Desert Island Books – A City of Bells

Okay, let’s gloss over the fact it’s been a whole season (and a bit, if we include the fact we’re a decent way through Autumn already) since I wrote my last Desert Island books blog. That can be blamed on the summer but mainly on laziness. And of course I did have to re-read the books, just to check they really deserved their place on the list.

A City of Bells by Elizabeth Goudge sits a little out of sync with any of the other books I’d list as favourites. Having nailed my colours to the mast in my last blog about Jane Eyre as being a lover of dialogue, a City of Bells doesn’t fully belong in that category. Everybody knows you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but the first copy of this I read had the sort of cover layout that would normally send me running the hills (white, paperback, large title at the top, painting of street line receding into the background, in the foreground a wistful looking woman in a big hat; in short not generally my cup of tea). I only read it at all because an Aunt had found it in a charity shop, read it and enjoyed it and passed it on thinking I might too.

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Desert Island Books – Jane Eyre

Following on from writing my first Desert Island books blog which you can find here, I have held off the next one for simple reason that I knew it wasn’t going to be much of a blog but said book had to logically be the next in the list.

It’s fair to say Jane Eyre has been around for a while, and that I’m sure it’s up there with the most written about books of all time. There’s nothing I can say about the book itself that won’t have already been said considerably better by considerably better writers than me. All I can do is briefly discuss why it’s on my Desert Island list. Continue reading

Desert Island Books – Gaudy Night

There’s a programme on Radio 4 which I have listened to, on and off, for my entire life. When I was a child I used to hear it in its weekend slot, and these days I either seek it out online when I know somebody I’m interested in has been on, or occasionally fall down the wormhole of all the past programmes to listen to blasts from the past. Most people, I think (hope?!) have heard of Desert Island Discs, but in case anybody hasn’t it’s a simple concept where the guest for the week picks eight records they’d take with them to a desert island.

Lots of people have their own desert island list of discs planned in their head all the time, in case they suddenly achieve something noteworthy enough to be asked on the show. I’ve always struggled. Sit me down on a particular day and ask me to choose eight tracks that sum up my life, and  that I’d be happy to listen to exclusively for the rest of it, and I could probably come up with a list of 2 or a list of 50, but not a list of 8. But books? That I could do. A list of desert island books would be much, much easier. Continue reading

Stop the world, I want to get off

You’d need to have spent the last few weeks under an incredibly large rock to not know that it’s been fairly hectic, news wise. I’ve thought a few times about blogging; something has gone past, I’ve thought ‘ah, that makes me feel X/Y/Z, there’s a blog in that. I’ll do that at the weekend’, and by the time the weekend has come that thing is 20 things ago. Continue reading

On radio silence…

Wow. It’s fair to say it’s been a while.

I’ve thought about blogging loads over the last few months. I mean not constantly, clearly, or something might have actually happened. But at least once a week had those ‘oh, blog is the right place to explore that thought’ moments. I’ve also known since about May why none of those moments have actually turned into blogs but not been able to do anything about it.

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It’s ok to be sad about people we never met…

There’s been no shortage over the last few days of people putting their contribution into the non-existent until they started it debate about whether ‘we’ (the huddled masses) are allowed to be sad when ‘famous people’ die, prompted by the death of David Bowie. Apart from a couple of spectacularly ill judged tweets from one side of the spectrum and a few ‘here’s my article on why it’s ok’ tweets with links I haven’t clicked on, I haven’t read any of them. With this in mind there’s every chance that everything I feel like saying has already been said multiple times in considerably better ways by considerably better writers. However I’ve been prompted and as you can see from the dust and cobwebs on this blog, I am not in a position to look a gift prompt in the mouth. Continue reading

On big and important things…

I don’t know enough and am not sure enough of my ability to describe my own opinion to have even considered posting anything about the vote in the House of Commons on 2nd December regarding air strikes in Syria. However amongst the white noise of news and social media coverage today several people have linked to this excellent Tony Benn snippet from a similar debate held before we decided to, almost certainly illegally, bomb democracy into Iraq.

It’s only two minutes and a quarter minutes so please do give it a watch because I think there are a couple of important points.

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