I’™ve just received the January/February 2008 issue of newbooks magazine. It is full of information, articles, interviews and so on and so on ‘¦ plus the special offers. In each magazine there is a choice of a free give-away (you pay p & p costs). There are extracts from each book to tempt you into further reading. This month the choice is between:
On Chesil Beach
, Ian McEwanThe Welsh Girl
, Peter Ho DaviesThe Oxford Murders
, Guillermo MartinezThe Coroner’™s Lunch
, Colin CotterrillOscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders
, Gyles Brandreth
I’™m not sure which one to pick. It won’™t be On Chesil Beach because I’™ve already got that book. The others all look as though I’™d like to read them, so when I get time I’™ll be reading the extracts, before deciding which one to pick.
Well, that’™s about free books, but the magazine is packed with details of other books and it’™s simply not possible to buy all or even many of them. This is where the Library is a fantastic service. I borrow more books than I buy ‘“ fortunately says my husband! I have always, as long as I can remember, been a member of a library and for a while I worked as a librarian, so I’™m always enthusiastic about libraries. Where else can you get such a wide-ranging and all encompassing supply of free books?
Although I’™m extolling the virtues of the library system I also buy books, because there are books I want to read again, books to read at leisure, without being told I’™ve got to return them as someone else has reserved them and books I want to own. I buy books regularly (too regularly my husband says) and from a variety of different sources ‘“ local bookshops, there are several really good ones locally. I prefer to check out the books in the shops where possible but I also buy books from Amazon and other on-line booksellers. So, it’™s a big help to find that BooksPrice now has a UK website that compares prices from on-line booksellers. Next year I’™ll be checking them out before buying a book.
What fiction book (or books) would you nominate to be the best new book published in 2007?(Older books that you read for the first time in 2007 don’™t count.)
What non-fiction book (or books) would you nominate to be the best new book published in 2007?(Older books that you read for the first time in 2007 don’™t count.)
And, do ‘œbest of’ lists influence your reading?
Looking through the list of books I’™ve read this year I see that most of them are not new books published in 2007, so I don’™t have much difficulty in deciding which ones I would nominate.
In the fiction category my nominations are:
1. Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert, about mystery, magic, memory, full of psychological tension
2. Playing with the Moon by Eliza Graham, about memories, bereavement and the legacy of war
3. Speaking of Love by Angela Young, about misunderstandings, loss and above all love
4. Over by Margaret Forster about grief and death, heart-breakingly sad
My brief descriptions only give a flavour of the books and although they are all different it seems they have a lot in common ‘“ love and memories and loss.
I have only one nomination in the non-fiction category and that is:
The Verneys by Adrian Tinniswood ‘“ the lives of the Buckinghamshire Verney family in turbulent seventeenth century during the English Civil War ‘“ love, war and madness.
‘œBest of’ lists are interesting and I suppose they do influence my reading to a certain extent. Since I started reading blogs, about two years ago now, I am more influenced by recommendations from bloggers, particularly when I know they have similar reading tastes to mine. I’™m also influenced by books I see in bookshops and especially in my local library. Sometimes I prefer to pick up a book without knowing anything about it or the author and am often surprised by how much I enjoy it.
Kate posted this meme, which she borrowed from Danielle, who in turn borrowed it from Sylvia. The idea is that you post the first sentence from each month in the year from your blog. Like Kate I’ve changed it a bit, skipping to the second post of the month if the first began with a quotation rather than a sentence I’d written myself, or if it was just something like “a good month for reading” as I usually start the month summarising what I’d read the previous month – and that’s just too boring. Not that the following sentences are brilliant at grabbing attention or exciting (note to self – I must try harder!)
I actually started my blog in July 2006 but only wrote one post, so I’m starting this list in April this year.
I’ve been meaning to write more, both in this blog and in other writing, but somehow there’s always something else to do.
Sunday was sunny, just perfect for a Bluebell Walk at Rushall Farm.
Daisy Lupin has started a new blog devoted to poetry and the theme for June is Poetry we loved as Children. (Sadly Daisy died in June, I did so enjoy reading her blog.)
It was D’™s birthday last Saturday and the grandchildren painted some beautiful pictures to give him.
Can anyone identify this please? (It was a Cinnabar Moth).
The year is on the turn and autumn is on its way.
Whilst in Stratford last week I browsed the bookshops, one of my favourite pastimes, and couldn’t resist buying The Complete Stories and Poems of Lewis Carroll.
Crossing to Safety was Wallace Stegner’™s last novel published when he was 78 years old.
The third episode of ‘œCranford’ is being shown on BBC1 this evening. (The last episode is on tonight.)
We had to stay at home today, waiting for deliveries, so we had our shopping delivered as well. All well and good. We opted not to have our shopping put in carrier bags (thinking of the environment), so most things were loose, with just a few items wrapped. Everything on the order was there.
Imagine my surprise to find a little bag containing one tiny brussel sprout. When my husband had done the on-line ordering he hadn’t noticed that he needed to enter the weight required and had just put “1”, so that’s what we got – one sprout costing one penny! Fortunately he says he’s happy to share it with me.
“Do you use any of the online book-cataloguing sites, like Library Thing or Shelfari? Why or why not? (Or . . . do you have absolutely no idea what I’™m talking to?? (grin)) If not an online catalog, do you use any other method to catalog your book collection? Excel spreadsheets, index cards, a notebook, anything?”
Today’s Booking Through Thursday questions are spot on for me – as an ex-cataloguer, yes of course I catalogue my books. I did have most of my books in a database on my laptop but when this was stolen I was devastated. I had spent a long time entering in all the details of both my books and my husband’s and did not have a saved copy. I expect the thief was surprised to see my catalogue.
When I found LibraryThing I decided to use that instead. I think it is very good; I like being able to have an image of the book and other members’ listings and reviews. You can find photos of authors and suggestions for more reading. It’s easy to add in books as LibraryThing does all the work for you using data imported from booksellers and a long list of libraries. You can edit the info on each book if you want, add your own comments and sort your catalogue however you like. So far, I haven’t entered in all our books and add in a few more every so often. Although not long after I’d entered in a lot of books LibraryThing was unavailable for a few days and I thought perhaps I’d made a mistake using it. So when it came back on-line I printed off a copy of my entries.
If you haven’t seen LibraryThing have a look. You can see who else has the same books as you and there is a blog as well. Currently there is a photo competition “Holiday Book Pile Contest” for photos of, well – piles of books you receive or give for Christmas (what else?).
You can add a RandomBooks thing to your blog in various ways too – mine is over on the left sidebar.