Sunday, 7 September 2008

A Personal Book Tour.

For me, books roughly fit into six categories:
There are the reference books - Atlas, Dictionary, Thesaurus etc., which I keep near to hand for things like The Times Crossword.
Poetry books are scattered about the shelves throughout the house - these are to dip into when the mood takes me.
Then there are the books one feels one ought to read. This must vary from person to person - my list (taken from my bookshelves) is all of Dickens, Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, Thoreau's Walden - I have read bits of them all from time to time but never from Page 1 to the end.
Travel books are important. I tend to borrow them from the library - people like Gavin Young, Paul Theroux etc. My two favourites, which I do own, are Wilfred Thesiger's "Arabian Sands" and Charles Glass's "Tribes with Flags".
Most exciting category - books I can't wait to read! These can be old favourites like "Brideshead Revisited" or books by any of my favourite authors - Sebastian Faulks, Ian McEwen, Evelyn Waugh, Iris Murdoch,Salley Vickers, Anita Brookner, Hilary Mantel, D H Lawrence - the list is endless.
But there is another category - maybe the most important for me -if I can't sleep and get up to make myself a cup of tea; if I am worried about something and can't really concentrate; if I get overtired and need to relax. Then I call on my "dip into" pile. I have read all of them a hundred times and am so familiar with them that I can easily find any particular passage I want to read. They take very little effort to read but always soothe and satisfy. Here is my list. I suspect most readers have their own list. What is yours?
Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley"
Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited."
Ronald Blythe's "Word from Wormingford", "Borderland", "Out of the Valley."
Roger Deakin's "Waterlog."
John Lister-Kaye's "Nature's Child."
Montgomerie's "Anne of Green Gables."
For my Desert Island it would have to be the Steinbeck!


Crafty Green Poet said...

My categories are similar, though poetry is a separate category.

I always have a novel and a poetry book on the go along with non-fiction (nature, science, history, travel or linguistics). I read a short story after each novel.

I try to read at least three foreign language novels a year.

My biggest 'ought to read' is Ullysees.

Annie Wicking said...

Hi WG,
I have just brought John Steinbeck's 'The Short Novels', The Savage Garden by Mark Mills and Edna O'Brien's 'Wild Decembers'. The problem is I have a pile of book beside my bed and I seem to keep adding and never read. It's a case of read or write, write or read I don't have time to do both.

Best wishes,

Annie W

The Weaver of Grass said...

Interesting c.g.p. I have given up on Ullysees long ago - life is too short. My favourite foreign language "novella" is "La Silence de la Mer." Can't remember the author but never tire of reading it. Do you know it?

The Weaver of Grass said...

Hi Annie. My tidy mind will not allow me to have a pile of books ready to read - I am too tempted to dib into them so I just have one on the go at once. Do agree about the dilemma of reading/writing though.

HelenMH said...

Just wanted to thank you for popping by my blog and for your kind thoughts about Smudge. My 'dipping in' books are anything by Agatha Christie, as they immediately transport me away from everything else that's going on.

Janice Thomson said...

I have many books too - half are philosophy books and the other half art and poetry. As an artist and photographer I don't seem to have a lot of time for reading other genres.

Crafty Green Poet said...

HI again - no, I haven't heard of 'La Silence de la Mer'. My favourite book that I've read in a foreign language is 'Die Wand' by Marlene Haushofer. I had given up on Ullysees until I was talking to a colleague who has read it twice and says its the best thing she's read.

Gramma Ann said...

Hi Weaver...

Thanks for popping by and visiting.

Reading is my favorite pass time. Although, I don't read anything to deep, I do what I call recreational reading. I don't have to digest any of it. If I remember, fine, if not fine too.

I have what I call "Ann's Reading Corner" blog. I just set it up last week, so it is a new blog of mine...Sorry, it's not open to the public. It's just my musing and reflecting on what I've read. My own little ramblings and such in my little corner of the world.

Oh! That reminds me. I've been meaning to ask you. Is your little village in England? That is what I'm assuming...

I don't comment a lot on other peoples blogs, because, I'm not sure if they want to be bothered with my comments or not. I do tend to go on and on sometimes...;)

Have a splendid day.


Dominic Rivron said...

Interesing what people say about Ulysses. For years I read nothing but Joyce. I had the same problems everybody has getting into Ulysses, but once I got into it (5th-ish attempt?) I just couldn't put it down. Reading Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist helps, I think, because both books feed into Ulysses. Lots of characters in Dubliners crop up in the bigger book.

Ulysses is often said to be "just the thoughts" of a man walking round Dublin. It's not. There's a lot more to the narrative than that. For a start, there's the subtle ways in which the Dubliners exclude Bloom because he's Jewish, and Bloom's coping mechanisms with this and the other circumstances of his life.

And then there's Finnegans Wake.

Other books? If I come down with Man Flu and need a change from Radio 4 I always reach for WH Murray's Undiscovered Scotland and Mountaineering in Scotland.

Lucy Corrander said...


I'm on a garden hop.

I don't tend to re-read books but I was pleased to see you have 'Travels With Charlie' on your list because I like it too and rarely see it mentioned.

I also like 'Travels With My Aunt' by Graham Green - very different . . . very funny.

And now I'm off to find another interesting person . . . I'm blog hopping!

Lucy Corrander

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for the comment Lucy. Have just looked at your blog. Love the texture in your pictures. As I also do textile art some of your photos give me lovely ideas. Can't see how to comment on your blog so am doing so here in the hope that you will read me again.

Lucy Corrander said...

Hello again!

Yes, I will certainly continue to read your blog. I have already added it to the list of blogs I am 'following'.

I'm very pleased too that you like PICTURES JUST PICTURES . I used to weave a lot so there probably is a connection between the part of me which has a 'feel' for the colours and textures of textiles and the way I photograph the world.

I'm surprised you didn't see where to leave a comment - but as you aren't the first person to say so I'd better do something about it!

I don't really understand where the problem lies because the way to leave comments is exactly the same as with all the other blogger blogs.

(There's even an extra way to comment for people who scroll down looking at the pictures.)

I'm wondering if you would help me solve this?

I've changed the colour of the text and increased its size.

That's all so far.

Do you think you could spare a moment to go back to PICTURES JUST PICTURES and see if it is now clear how to leave a comment? It would be really helpful and I'd be very grateful if you were to let me know.


Reader Wil said...

I see that you read the same books I like. I recently read "The Kite Runner" And at this moment I read "My Name is Asjer Lev"by Chaim Potok. I read many of his books. I also like :Anne of Green Gables" and "The Railway Children".
You wrote that your first husband was also in a Japanese camp. Was that in Indonesia?
Thanks for your visit!