Total number of books I’ve owned: No idea, tons, loads. As many as I can afford, I suppose.
Last book I bought: Well, if we exclude “Smartest Giant in Town” which I bought only yesterday, then it’s “Small Island” by Andrea Levy which I am enjoying very much and have now forced my bookclub to read.
Last book I read: Yesterday, I finally finished “The Bridge on the Drina” by Ivo Andric. Very worthy and most tiring. Have been reading it on and off for about a year I’d say (only about 300 pages but very dense pages).
Five books that mean a lot to me:
I’ve given this part of the question a lot of thought and I insist on explaining my answers.
“The Magician’s Nephew” by C.S. Lewis. This was the first proper book I read, I think. They had it in the library at the back of the classroom when I was in first class and I remember struggling with it but persevering. I still like it the best of all the Narnia
“The Reluctant Widow” by Georgette Heyer. The first Georgette Heyer I read. I read it on a camping holiday with my family when I was about 12. I remember being amazed when the hero got together with the heroine (but they hate each other!). Maybe not
the best Georgette Heyer book but one that got me started on a lifetime of regency romances. I’d love to attribute this role to “Pride and Prejudice” which is much more highbrow and a book I’ve read at least 20 times but honesty compels me to say that if my choice of reading material on a desert island was between Jane Austen and
Georgette Heyer, I would not hesitate to select the latter.
“Portnoy’s complaint” by Philip Roth. My first boyfriend in college made me read this and I didn’t want to. I thought it would be dull and difficult. But it was hilarious and opened up a whole world of American fiction to me that I thought would be hard and boring. I still have a soft spot for Philip Roth though I thought “American Pastoral” was dire.
“Bury me Standing: The Gypsies and Their journey” by Isabel Fonseca. My only non-fiction offering. I am not normally as fond of non-fiction as fiction but I loved this book. It was fascinating. It also exposed to me many of the prejudices I have which I would have fervently denied in advance of reading this. A wonderful book. And if I were famous, they could put that on the back cover.
“What I Loved” by Siri Hustvedt. When I was pregnant with the Princess, my physiotherapist recommended this book to me. She said that there is was wonderful description of childbirth in it (do not be put off, this is a tiny bit of the book). She also said that she thought that Siri Hustvedt was an even better writer than her
husband Paul Auster. The thought that she (the physio) might like him put me off because I find Paul Auster terminally tedious. However, it was not a time in my life when I felt it appropriate to ignore the advice of my physiotherapist and I was right. It is
the most marvellous book about art and relationships and children and also slightly sinister. Fantastic. So fantastic that though I started reading it only just before the Princess was due, I finished it before I got to hospital and ended up taking in “Cold Mountain” to read during labour. Not recommended.
Um, five isn’t very many, is it. If people felt like indulging me, I would like to see what Heather, Lauren (from her boat) and Mr. Dalton have to say. I’d like to know about other people too but I’ve grown tired of adding links.
Meanwhile over at the LRB, they’re out of control. You remember they refused to issue the Champagne prize for best personal on a trifling pretext recently? Look what I found in other recent editions:
“The Classified Manager cried when we asked him to name a winner. That’s becasue he loves you all equally. As such, he’ll be keepint this issue’s prize on the basis that it’s unfair to pick a favourite”.
“Box no. 08/09 doesn’t like to waste time of frivolities. So we drank the champagne for her. The empty bottle is on its way.”
My sub is up for renewal. It’s about 100 euros. Should I do it? Or am I only fooling myself that I will have time to read it?
on 19 June 2005 at 15:58
Yes to anything and everything Narnia (though I’m reserving judgement on the film coming out at Christmas), yes to Georgette Heyer and absolutely yes to Siri Hustvedt. What a book.
on 20 June 2005 at 16:26
Hiya Sus, always nice to have one’s views endorsed. We are obviously reading twins. Do you like Kate Atkinson and Mavis Cheek as well? By the by, fear film is bound to disappoint.
on 21 June 2005 at 00:10
Have read both, lukewarm feelings I’m afraid.I know-feel the same re film-got all excited at the cinema when I saw the trailer (in May for Christmas?!) but was kind of disgusted: if they’re going to go the whole hog, which they probably are, series being so lucrative at the mo, why are they starting with the bloody LTheW&TheW? 0
on 21 June 2005 at 14:21
Because Star wars started with Episode 4? 0
on 21 June 2005 at 19:58
Sus, alas. JD has a point though. 0
on 21 June 2005 at 23:54
Yes well.But I think you’ll both agree that there are a number of worlds of difference between Yoda and Aslan??? And just because Mr Lucas stuck his hand in the fire… 0
on 22 June 2005 at 12:23
Different worlds? Not at all — variation on a theme that’s all. But don’t get me started on that…. I have to kill a dog. 0
on 22 June 2005 at 15:52
It being midday & you being an Englishman in the sun? 0
on 23 June 2005 at 00:00
English!?! English!!! 0
on 24 June 2005 at 02:16
Well, I know. But you were all like “got to kill the dog” and it was midday…what’s a girl to think? (other than hee hee, successfully provoked?) 0
on 24 June 2005 at 11:04
Now that was just evil…. 😛 0
on 25 June 2005 at 13:23
That’s right…welcome to my world. 0
on 25 June 2005 at 20:11
Hi Sus, hi Jack, glad to see you two engaging in some slagging here. 0
on 26 June 2005 at 14:45
So… et me get this right. You are calling Sus a slag?! 0
on 26 June 2005 at 18:22
Eh, JD, I think I quote when I say “linguistically stunted”…to help you understand, I shall refer again to some worlds of difference, this time between the verb “to slag” and the noun “a slag”. Waffle, I knew what you were saying. 0
on 26 June 2005 at 18:57
Oh that’s ok so. I’d have been upset if you were. Because that would mean you were calling me one too. 😐
Thanks for the help Sus.
[ps I think the noun is slag; a being an indefinite article which can be added to a noun to form a noun group. But you would know that… being too old to classify as Generation Txt… 😛 ] 0
on 27 June 2005 at 19:56
As you say. But I just didn’t want to confuse you with little details 😉 0
on 27 June 2005 at 20:45
Comment Modified) [Got away with the ‘too old to classify as gen txt’ comment…*(evil grin)*] 0
Sweetie(s) given ���
on 28 June 2005 at 16:58
I thought it beneath me, really, to dignify that with a comment. But now I’m feeling happy happy happy so I will let you away with it… coz…
I know I’m younger than you. 0
on 28 June 2005 at 17:19
Ah… the cruellest cut! One of those five point palm exploding heart things… 0
on 28 June 2005 at 21:24
Hello, hello, it’s me, don’t forget me..I live here. 0
on 28 June 2005 at 22:55
I know you do! Look at how harsh JD is being to me – be mean to him with me…I promise it’s fun 😉 0
on 29 June 2005 at 01:01
Harsh?! I’m being positivly a gentleman-ish.
Oh hi ‘waf. Sorry for hogging your bandwidth. It’s her fault though. She’s the one being mean & cruel. So I have to assume the hard, calculating, dead-eye cynical stance for self defence. A bit like you, really 😛 0
on 01 July 2005 at 21:37
Clears throat noisily before entering blog and watches JD and Sus leaping apart nervously. 0
on 01 July 2005 at 22:15
Story of it all, isn’t it… I spend my life leaping – and usually before looking – in and out of places and events.
[Anyway, she’s too old for me…. ] 0
on 02 July 2005 at 08:44
Yes, I understand that gen txt as we must know you from now on… 0
on 11 July 2005 at 12:08
*pats self on back for having read The Red Pony in Spanish*
*slides out again* (sinuosly coz nt nly s she yung bt also glriusly flxbl due 2 hrs spnt doing yga)
gen txt ws it? 0
on 11 July 2005 at 13:06
SEE!!! Cruel, clever snd mocking….. I’m going home and takin’ my football with me. So there… 😛 0
on 12 July 2005 at 17:11
Football? And yet you never struck me as the sporty type 😉 0
on 12 July 2005 at 19:31
Hidden depths 😉 0
on 14 July 2005 at 20:46
Hello are you two still here? Get out and enjoy the sunshine. 0
on 14 July 2005 at 23:11
We are. In separate parts of Europe. But we are…. 😛 0
on 16 July 2005 at 07:29
Well, that’s good.. 0
on 18 July 2005 at 17:50
It?s ten to seven and 36 degrees out there. Do I have to?
*bastes self in more sunscreen and crawls out again* 0
on 18 July 2005 at 17:52
AND she eats bee poo… 0
on 18 July 2005 at 18:03
More puerile humour, Mr D? I had expected more…(or less?) 0
on 18 July 2005 at 19:06
Hello, hello, just checking in to see that you’re both still ok here. 0
on 18 July 2005 at 19:07
Comment Modified) Well, I’m upset… she’s hurt my feelings. And I’m lashing out indiscriminately.
Besides, I’ll be ok in a day or two when I’m on my holidays. 0
on 19 July 2005 at 20:26
You can have a little Haagen-Daaz too. (cures all wounds) 0
on 20 July 2005 at 22:13
But only if it’s Darina Allen haagen-dazs. And honey free. 0
on 21 July 2005 at 17:26
Hmm. I think both DA and HD would be very distressed to know that you think they work together…
I have banned the honey & ordered an extra tub for your holliers 🙂 0