You’d think the bookwitch would be a good source of advice for books, wouldn’t you? But her mind is a complete blank, and please don’t say that you had noticed a long time ago.
A friend of mine asked for recommendations for funny books, for when she’s in hospital, which might be next week. I think what she’s looking for is something funny enough not to make the reader depressed, but not so wildly funny that stitches start coming undone, and other disgusting things.
I can think of several children’s books, but I suspect that other adults aren’t quite as fond of them as I am. And when they are really funny like Roald Dahl’s The Vicar of Nibbleswicke they are a health hazard. When the bookwitch started reading it to Son many years ago she laughed so much she was unable to carry on and Son had to read it to her instead.
And there is a book I think my friend would enjoy, but it’s not out yet, so what do I do?
Any ideas, people?
The bookwitch understands that the Man United team passed through a certain airport bookshop on Sunday. Well, no, that’s wrong. The team passed through the airport. One player came into the shop. The goalkeeper appears to have an interest in reading and in keeping up with current affairs. Asked to be recommended something to read (hope shop management doesn’t find out), he then bought the suggested book. The bookwitch knows which one, and will only say it was a decent choice. She is so out of things she doesn’t even remember the player’s name. But he is a foreigner. And a fan came up and wanted him to autograph an England shirt… Don’t know how that ended.
It wasn’t bad at all. Bookwitch and Daughter quite enjoyed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Son thought it wasn’t very good. But you can’t really put a Rowling length book into a two hour film and not leave things out. Looked at purely as a film this one was a good action film, where someone who hadn’t read the book might just grasp what was going on. And it left me with the same feeling as the book; that friendship matters.
Neville Longbottom is getting more and more wonderful, and Fred and George continue being adorable. (Well, I think so.) And in my next incarnation I’ll be Tonks.
Can it be the Harry Potter effect that has so many good books out in July? First I thought it was strange. Then I wondered if publishers were trying to make me particularly happy for the summer holidays. But now I suspect they are hoping to compete with Harry. Which, being a Potter fan, I feel is silly, but I suppose if you don’t want the much awaited number seven, then you’d feel hard done by if there was nothing else.
But surely, publishers don’t really believe that I will make a choice between either Harry Potter or their new book? It’ll have to be more than one. And no beach life for me, with a mountain of books to read. I feel the risk is that for those who will buy only one book in July, and that book is Harry Potter, there are some excellent reads that will go un-noticed.
I’d had the idea of discussing the re-reading of books for some time. Then someone opened a real can of worms on the Guardian blog on that very subject, so I’m not sure it’s ok any longer. Hundreds of people with opinions.
Do you have time to re-read books in this day and age? I’m trying to work out if it’s the same for everyone, or if it’s just that I’m no longer a child.
I used to re-read books a lot. If I liked them. If I had nothing else to read. If I had nothing better to do.
Now, I hardly ever do. There are far more books available now. And less time. But is it a sign of the times that I have less time, or simply that at fifty (ok, fiftyone) I’m too busy doing other things?
One way of “re-reading” has been to listen to books on cassette while doing the ironing. But I hardly ever do that now, either. The listening, not the ironing.
What do others do? Do you have a book that you keep returning to?
My wishlist is long, but the only book I’ve re-read recently is How I Live Now. The last time in translation, to see how that felt.
My piano tuner revealed that he was reading Dr Johnson, again. I don’t expect I’ll ever get there.