Well, that’s it for a while. We’ve just finished the last televised episode of the Roman Mysteries. As they had carried on well into August we had to record them for our return home from holiday, which explains the lateness in viewing.
Daughter and I are hoping the BBC will film more of the books, while wondering how they are going to dig themselves out of the hole they’re in. Sticking to the plot ending of book seven would have been quite helpful for anyone wishing to film book eight.
But, we’re not complaining. We loved nearly all of it, and could have gone on much longer. Let’s hope there’s more filming done before Lupus does a Daniel Radcliffe and grows tall.
In the beginning it took a lot of enthusiasm and hard work to find the bookwitch. But then there was no reason why people should want to find me. I’m still not sure why they look, but I’ve got easier to find. Surely the most telling sign must be how much spam I’m avoiding (good for a vegetarian, on the whole), which by now is a lot.
These days it’s possible to find me both by searching for the blog and by name. I can be googled, therefore I exist. Or something like that. And I hasten to add that I didn’t google myself until Daughter reported I was actually there.
What really puzzles me is what people search for. Sometimes I’m puzzled as to why they are searching for that particular thing at all. Sometimes I just wonder how they ended up with me. My favourites are “Roman latrines” and “Artemis Fowl’s hair”. The mind boggles.
Today someone wanted memoirs for agoraphobics, and that does appeal to me. Perhaps I could write one.
Anyway, I’m grateful for the interest. Very.
The earlier laidback attitude has now turned into last minute panic as Son tries to throw a few things together for university. “I had only a suitcase when I went to Edinburgh” mutters the Resident IT Consultant as he sees the mountain of necessities in the front room. But that was in the olden days, and things were different.
I was interested to note what books would be deemed essential. Apart from some dictionaries, there’s a Bryson and the brand new Roddy Doyle. And he can’t live without his His Dark Materials. And as the signed copy can’t go, and the new set can’t go, we now have to find a second hand set of paperbacks for the daily perusing. This is with about nine hours until he heads out through the front door, and most of that time should be spent in bed.
What did I start all those years ago?
I try not to, unless you insist on asking me what I think of your new dress.
There is a variety of ways to imply something other than the truth. Son has got it down to a fine art. I suspect it’s his confident manner that leads the innocent bystander to assume all kinds of things.
This is the Pullman nerd we are talking about. The Pullman influence led him to talk about Milton’s Paradise Lost during a debate in his sixth form. Shortly afterwards we met the assistant head who had taken part. He was impressed by Son’s opinions on the subject, but quite embarrassed to admit he hadn’t read Paradise Lost. The Resident IT Consultant dutifully informed the poor man that neither had Son.
The Guardian’s book blog had a discussion on this earlier. Confident debating, or whatever. I posted a comment along the lines of the above story. To my surprise someone else assumed I was “lying” in turn; “thought post was literary point-scoring at its finest complete with is-it or isn’t-it-true factor thrown in”. And I’d only considered it a vaguely amusing anecdote.
As Son’s bookseller contract came to an end before the start of term, he dragged home countless damaged books. We are rather magpie like when it comes to books. Anything floating around can find a home here. As if we have the space.
I suppose all bookshops have means of getting rid of damaged stock. Son signed up for anything that looked at all interesting. One day recently he had so much to carry home , that the older generation was called upon to assist with books and bike from the railway station.
There was even a perfect, but unwanted, signed hardback copy of a crime novel. The writer had sent it to “the crime buyer” as a thank you. I’m beginning to suspect that those working there don’t read books. How else could they pass up on so much?
The young reviewers at the local bookshop are back. The beginning of term had all of them back wanting new proofs to read. One girl had moved away from the area and she was so upset at leaving the reviewers’ club that she wants to review from a few hundred miles away. So quite possibly this could be a good idea to copy in other bookshops. The waiting list will have to remain just that. Hardly anybody wanted to leave, so newcomers will have to practise patience.
Several author visits have been announced, so lots to look forward to. But it seems that the way publishers plan for Christmas means there are fewer proofs around right now. Plenty of books for October publication dates. Those are seemingly meant to last until Christmas, and are intended for Christmas presents. (If it was me, I wouldn’t be able to wait.) So, fewer books for November. Personally, I think the publishers are wrong. I believe in publishing all the time. It could be that many people only buy a few books a year, but I don’t feel that should mean that my reading/buying habits should have to adapt. It’d be better the other way round.
The biscuits were more wonderful than ever…
I’m getting doddery. But I’m fairly sure Melvin Burgess is supposed to be writing his memoirs. Can’t find the information now, but I believe it’s something covering Melvin’s teen years. So, roughly the age his readers are, which makes sense.
Earlier this year it was Jacqueline Wilson’s turn with Jacky Daydream. That story takes the reader from Jacqueline’s birth to the age of eleven. Again, this is logical, because many of Jacqueline’s books are stories about young girls of that age, and it’s easy to recognise quite a few of her fictional girls in her own story.
Jacky Daydream is both a charming modern history lesson and a lovely introduction to one of our most popular children’s authors. Perfect reading for adults and children alike. And I do hope Jacqueline will write a sequel.
Thanks to a blogger colleague who recently stumbled across a second hand copy of Yesterday by Adele Geras, without her glasses on, even, I went in search of a copy for myself. And thanks to Dina Rabinovitch it was easy to find. It’s a short book, and it mostly deals with Adele’s late teens, primarily her time at Oxford.
Not wanting Adele to sound ancient in any way, but this little book provides a slice of history, about a time and a place that has changed quite a bit since. The book left me surprised that Adele got her degree at all, after so much clambering through college windows in the middle of the night, hanging out with really cool people (even in those days…), and singing and acting.
Right now I feel I could do with many more memoirs of this kind. I love my fiction, but it is so interesting simply reading about the memories of real people.
So come on, reminisce away for me!