our TV screens in around 1987.

The book I’d been given, The Facts of Life by Cirrel Greet, was very helpful to an extent, but a couple of books which came out during my teen years were really good at giving a more updated message and information on the birds and the bees… The Diary of a Teenage Health Freak, and I’m A Health Freak Too, both by Aidan McFarlane gave us the essential facts, as far as they were known, presented to a teenage readership in the late 1980s. Sex, drugs, alcohol addiction… the same stuff you get at school in Personal, Social and Health Education lessons, but without the cringing that such classes induce! I’m sure they’ve probably been updated further for today’s teens, or that teens today have similar books to help them through life. Chlamydia would need to be mentioned in today’s facts of life books.

The other matter is that I would be against stereotyping when it comes to subject matters kids might want to read about. Not all boys want to read about typical “boy” subjects, and not all girls want to read about typical “girl” subjects, and one girl recently caused publishing houses to have a rethink about their books and put an end to the gender-based titles they were putting out. Whether they are a girl or a boy, find out what interests them and encourage them to read books on those themes. Girls might be just as likely as boys to want to read books about football these days! This is 2016, not the 1950s! Plenty of us women and girls go to matches these days, and do so of our own choice. We are NOT dragged there unwillingly by fellas! This September, it will be 25 years since I first became a matchgoing Red! Yep, I will have reached my quarter century of going to Old Trafford on 7th September 2016!

I like the sound of the “Knowledge Is Power Program” which Patterson mentions in his blog, and would easily have been able to go along with that, reading at least 20 books a year and carrying a book around with me at all times! Indeed, I carry three books round in my handbag at present, although I’m getting towards the end of Fight Club, so I’ll need another Handbag Book soon! He is also right about rewarding kids for reading non-fiction books, such as books of world records and suchlike. Whatever gets people reading, as I have said previously, is a good thing. You have to find out what floats their boat and encourage them to read books on the matter.

Hmmm…. now here’s a challenge for James Patterson… perhaps he could find out what, if anything other than himself, interests Kanye West?! The rapper has stated he is a proud non-reader of books. I personally believe there are books out there for everyone. Yes, even Kanye! Perhaps he had crap books foisted on him at school, ones which didn’t appeal to him. That has been known to put a lot of kids off reading. Whatever the root of Kanye’s book-related issues, surely there must be SOME books he might like?!

Charity shop book bargains Feb 2016

Anyway, been a busy old week on the book-buying front. All cheap ones, I must add. The top row in this photo were all purchased on Tuesday, and the bottom two on Thursday. Ranging in price from £1.50 right down to 25p! Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Sisters Brothers will probably end up as duplicate books. I am pretty sure I might already still have copies of those two somewhere. It’s just that I am not sure where the hell they are. I didn’t see them in my recent sort-outs in my room and the garage, so they are not somewhere where I can put my hands on them easily. Therefore I decided it was reasonable to get copies in at charity shop prices (I paid £1.50 for Breakfast at Tiffany’s and just a quid for The Sisters Brothers) so I have the books to hand. I know where one Truman Capote book is, it’s on the landing, near the bathroom, but that’s In Cold Blood, which I have already read a few years ago.

The Book Lovers’ Companion is one of those book recommendation books. It has a forward by Lionel Shriver, but it’s basically just a list of 200 other books you might want to read if you’re stuck for ideas. That one set me back £1.50 like the Capote, so those two were the dearest of the five books. The least expensive of the five books, setting me back a mere 25 pence, was The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. I picked that up at Start in Salford where I do my crafting twice a week. I have given them some of my books for their shelves.

Then we come on to Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, the book I ummed and aahed over a bit in the St Ann’s Hospice shop on Monton Road. It’s a chunky one! A VERY chunky one! Good job I was sitting down last night when I decided to see just how long it was… 1006 pages! But it only cost me £1. That’s a lot of book for a quid, isn’t it?!

I also bought three books when I was at Bents Garden Centre on Wednesday. Not really quite the bargains which charity shop books can be, although The World To Come by Dara Horn was only 99p, but the other two were in a two for £5 deal, and I chose Saving Agnes by Rachel Cusk, and Wolves In Winter by Lisa Hilton.

I should not really overlook books in other formats, though. I have never actually listened to an audiobook, other than a brief sample the other day, when I listened to an excerpt from The Trouble With Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon. Not sure I’d get round to listening to them, though, unless I end up commuting some distance on a regular basis. Might have come in handy when I worked in Chorlton for three years, or, previously, the three years in the early 90s when I was a student in Bolton. My bus journeys in those days took around 45 to 50 minutes.

I do, however, have a Kindle, and I also have a Kindle app on both my mobile phone and my iPad, so I shouldn’t really ignore the stuff I have on there, and I recently purchased and downloaded Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithian. Of the various themes and subject matters I like reading about, music is very high up on my list! Perhaps, in my next blog, I should have a look at some of the stuff I have on my Kindle…

Anyway, for now, that is about all, otherwise we would be on for another epic blog, and I guess you are still recovering from the one I posted the other day! So, until next time, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • Macbeth – William Shakespeare
  • Animal Farm – George Orwell
  • The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry  -Various
  • The Facts of Life – Cirrel Greet
  • The Diary of a Teenage Health Freak – Aidan McFarlane
  • I’m A Health Freak, Too! – Aidan McFarlane
  • Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote
  • The Sisters Brothers – Patrick de Witt
  • In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
  • The Book Lovers’ Companion – Lionel Shriver (forward)
  • The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell – Susanna Clarke
  • The World To Come – Dara Horn
  • Saving Agnes – Rachel Cusk
  • Wolves In Winter – Lisa Hilton
  • The Trouble With Goats and Sheep – Joanna Cannon
  • Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Rachel Cohn & David Levithian

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