Thursday, 29 October 2009

Talking books.

And that's talking about books, as opposed to talking books on disc. I know books are important to many of you, as they are to me, and so I thought I would share some of my favourites, just a few otherwise we'd be here all day! And tomorrow probably....
I enjoy reading about 'famous people' but mostly I prefer an autobiography to a biography, though if the latter has been authorised, that makes it all right. But I feel that if it is actually written by the person, then you are closer to the truth. So in here there are two that fall into the latter category, those of Katherine Hepburn and Dusty Springfield. I wonder if there is anyone else reading this who remembers Dusty Springfield, and whose name conjures up happy memories of teenage years? I once 'played' Dusty in a school concert, the one and only time I ever appeared in one, when I was fourteen, complete with back-combed hair, lots of black eye make up, and miming to 'I Only Want To Be With You'.


The book above by Imogen Smallwood is about life with her mother, Enid Blyton... cost me 35p from the library, and the one about Gertrude Jekyll a princely 50p from another sale at the local library... aren't library book sales marvellous? The Monty Don book was the first of his I ever bought, whilst on a visit to Hay-on-Wye, and a happy hour spent in a shop specialising in garden and nature books.... don't you love the fact it's by MONTAGU DON?
These are just some of my favourite authors, and I have all the books written by most of them, having just treated myself to Elizabeth Jane Howards' 'Cazalet' series of books, my winter reading project.

I'm a bit picky when it comes to Alexander McCall Smith, as I only like his Edinburgh novels, I don't read crime fiction and in any case, would find the time it took to get the pronunciation of his African ladies correct, too testing for a woman of little patience! I have all Maeve Binchy's books, but this is another of those 20p bargains from the library.

There are also books about travel, people's lives and so on, and these are just a sample of my favourites. 'Mrs. P's Journey' by Sarah Hartley is a fascinating read, being about Phyllis Pearsall, the lady who created the London A-Z. A slightly eccentric lady, she was increasingly fed up with the lack of proper street maps of London, making journeys within the city longer than necessary, so she single-handedly set out to change all that and in so doing created 'a publishing phenomenon'. During the course of one year she covered the entire 23,000 streets on foot and mapped it all out, as the author says, thus disproving the theory (by men of course) that women can't read maps.
These are some of my spiritual books. I have some self-help books, just a handful I kept out of my collection. The top one is WISDOM OF THE TAO, since you can't read the title properly, and all of them are books I dip into now and then.

Some of my favouritest books are old ones with faded dust jackets or cloth covers, and again, this is just a handful of the collection. I am looking for REBECCA, since I have a few of Daphne du Maurier's with faded, intersting dustjackets, and somehow they suit the book better than a modern paperback reprint. 'Blandings Way' is the book following 'Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House' one of my favourite old movies.

Well, crafts are always on the go here, and these are some of the books I dip into for inspiration. I love making papier mache, but haven't done any for years, bowls being my favourite item to make, so tactile and such fun getting all dirty-handed (I use newspaper) and sticky-handed (wallpaper paste). Mind you, if the telephone rings, you're in trouble!

And I love what are called 'coffee table books', again for dipping in and out of as the mood takes me... though they should be called 'weekend books' since this seems to be when I do most of my dipping! The top one is THE BOOK OF IDLE PLEASURES.... and certainly reading books would fall into that category.
Oh and one final thing, a message for 'Sherlock' if he's dropped by again, skipping to the end... you might like to look at the end of your last blogs, as I left a comment for you there!!
Happy weekend everyone, be it idle or otherwise.

51 comments:

Mark said...

Lovely books - collecting books is one of the reasons I can't quite fully embrace the e-reader concept, even though I do like the idea of electronic publishing.

You will get an old copy of Rebecca very easily by looking on abebooks.co.uk It is an excellent site for old books and most of them come from small booksellers.

....Petty Witter said...

Not a huge fan of 'talking' books, not a fan at all if truth be told, I was delighted to see your collection of books both old and not so old - thanks for this post.

Arosebyanyothername said...

I am a reader of books but also enjoy 'talking' books. I like the unabridged versions only and listen to them whilst ironing or sewing.
Jim and I get disk versions for the car on the long trek down through France to the Mill for our holidays. 12 hours of story telling can make a long journey bearable and we can discuss the book together afterwards as well.

Flowerpot said...

What a fab collection of books. I feel just like a child in a sweet shop (which dates me!!)

Calico Kate said...

Oh we do have SUCH similar tastes PFG. Love talking books and have them on all the time unless I am on the PC and suppsed to be concentrating! I am particularly fond of Katharine Hepburn and Katharine Whitehorn & I am sure it isn't just because they spell their names the same way as me (and very few people do or get it right! It is that second A always confuses folk) I'm going to look out for the Imogen Smallwood one. I seem to remember reading about it in a Sunday paper and then promptly forgot all about it, thanks for the reminder. Erica James like them all, didn't get on with Testimony at all I think I have cleared it out now. Montagu Don... ah sigh... dream... on that note I think I will say good bye!!
CKxx

ChrisH said...

Fascinating collection of books - I want to reach in and pick them up! I saw a fascinating TED lecture by Elizabeth Gilbert talking about inspiration and how to capture it. I know it's online but I'm afraid I can't give you the link - worth watching if it crosses your path.

Elizabethd said...

I have so many books that look like yours! Some old, but treasured, some newer. Adriana Trigiani is one of my favourite authors.

By the way, your Anne Tyler is somewhere in space I think, it has never arrived, sadly.

Mark said...

I was on abebooks today - buying as usual. Loads of copies of Rebecca from 1950s from about £2.50!

magsmcc said...

I smiled all the way through your books, until I got to Jo's Boys when I let out a squeal of delight! I haven't been with Louisa May Alcott since before I was married, though I acknowledge so many overt influences from her in my whole dream life! And of course we all wanted to be Jo- so, herein lies finally my point!, I'm off to dig out Jo's Boys, now that I have two of my own! Thanks...

Jenny said...

Great choices, I have or would like many of those. Books are so desirable, my friend once got a part time job in a bookshop, not for the money just to be in there among them. I tried a talking book once for a long car journey, not the same and I imagine these new downloads wouldn't do the trick either, has to be something you can hold and hug when you love it.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Look at all those great reads!

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I smiled all the way through your books, until I got to Jo's Boys when I let out a squeal of delight! I haven't been with Louisa May Alcott since before I was married, though I acknowledge so many overt influences from her in my whole dream life! And of course we all wanted to be Jo- so, herein lies finally my point!, I'm off to dig out Jo's Boys, now that I have two of my own! Thanks...

tung said...

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I am particularly fond of Katharine Hepburn and Katharine Whitehorn & I am sure it isn't just because they spell their names the same way as me (and very few people do or get it right! It is that second A always confuses folk) I'm going to look out for the Imogen Smallwood one. I seem to remember reading about it in a Sunday paper and then promptly forgot all about it, thanks for the reminder.
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Lovely books - collecting books is one of the reasons I can't quite fully embrace the e-reader concept, even though I do like the idea of electronic publishing.anger management for women

apple said...

Lovely books - collecting books is one of the reasons I can't quite fully embrace the e-reader concept, even though I do like the idea of electronic publishing.

You will get an old copy of Rebecca very easily by looking on abebooks.co.uk It is an excellent site for old books and most of them come from small booksellers.Accident Insurancenutrition and cancer

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Hieuhap said...

It certainly is weird isn't it how some folk seem to gather followers round them and others don't bit like at a party when you are the one standing alone a Johnny No-friend eh?! I agree with you though that small is often better and to have a few good followers with whom one has an affinity (is that the word I mean?) is OK too.

Your snow storm must have been impressive - none here as yet and hopefully none to come either!

I was going to join Jill in making a journal but somehow it didn't get done and like you I wondered if I might do better to do more of a scrapbook page rather than a daily journal. I might give it a go starting in Feb - always was a late starter!

Congratulations on your 100th post.

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Hey now N., you have to take in account us "lurkers". I love to pop in to see what is going on and have only commented once just to wish you a Merry Christmas. Some of the best reading I've done are books that you have recommended and I love to watch your projects unfold. I think your blog is fabulous!!! Congrats on the 100th post.

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Jim and I get disk versions for the car on the long trek down through France to the Mill for our holidays.

darkhung said...

I feel like I have not been reading your blog for long enough. I will really miss the quality of your writing, but I am also overjoyed that you are also fulfilling a life dream.
I will miss you very much. Now I need to find some more blogs to read ^^
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Your snow storm must have been impressive - none here as yet and hopefully none to come either!

I was going to join Jill in making a journal but somehow it didn't get done and like you I wondered if I might do better to do more of a scrapbook page rather than a daily journal. I might give it a go starting in Feb - always was a late starter!

Congratulations on your 100th post.

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Oh we do have SUCH similar tastes PFG. Love talking books and have them on all the time unless I am on the PC and suppsed to be concentrating! I am particularly fond of Katharine Hepburn and Katharine Whitehorn & I am sure it isn't just because they spell their names the same way as me (and very few people do or get it right! It is that second A always confuses folk) I'm going to look out for the Imogen Smallwood one

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