Posted by: Admin | October 17, 2010

Pass me a Book

Last Sunday I reported that I shall break the habit of sitting mindlessly of a Saturday night in front of trashy TV and read instead. I’ve rather lost the habit of reading fiction since I went back to university, but Saturday night isn’t the time for taking new information on board, is it? I trawled the bookshelves in WH Smith’s while waiting for a train at Euston the other day, but came away with nothing. I’m out of touch and at a loss!

The most recent books I’ve read and enjoyed are Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner, We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver, Five People You Meet in Heaven and For One More Day by Mitch Albom. I also liked Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones Mark Haddon’s A Spot of Bother and The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-time.

Why am I telling you this? Good question! Any suggestions gratefully received if you would like to save me from the X-Factor on TV! Meanwhile, this evening I’ve been enjoying a little Rupert Brooke:

The War Sonnets: V. The Soldier
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.




  1. It’s Saturday night and I’ve just finished “Slaughterhouse-Five” Kurt Vonnegut. I had read it before when I was much younger but it had more impact this time. I have “Chesapeake” by Michener queued. I have read it before but that was many years ago. Douglas Adams “The More Than Complete Hitchhiker’s Guide” is on the shelf in front of me and that is probably next. I’ve read it as well but there is no such thing as too much Saint Douglas. The TV is aimed at mindless 20 and 30 somethings and even though I have money to spend I don’t seem to exist. That’s fine with me.

  2. At the end of the day, I’m usually so exhausted that I just want to flop down on the sofa and be entertained. But not by endless reality TV or trashy shows, but by a good drama or a comedy show. I tend to do my reading at night, because that is the only time I can be absolutely positively sure that I will not be interrupted. But then I read for too long. If I try to read earlier on, I just fall asleep.

    I have a shelf in my bedroom where new books go (not counting reference) and I go to that shelf to find my next read. I have just finished Terry Pratchett’s ‘I shall wear Midnight’, and before that ‘The Chymical Wedding’ which was mind changing.

    One of the great things about doing the Sunday Poem is that it gives me a legitimate reason to read poetry and call it work!

  3. Thank you both for your suggestions. I loved the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when it first appeared and have had Vonnegut on my list for a while. Can’t get on with Terry Pratchett – bit too surreal for me. Who wrote the Chymical wedding?

    Anyone else reading this post – please do keep the suggestions coming!

  4. You have to read Vonnegut – It’s the law (Cat’s Cradle is my favourite).

    Other’s you should try are:

    Richard Brautigan – Trout Fishing In America
    Thomas Pynchon – The Crying Of Lot 49

    And a definite must is:

    John Kennedy Toole – A Confederacy Of Dunces

    Personally, I read all this US literature but always end up back with Thomas Hardy.

  5. Hi Crayola – I am quite excited to have a post-punk music idol such as yourself on m’blog! Get you – down with the oldies!
    Seriously, thanks for the suggestions. That’s two votes for Vonnegut. I’ll let you know what I think.

  6. Good taste in books Jo! I love Khaled Hosseini, Mitch Albom and Alice Seabold!
    Have you seen the film of The Lovely Bones? Its worth a watch but nowhere near as good as the book. I’ve got it if you want to borrow it.

    I wouldn’t reccommend The Almost Moon by Alice Seabold, I didn’t like her writing style in that one.

    But I would recommend The Road by Cormac McCarthy or Pride And Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. They’re the best I’ve read lately.

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