This was the week when……
- Shiny New Books published by review of Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien which is on the Man Booker shortlist. You can see that review other site here There was so much in this novel that I could have talked about so I did another review yesterday on this blog (see this review here)- even then I feel I only touched the surface. We will have to wait a few weeks to find out if the judges agree it’s a worthy winner.
- I finished The Great Reckoning the newest title in the Chief Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny. I hope to post the review within a few days but for now I’ll just say that the plot wasn’t gripping as in previous books but Penny has maintained her ability to go beyond a pure crime fiction and raise broader issues. There was a very poignant afterword in which she reveals that her husband is suffering from dementia so she wrote this book under very difficult circumstances. We’ll forgive her therefore for a minor slip in plot.
- I discovered – or should I say rediscovered a second hand book shop in Cardiff (the nearest city to me). I’ve been moaning to my nearest and dearest how sad it is that the capital city of Wales can’t manage to sustain more than one decent bookshop (Waterstones) and an Oxfam book shop which I think is rather pricy and doesn’t have a great selection of the books I like to read. A chance conversation with a friend revealed that there is indeed a second hand shop right in the city centre – I went there some years ago but forgot about it and just assumed it had closed. So of course I had to make a trip – and delightfully they stock a fair number of Virago Modern Classics which I’ve found difficult to get anywhere else. So of course I had to buy ….When I got home I flicked through one of them to find two £10 notes in pristine condition. Did someone use these as bookmarks and then forget about them? I rang the shop in the hope they knew where they’d got the book but to no avail. Then my husband started taking a closer look and concluded they are fake… so my next trip will be to the police station to hand them in… Seems a very odd way to distribute fake currency….
- A status check on my TBR showed that despite good intentions this year it’s grown yet again. At the start of the year I had 168 books unread (not counting e- versions). Today I see that I have 185. With a bit of luck maybe I can get it back down to around 170 by the start of 2017. I don’t really view the number of books I have as a curse or something to complain about. It’s wonderful to have a large library all of my own. I just need to actually read more from it.
- I took my first baby steps in Bookcrossing after hovering on the fringes for years. It’s never been entirely clear where you could leave books without fear that someone would consider them a) litter and just add them to the rubbish bag or b) a security risk and needing to be destroyed. But with the help of an old hand at this I was able to find a cafe where they have a bookshelf of free books. So now 4 books have been released. I’m curious whether anyone has picked them up – maybe I should pop in for a coffee and just check.
- Tutorials started for my Open University course on children’s literature. We had a great discussion about how the view of ‘childhood’ has changed dramatically over the centuries. The course is fascinating so far – just wish I had read a lot more children’s fiction. We were all asked to name the first book we could remember reading for ourselves as a child. Those years are so long ago my memory struggled but I think it was either Five go Adventuring by Enid Blyton or Alice in Wonderland. What was your first book – do you remember?