Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Books to be read.

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly and with diligence and attention.

Francis Bacon 1561-1626


Over at Charlie’s http://thefirstbookoftesticles.blogspot.com/ yesterday I was reminded of the awful Sheriff Joe Arpaio - a monster in charge of the prison written about in the blog Jon’s Jail Journal. Jon whose real name is Shaun Attwood is British and determined to write about his experiences and expose what went on within the walls of the prison As I wrote some time back, Shaun was awarded a mentor – Sally Hinchcliffe who wrote the excellent thriller Out of a Clear Sky. Shaun’s book Hard Time is now available from Amazon.

Leigh Russell http://leighrussell.blogspot.com/ another Blogger has her second thriller Road Closed also available at Amazon and Kate Lord Brown http://katelordbrown.blogspot.com/

has had her debut novel The Beauty Chorus bought by Corvus.

A different kind of book and one I look forward to receiving from Blurb shortly is Kim’s book of photographs http://kimayres.blogspot.com/taken from his exhibition Staring Back. You can see a video of the photographs on his blog.

Not for the first time, a review by Charlie impelled me to read Rooftops of Tehran. by Mahbod Seraji. Apart from the fact I found it enthralling it was a real eye-opener for me who had been imbued with the belief that the Shah of Persia and his beautiful, tragic wife Soraya were the beautiful couple of the fifties to be respected and admired and I remember my excitement when they arrived at the theatre where I was watching Separate Tables. The book paints a very different picture of a despotic regime where innocent people were imprisoned and tortured.

Don’t let that put you off – it’s funny, enchanting and a love story so romantic you can see the stars in the Persian sky. I make a point of emailing any author whose work has moved me – where possible – and had an immediate, charming response from the author yesterday.

Preparing yesterday’s lunch-time salad I was listening to MTL’s radio which is always tuned to Radio 4 and heaven help anyone who fiddles with it. I pricked up my ears as a woman with a pleasant voice talked of how – reasonably healthy and independent but in her nineties - she decided to live in a retirement home in Highgate. It sounded so attractive I said:

‘If ever we had to move that’s the sort of place I’d like to go to.’

It got more interesting – her name was Diana Athill and she had her memoirs published when in her eighties. She had had a happy childhood and had her heart broken as a teenager. You can imagine my double take! However she never married, never had children and had a dazzling career in publishing. I look forward to reading her book Life Class (a title used by two other authors) which should be on its way as we speak. It was interesting that she also was greatly inspired by Alice Herz- Sommer who I did a post about recently.

I did have second thoughts about the retirement home; London after this haven would take too much adjusting - to say nothing of swapping our big old place for a large room however attractive.


R. Sherman said...

Thanks for the micro reviews.

BTW, don't move to a retirement home. Then we'd start to miss out on your travel and lunch reviews/photos. You must think of your fans, dear. It's not all about you, you know.

[Smiley Thing]


Leigh Russell said...

I agree with R Sherman. If you're happy as you are, why move? And you're far too young to be thinking about retirement homes!
Thank you for mentioning the second in my series of crime thrillers here. Road Closed hits the shelves in June but is available to preorder on amazon. I hope you enjoy it when it's out - be sure to let me know!

Anonymous said...

hope you are looking on goodreads.com - lots of exciting news re books there and giveaways!!!

i agree, don't consider a 'home' until you really have to.

kenju said...

I will definitely have to read The Rooftops of Teheran. I remember the Shah and Soraya from my teenage years.

Queenie said...

I loooove Diana Athill. Recently read 'Somewhere Towards The End'. She has an enviable way with language.

Pat said...

Randall: that made me laugh! Don't worry, I'll probably leave here feet first.

Leigh: I'm looking forward to it but quite glad its June whilst I tackle my present reading list.

Rosneath: thanks for the link - I'll give it a go. I changed my mind about the home but was thinking more ten year hence.

Judy: I hope you aren't disappointed;)

Queenie: you are like my first husband: what haven't you read? But prettier.

Maggie said...

Yes, you are just fine where you are. When I can't climb my ladder-like stairs, then I'll find something single floor. Until then we are here and still painting.

Loved following those links. Thank you.

Charlie said...

You and YTL in a retirement home? No way.

I'm pleased that you liked Rooftops. Just goes to show that I'm a Romantic.

Do you by any chance have Shaun Attwood's blog URL? I would like to contact him.

Pat said...

Maggie: long may you continue;) I'm glad the links worked.

Charlie: further to your email:
Hard Time isn't available here until August 10th but can be pre-ordered. I have so much reading to do I'll wait till then.

Kim Ayres said...

Thank you so much for the mention :)

Carole, another long term commenter on the Ramblings, has recently written a book too - a murder mystery. She's just started a blog to document her journey to attempt to get it published


Pat said...

Kim: thanks Kim - the journey is often as interesting as the book. I'll have a look tomorrow.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

You've got some wonderful Book recomendations, Pat, andI am going to look into each of them.

As to retirement homes---I don't think I could do that. I value my privacy and my "stuff" too much and like you--need space around me.
But I certainly understand the people who choose it and are happy in their choice.
I LOVE my home and having the world right outside my windows with my 180 degree view, well....I don't think I could live without it and wouldn't want to. This is it---For The Duration, as they say...! (lol)

Kate Lord Brown said...

Love the sound of the Seraji book. Thanks for the heads up x As for retirement, I have one grandmother who refuses to leave the rambling nunnery she's lived in for 70 years, and one who is very happy in a brand new flat in a retirement complex (they are both 92). Neither can understand how the other one can bear it - but they are both happy :) Follow your heart's the answer perhaps.

sablonneuse said...

Oh no, don't move to London. Your present home seems idyllic but if ever you had to downsize think carefully about how much you might miss the countryside.
How is your book coming along??

Guyana-Gyal said...

Just thinking of books I get excited! I meet so many today who don't read anymore. How did this happen? Why?

You and YTL in a what? No, no. I quote R. Sherman: You must think of your fans, dear. It's not all about you, you know.

Besides, you're too young to go there.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Ahhh, I meant, I meet so many *people* who don't read...

Pat said...

Sandy: it was a passing thought which I very soon rejected.
I've finished the revision and am waiting for feed back before sending it out again.

GG: don't worry. I just had a brief vision of wandering in the parks, galleries and theatres - then common sense took over.
I'm happy that in the last year I've got back to my delight in reading. There'll be no reading in bed of my latest acquisition tho' - it weighs a ton.