Tag: books

I haven’t forgotten

Just had a busy few weeks with university exams and other workish or life-ish management.

And with reading Pride and Prejudice yet again. This time another spin-off. This time a good
series told from Darcy’s point of view by an American author, Pamela Aiden. Reviews to follow.

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The sacred solution? Stephanie speaks

From Stephanie Dowrick’s new book “Seeking the Sacred: transforming our view of ourselves and one another”:

The qualities needed to meet our most urgent social and environmental crises are the same as those we need in their communities and homes. They are the same as those we need to heal our personal suffering and lessen our confusion. Concern, connectedness, the dignity, forgiveness, patience, tolerance gratitude and inclusive intelligence: this is what the world needs. This is what we need.

Love it. Love the connectedness that she makes you think about. I think I also love the fact that she still sees it possible to improve society and the planet by improving the connections.

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Wet heat

Backdated written in the early hours

Sat in a bookshop (Sappho) with tapas and a glass of wine tonight. Meaty and rich meatballs with a perfectly proportioned raspberry sauce – jam like, and chicken skewers.  It was home like, very real and just what “the doctor” ordered for me. There was comfort too in sitting in a bookshop with old books, not just the new shiny ones. A bookshop proud of its neatly hand-printed labels which remind me of  my fathers’ draftsman writing.

It is a cafe and even though I can’t as yet get beyond the 2 seater wooden table at the front (complete with polite but pointed note to likely try and prevent folks especially I would guess students from the nearby uni from camping there all day with laptops), I am confident that all the conversations was informed by the wisdom of the rooms air.

And now? Perched showered and not quite feeling clean in front of the gas heating diligently pumping out enough to leave the metal of my chair too hot and too pink but my shoulders are tight with the cool air.

I hear rain on the skylight of a reassuring weight. Here to stay.

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Season of bookishness

It’s a season of books for me with a couple of reviews in the works. Book shops are my friend – soothing and friendly. Without the need to buy, although now I am. Books I haven’t been able to find in one bookshop have been there to envelop me in another.

I discovered a gift voucher from three years ago that miracle of miracles was still valid, by virtue of the sheer age of the card — they have upgraded their cards so the newer ones — more recent than one year have an expiry. How strange. With it from Borders I ordered a book I’ve heard as an audiobook but now want to hold. called The Trusted Advisor (seeing as that seems to be what I’m doing now…). The audio was good but it refers to lists and tables and maybe I’m just old-fashioned! I want to hold the book. I’ve also bought a book on running a consultancy )again seeing as that seems to be what I’m doing now.

It was a lovely bookshop, well-lit, wide enough aisles to park and not feel like a blockage, clean but cosy enough that there were more than a couple of folks very much asleep on couches which no-one minded and teenagers reading children’s picture books in discussion groups but with the mild awe of a library. Fellow book lovers and accessible. This last point re-inforced by several other folks with apparent impairments floating just as seamlessly and buying.

I’m just saying, again. If you build it ……. they will come and spend.

If you don’t build or create to disable ……. everyone will be more comfortable.

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back to the books

Two days ago I went to Books Kinokuniya a mammoth book shop in the City that I discovered when I left a job and got a sizeable gift voucher. It’s great to be someone who can still discover bookshops.

I was having a mildly brain dead day, with an afternoon to kill between meetings and coffee with a friend and another commitment in the evening. I had a lot to get my head around but that wasn’t going to happen. So inspired by my friends childfree trip to the ABC, I wandered past the handbags and wandering into this huge maze of beautiful books with a huge selection in asian languages which is disconcerting if you don’t know it’s there.

Didn’t end up buying anything (2hrs browsing) but it was nice to welcome back my book worm.

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A box in the mail

Yesterday was fun.

I had a visit from a university friend and her daughters (3 and 9 months). They are gorgeous. It’s strange and pleasing to be able to talk of knowing folks for over 10 (or 20) years. I feel all old but in a good way. AS and her hubby fall into the over 10 year category.

So I was due to meet them at a local shopping centre for coffee before going on to other things. Unfortunately my health and my wheelchair were once more acting up so despite the mess I decided to invite them over.

With baby sleeping time, my guests arrived at about 11 30. Given my recent health issues my friend had offered to bring freezer meals over. I like cooking but lately I’ve just not been up to it physically. So it’s wonderful. I now have a freezer full of pumpkin soup and stir-fry.

AS in typical style also brought over an invented macadamia caramel coconut slice. Divine. With left overs for PB.

Speaking of PB he arrived home slightly early and he dropped a cardboard box parcel in my laps.

Ordering stuff from Amazon for me is rare, but fun. I don’t know why it’s rare, but its fun because I tend to forget I’ve ordered stuff by the time it arrives so its like Christmas. The postage is a bit expensive too, I order books and non critical things. So three books, all on writing arrived, two of which look great. Naming the World and A Year to a Writers life.

Christmas in late February!!

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Austen thoughts

I’m sitting up in bed swimming pleasently in 19th century british literature.

Jane Austen has long been a favourite of mine, both in the elegant video productions and in the books, at least those I have read, largely Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. I have recently bought Persuasion following watching the recent movie “The Jane Austen Book Club” , but have not got further than five pages yet.

I mixed my technology and my love of “the old fashioned way” by downloading Sense and Sensibility through iTunes and have now commenced listening to the same novel through Audible.

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The stories of our lives

Blanche  D’Alpuget (aka the 2nd Mrs Bob Hawke) was recently recorded giving  a quasi lecture on her literary influences and inspirations. Be warned — this is long and not the best public speaking.

It’s got me thinking; what exactly are my lifetime books of note? I will have to give it some thought because I have a bad memory for impact. I also had a bad habit of  not finishing books.

Will ponder.


As I was thinking about the above, PB spontaniously and randomly reported that his first exposure to The Lord of the Rings trilogy had been attending the premiere of The Fellowship of the Ring. He went with a LOTR devotee who camedressed up for the event with their family. The book rather than the movie shaped my head – that much I know. Once again though I can’t really remember the details.

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A library all my own

I  have been sporadically following Tony’s blog for at least 18 months now. He is a Church of England vicar from Oxford who wouldn’t know me from a bar of soap. I like the way he thinks.

In a recent post about Lent he said; 

But then came the double whammy. Alison informed me that what I really need to give up, is buying books. Ouch! That I really don’t know about, though I’m game to give it a try.

Hi, my name’s Tony, and I’m a bookaholic.

Ha. I can relate. Given the inclement weather and energy levels I decided to re-invigorate my “online bookcase” over at Shelfari. Five hours later and I was still going. Its a really good system though. I was a tad embarrassed  how many time i checked the box that said “I plan to read”, and how many times I clearly half started and then gave up.  I also seem to have bought more than one copy of the same book in a couple of cases because the first one was so well buried.

No more books for Lent . Except perhaps to use up the Borders gift card I  was given.

By the way — you can see my shelf in its entirety here. Its a bit eclectic.

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