Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life - Joseph Addison

How very apt that quote(I Googled)  by Joseph Addison who was an English essayist, poet, playwright, and politician. Never heard of him until I found the quote, so now I have.
So reading, one of my favourite pastimes and has been since I can remember, apparently I could read before I went to school and for those first years in infants school I was top in my class, along with Steven Titchner who I was in a constant reading battle with. I was also one of the best at sewing in Junior school, along with William Laird, I wonder what happened to him? The last memory of him I have is the time a crowd of us were up our local park and my mate Diane's dog Patch peed on him! William ran off screaming never to be seen again, perhaps he was but my timeline of back then is a little hazy.
I digress, I set myself a reading challenge over at Goodreads, 52 books in 52 weeks, so one book a week. So far I'm on track, I'm a quick reader as long as the book keeps my interest.
What I've read so far....

Click on the links to find out more.

Week 1 - Book 1 -The Hot flash club by Nancy Thayer.

 "This wise, wonderful, and delightfully witty New York Times bestseller is a coming of age novel about four intrepid women who discover themselves as they were truly meant to be: passionate, alive, and ready to face the best years of their lives"
I really enjoyed this and could relate to those body changes when you get to 'a certain age'. Light hearted fun, there are other books in the series so I'll be on the look out for those.

Week 2 - Book 2 - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Anne Brashares

"Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She'd love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins."
This was good fun too. It's been made into a film although I haven't seen it and there are also more in the series. I found the third the other day and I'm still looking for number two.

Week 3 - Book 3 -  Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
"Major Ernest Pettigrew isn't interested in the modern world. But when his brother's death, and a love of Kipling, sparks a friendship with the widowed village shopkeeper, Mrs Ali, the Major is forced to confront the realities of the 21st century."
I loved this book,  a beautifully written love story. Funny and sometime quite moving I didn't want to put it down, it's one of those feel good books that you hope will turn all out alright in the end.

Week 4 - Book 4 - Cider with Rosie
"At all times wonderfully evocative and poignant, Cider With Rosie is a charming memoir of Laurie Lee's childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a world that is tangibly real and yet reminiscent of a now distant past.
In this idyllic pastoral setting, unencumbered by the callous father who so quickly abandoned his family responsibilities, Laurie's adoring mother becomes the centre of his world as she struggles to raise a growing family against the backdrop of the Great War.
The sophisticated adult author's retrospective commentary on events is endearingly juxtaposed with that of the innocent, spotty youth, permanently prone to tears and self-absorption.
Rosie's identity from the novel Cider with Rosie was kept secret for 25 years. She was Rose Buckland, Lee's cousin by marriage."

I think this has to be one of the most beautifully written books I've read so far, I don't normally do well with overly descriptive writing, as I think it's one of those things that is hard to get right sometimes. Laurie Lee however is the master at it, every page is a sensory delight, I could almost feel what he must have felt. Wonderful stuff. I watched the film not too long ago and as far as I can remember it was pretty much the same as the book. So often I'm disappointed with film adaptations of books, they never seem to get it just right. If a book is good enough to make it into a film then at least be true to the book!

This week I am reading The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. I'll get back to you on that one.

So what are you reading?

See you next time


  1. In addition to waiting for the publication of Harper Lee's new book, I am reading lots of interesting stuff. I am pages away from finishing Michael Dorris' Broken Cord, a book on long-term recovery from domestic abuse (very hard to read more than a bit here and there), and on Friday (my library day) I am picking up Kate Atkinson's Life After Life. But, mostly I have been reading escapist novels. My own life is too real and whilst I need to read as much as I need to breathe, non-fiction is just too heavy right now.

    I, too, read nearly a book a week, sometimes more if I am captured. Cider With Rosie sounds wonderful. I will try to reserve it at our tiny library today.

    Do you know that if you use Shelfari that you can have a box (kind of long) where you can share all of the books you are reading?

    1. Broken cord sounds like a hard read indeed, but then I've told you before that you should write a book, I'm very serious about that. How funny you're reading Kate Atkinson;s Life after life, Rob who I go to the Book discussion scheme with dropped off the book we are to read this month (we start up again at the end of the month) and it was that book! How funny. I have looked at the Shelfari thing, you have it on yours? It; is a bit long, I do have the Goodreads picture showing all the books in the top of the right hand column. :D

  2. I just finished Kathy Reichts latest Bones Never Lie. I've read all her books and really enjoy them. I read The Thorn Birds years ago and loved it but I found all her other books a big let down after that.

    1. I've never read any of hers yet, I've seen copies in the op shops, I might have to try one. I love the series Bones but it quite possibly has no resemblance to the books, only one way to find out. Yes The Thorn Birds is the best of them all I reckon, it's not the first time I've read it either ;-D

  3. We read 'Cider with Rosie' in school! if I start with that I might sound edu-macated but I confess to being an atrocious reader, despite our house being full of books, I do try to read, e.g. Alan Carr's biography.... I don't set the bar too high but I will be your cheerleader over your reading challenge! x x x

    1. You can be my cheerleader as long as you bring pom poms! :D

  4. A woman of my own heart. I spent more time at the library when I was little than I did anywhere else. I read everything and anything I could get my hands on and by the time I was 9 I was reading full length novels.

    I read "..traveling pants" as well and loved it!

    I still do a lot of reading and recently blogged my top choices of this past month. Feel free to check it out!

    1. Hi Melinda, you reminded me that I too spent most of Saturday and the school holidays at the library, I loved it, loved being amongst all those books, It's a memory I had forgotten, thanks for the reminder :D

  5. Hi Sue, Thank you for the nice comment. Your place looks wonderful with the animals there in NZ. I love it here to and wouldn't think of going back. I had a laugh about your school days! Not a big reader but have seen the film The Thorn Birds. Was very good. Intense? Linda

    1. I wouldn't go back there either, we've been back twice in that time for a holiday, but it isn't really a holiday as such because you don't get any time to yourself. Good to see everyone but we've gotten used to a much slower pace of life and it's all to mad over there now :( Nice to see you here.

    2. I haven't been back at all Sue. My family have been here though. Thought of flying that far is awful and i love it here. I keep up with all the going on though and that's enough! Nice to see you here too :)

    3. My mum & dad have been out and Joe's mum and some friends of ours. We've had the kids of people we know doing their OE come visit. It's a very long way, although we went back last year via LA and that was a better way. I've said to Joe unless I can fly business class I'm never getting on a plane long haul again


I love reading your comments and I thank you for taking the time to write them. I do my very best to reply to every one of them right here on the blog. When you leave your next comment tick the 'email follow up comments' and then you'll get any replies I leave. Thank you for reading my blog.