Sunday Salon

Snapshot November 2015

It certainly didn’t seem like the first day of November today. Roses are still in bloom in the garden and there are still some blossoms on the fuschia bush. The reading on the car temperature gauge said 15C which is extraordinary for this time of the year in the UK. If you ignored the colour of the trees, the skyline today had more of an impression of June. I overheard someone say that Indian summers are often the herald of harsh winters. Hope that prediction proves to be inaccurate since I hate cold weather.  Enough of this, what am I up to on this fine day?


the little red chairsI just managed to finish  my Classics Club spin by the deadline of October 31, reading the final few pages yesterday afternoon. It was the second time I’ve read Adam Bede by George Eliot and the re-read was even more enjoyable than the first experience. I also finished Edna O’Brien’s The Little Red Chairs which is her first novel for 10 years. It begins in a small community in Ireland when a stranger arrives and sets up in business as a faith healer. the village is enthralled, until they discover he is a notorious war criminal on the run from justice. But for one local woman the stranger’s attraction has devastating consequences.  I’ll be doing a review for the next issue of Shiny New Books so will hold back from commenting on it here except to say that O’Brien’s novel has a very contemporary feel because it gives a voice to   immigrants and refugees from violence.

Having finished these two novels, for my next read I’ll either turn to Isabel Allende’s The Japanese Lover which is due for publication on Nov 5  or I’ll pick up the threads once again of The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch. This is part of my Booker project but I’ve been reluctant to start reading it until now because I’ve not had a great experience with Murdoch in the past. The Sea, The Sea however has been a pleasant surprise.


I’ve had an old favourite on the car audio system for the past week, The Warden by Anthony Trollope. Its the first book in his Chronicles of Barchester series and although it’s familiar, its still highly enjoyable. I’m planning on progressing to book two, Barchester Towers,  in preparation for reading the third book in the series Doctor Thorne.


Tonight there is a treat in store with Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellan in a TV adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play The Dresser, which tells the story of the relationship between “Sir” – the manager and star of a grubby, third-rate touring theatre – and his personal assistant. The play was a huge success when it was staged first in 1980 and went on to become an equally successful film staring Tom Courtney as the dresser and Albert Finney as “Sir” .  With actors of the calibre of Hopkins and McKellan I’m sure this is going to be a performance to savour.


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

10 thoughts on “Snapshot November 2015

  • I’ve been curious about the new Allende! Will look out for your thoughts on it.

    We were remarking that last Halloween was so chilly (and rainy!) compared to this year. It was even so warm on Saturday that I was in a sleeveless top. It never really gets all that cold here in the SF bay area, but it’s still rather surprising to feel hot in late October!

    • I remember getting pretty cold in SF in October when the mists came in over the bridge…

  • We’ve had really nice weather here too! I hope you enjoy The Japanese Lover more than I did. I’m thinking about my next Eliot read, I still need to read Silas Marner and The Mill on the Floss.

    • Silas Marner is a novella which tugs at the heartstrings. If you ever come across a film of it starring Ben Kingsley don’t miss the opportunity. quite delightful

  • It is 66 Fahrenheit here, but going down to 40 here, my wife just said. It has been cold here, and naturally only when get colder…

    I think I read Silas Marner years ago and enjoyed it, but it’s been a long time ago. I don’t think I’ve read Adam Bede. Also jealous of your watching The Dresser. Sounds really good.

    • Maybe the BBC will make it available through BBC World – keep an eye out for it Bryan because it really is a gem. shall I make you even more jealous? Ive seen both of these knights on stage and even shook hands with Hopkins

  • I’ve recorded ‘The Dresser’ and am saving it for an evening when I can shut out the world and relish those two great actors ‘on stage’ together.

    The weather is amazing, isn’t it? I sat out and had mid morning tea in a local botanical garden this morning. Something I barely got to do during the summer.

    • Make sure the phone is off Alex because you will not want to miss a second of it…..

  • With those two stars, any TV adaptation must be great! I read Adam Bede so very long ago and really don’t remember much of it. Really need to reread. And have yet to read anything written by Edna O’Brien. Time. That is all I lack. Time! 🙂 I am just finishing my Classics Club spin today! (Behind…) 🙂 But better late than never. Then I’m on to Jam On the Vine by LaShonda Katrice Barnett (for a campus book club), At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen (for the book club I facilitate), and Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (for Socratic Salon discussion and because I have heard marvelous reviews from other bloggers!).

    • There i was boasting I had just made the deadline for classics club only to realise I was overdue because the actual deadline was a week ago. never mind, i can’t see anyone coming and castigating me. I don’t know any of those novel you mention. Time is my enemy too


We're all friends here. Come and join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.