Monday 11 May 2020

Monday 11th May - Books I am Reading

Last week, or maybe the week before - who can keep track of anything except bin day at the moment (we just watch to see what the neighbours do regarding time to put out the bin, and copy them) - we watched the film of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. It was a good film, we enjoyed it, and the characters were roughly as I remembered them fro  the book.

Out of curiosity and because I was 'between books' I thought I would re-read the original.  There were a good number of similarities, and a good number of differences, enough to make reading the book a fresh experience, richer, too.

One thing struck me, and indeed I've wondered about previously. In the GLand PPPSoc, people had very few books, which they read in depth, pondering over the story and plot and people, characters and authors. Part of the charm is the way the members of the, oh, can I just call it 'The Soc?'Good. As I was saying, because the people in The Soc are 'ordinary folk' with just a basic education, their views on Marcus Aurelius and other Giants of Literature are amusing and revealing.

Now me; I'm not like those readers, studying their books in the way that people are exhorted to 'study the scriptures' or whatever their Holy Book happens to be.

I finished The Soc this morning, but I am also part way through;

Charles Lamb's Essays of Elia (because of 'The Soc'),

'The Power and the Glory by Adam Nicholson, a fascinating history  (no really, it is, and Robert Carey, hero of P F Chisholm's Tudor thrillers appears for real, close to the beginning, which I didn't expect) um, er, oh yes, fascinating history of the writing of the King James Bible, which I came across listening to a Radio3 podcast called 'Private Passions' about people and music

First and Last Loves - a collection of essays by John Betjamin, which was recommended in a blog about architecture that I follow

The Crucifixion by Fleming Rutledge - very rich and dense writing on this topic, which I read just a dozen pages at most at a time

The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris, also takes time to read and absorb - the chapters correspond to the months of the year in which the book refers, so that makes it easy to break into chunks of reading

The Almanac by Lia Leendertz, a monthly guide to the year with phases of the moon, garden notes, recipes etc

I saw two Englands by H V Morton, travelling through England in the Summer of 1939, and later once the war had started, describing the countryside

You see what I mean? There are other books that I am reading, or about to read. Most of these books are ones I just dip in and out of; I think I'm going to settle to The Power and the Glory now as I am finding it to be quite a page turner in the way that none of my school history books could begin to match.

But how much of any of the books in the list will I remember in any detail? And why is it that I still feel that I've got nothing to read at the moment?

I sort of blame Kindle for the ease at which one can obtain books. I've taken to downloading the free samples, partly to see if I like the book, and partly to create a list of books that I am interested in reading at some time.

Anyone got any recommendations for when I can;t find something to read? 



  1. I can't read more than one book at a time! I am a book monogamist! I do forget a lot of what I've read in books once I've moved onto the next one which is a shame because I used to reread books to death when I was young and knew them well.
    If you want a book recommendation, one that stands out to me in recent times was Ella Minnow Pea, the story of letters- it was such a clever story- unbelievable but utterly wonderful!

  2. I've just looked this book up - fascinating - definitely one to look for! Thanks for bringing it to my attention,