Friday, 2 January 2009

Books for Christmas.


One of my pleasures is to make a Christmas Book List and then to find a large part of it in my stocking on Christmas morning. Then, after all the hustle and bustle of Christmas I can sit and contemplate a pile of unread books and choose which one to read first. Joy!
Here is a list of the books I received this year:-
Two poetry books to dib into: Carol Ann Duff'y "The World's Wife"
Jackie Kay's "The Adoption Papers."
Sheila Hancock's "Just me" about her journey from being the wife of John Thaw, the actor, through widowhood and into making an independent life for herself. An easy, enjoyable read which actually left me feeling quite uplifted.
Stephen Fry in America. Still to read but I enjoyed the television programme so much that I know I shall enjoy reading the book.
Ewas McGregor and Charley Boorman's "Long Way Down." about their motor-cycle trip from John O'Groats to Capetown. I had already read "Long Way Round" and enjoyed their rather jokey diary style, so I enjoyed this tremendously and was heartened by the reception they received in even the poorest African countries.
Robert Macfarlane "The Wild Places" This book can really be summed up by the John Muir quote at the beginning - "I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." Lovely book.
And, for me, the piece de resistance - Roger Deakin's "Notes from Walnut Tree Farm". This book really forms a trilogy with "Wildwood" (see an earlier blog entry) and "Waterlog."
Deakin, who died in 2006, was a writer, broadcaster, film-maker and, above all, a real, true eccentric in the best sense of the word. His particular interest were nature and the environment. He lived in a house in Suffolk which he bought in a semi-derelict state. He repaired it himself but left it so that the wildlife and plant life which had inhabited it could also remain in so far as they didn't interfere with his living there. The book - just a series of diary entries - is a joy to read through and an even greater joy to then dib into, as almost every entry is the kind of quote you want to remember. I give you a few here:-
"It is nice to think that my house was an acorn once." (his house was largely made of oak!
"The ants are out on my desk again tonight, my Lilliputians. To them my pencil is a mighty tree and I have to be careful not to sweep them away accidentally."
"Longhand. The advantages of writing in longhand. Like longbow, long term, longboat - all good things - and longing too. The short cut or the long way round. The long view. Long leg."
"Outside my study window there are tits - a family of five, all diligently pecking off the aphids on a rose. The perfect gardeners, so much better than a spray."
"Dentists are kindred spirits with anyone with an interest in conservation."
I hope this has whetted your appetite for more. Do read the book, it is marvellous.


Pub: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-241-14420-

26 comments:

BarbaraS said...

Deakin's book sounds delightful. Must look out for that!

Annie Wicking said...

Dearest Weaver, I love the quotas from 'Notes from Walnut Tree Farm' How lovely.

Enjoy your new books, my dear friend, with the freshly made cuppa I've left you.

((Hugs))

Annie

Dominic Rivron said...

You make me want to read Deakin. I've always wanted to in theory. I'll finish my own Christmas pile first (Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle, Rachel Fox's More About the Song, IM Banks' Matter, and a biography of Chagall - the latter two are hefty tomes).

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I love those quotes, especially the one about his house as an acorn!

'The Wild Places' sounds great too - I really identify with the John Muir quote.

Being outside is so wonderful, going for walks is so 'let's just see what's round the next corner' that if this was the land of the midnight sun I'd never go to sleep at all!

Warmer weather means reading outside too, so what a combination to look forward to!

Happy reading, Weaver ...

Debra (a/k/a Doris, Mimi) said...

There nothing like a good book to wile away the winter hours. I love to lose myself in an interesting read and can quite literally forget everything else for hours. Enjoy your books, Weaver!

Janice Thomson said...

Books are a wonderful gift for who knows what knowledge or pleasure may be gained from the written word. I'd love to read Deakin's book too.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Hope you get to read it, Barbara.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Glad our comments are being exchanged annie - I shall henceforth ignore mailer daemon!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Borrow Deakin whenever you like, Dominic.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Happy reading to you too Raph - is there a Giraffe Times?

The Weaver of Grass said...

Very therapeutic, Debra

The Weaver of Grass said...

Hope you manage to get hold of Deakins book Janice.

willow said...

Books are always high on my Christmas list, too. Interesting choices. Now that the holidays are almost over (youngest son goes back to school Sunday) I am looking foward to some delicious reading.

Mistlethrush said...

What a delightful Christmas stocking!

Ngaio said...

We have the same taste in books you and I .. I read `Wildwood` afew months ago and have ordered `Notes from Walnut Tree Farm` through a local bookshop here in NZ. I was entralled with Deakins writing, he draws you into his world, I was very sad to get to the end of the book, also the fact that he died is such a loss to the nature loving public ..
I read mainly non-fiction, trees, plants, beez - you name it. I have some good bee/nature books to recomend if you are interested, `Honey and Dust` by Piers Moore Ede being a great read. I enjoy your blog ..

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

I have never before heard of "Notes from Walnut Tree Farm", but now I shall seek it out! Thank you for pointing me in its direction!

Frances said...

Something about you joy about receiving books for Christmas just took hold of my heart.

Decades ago, pre-internet etc., I would receive Christmas catalogues from all the New York books stores. These were toy catalogues for adults. Now, most of those shops have been devoured by the likes of Barnes and Nobles.

No catalogues arrive in the mail.

However, I have a membership to a wonderful place, The New York Society Library (www.nysoclib.org)
and have access to every book ever published or to be published.

Best wishes to all readers all around the world. Let us all trade our favorite authors and give each other the great pleasure of stretching, pleasing and challenging our minds.

Cheers.

Chere said...

Enjoy your day, curl up and read those books. Maybe even a cup of hot chocolate will complete the scene. Sounds good to me.

Teresa said...

I can really identify with this post. As a young girl I knew that my parents would give me some books for Christmas. After the presents were opened and we children had our coveted Selection Boxes to munch on (we didn't get sweets as often as today's kids do) I'd head to my upstairs bedroom to select a book and immerse myself in adventures! With many pleasurable hours of reading ahead of me, my books seemed to prolong the Spirit of Christmas.

Rowan said...

I've just ordered The Wild PLaces off Amazon - it was on my wishlist but didn't get chosen at Christmas so I chose it for myself! Notes From Walnut Tree Farm is on the same order and I'm currently reading Wildwood and enjoying it immensely, books are such a source of pleasure aren't they?

Woman in a Window said...

Huh, here the quotes laid out are fine in and of themselves. I wonder if I'd get as much reading them within the pages of many? I like them here, each one singular. I wonder if anyone has ever thought to lay them all out in book form? OH! That'd make it a book, one sentence laying on top of another. D'oh!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Happy reading willow and mistlethrush.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Shall look for the Ede book Ngaio - shall also visit your blog - thanks for calling.

elizabethm said...

Ha, I bought the Deakin book for Ian this year and he read it at great speed so I have it now and am loving it. Just superb. Have you read Katherine Swift's The Morville Hours too? I suspect from what else is on your list that you might like it, I loved it too.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Having just posted my Christmas book list...I had a ball reading yours!! More for me to add to my now growing birthday list!!

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