Bookwitch bites #144

I am such a grumpy old Witch. I don’t – necessarily – read in parks. I mean, I might. If I had nowhere else to go and I had a book and some time to kill. But I wouldn’t look at the sunshine and rush off to read in the park. Just as I don’t read in bed, or on the beach. It’s so uncomfortable.

My apologies if the person who emailed me regarding reading their book in the park sees this. It’s just that the supposedly tempting scene painted, was anything but. And, if the weather in London has been extraordinarily good and threatens to remain so, that doesn’t mean we at the other end of the country are similarly blessed.

Although, I did sit out yesterday. For a bit. In the garden. And yes, I am blessed, because I have a garden. I spent my time with a mug of tea, staring into space, hoping for rest and inspiration. The reading will happen in my armchair.

It’s time again for the Guardian’s summer reading advice pages. I like the fact that they have taken to printing suggested authors in bold, so you can pick them out quickly and not have to read every famous author’s holiday book suggestion to find what you want. Which in my case was to see if anyone mentioned children’s books.

One did. Someone is going to re-read Alan Garner’s The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. And the Guardian had one children’s books in its ‘if you only read one book’ column, which was Joanna Nadin’s The Incredible Billy Wild. Very good choice.

That also happened to be the book I’d just finished reading when someone asked me for recommendations a couple of months ago. She made a note of the title and when I saw her last week she was still looking for it, which touched me, as I didn’t feel anyone should take my advice that seriously. Well, they should. I’m only trying to be polite and modest.

It was also time for the Branford Boase award this week. For once my guesstimate re the date was right. (Didn’t get the email…) Anyway, the winner was MG Leonard and her debut book Beetle Boy. I’ve heard much good about it, but so far I have stumbled on the creepy-crawly/insecty aspect. I know. It’s probably the new Kafka. And ever since Thursday I’ve kept seeing MG Leonard’s name everywhere. She’s doing ‘all’ the festivals, including Gothenburg.

Another busy lady is the Queen. She came here this week. That’s Stirling here, not Bookwitch Towers here. They had coned off a road near Sainsbury’s when we went for some essential food. We gather she went to see the spruced-up Kelpies in Falkirk, where she spoke to some real horses and fed one her bouquet of flowers.

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