Posted in Books, Not Taken By Me, rain, Reading, Seasons, Snow, Weather

A New Book – Météores

Today started rather good – himself has had surgery and it appeared to have gone well.  However, later on it seems that there will be yet again another side effect we will have to possibly deal with 😦  It’s not a biggy as such but it’s disappointing that this has happened.

On the other hand there was this waiting for me when I got home – Météores by Christophe Jacrot


It is so beautiful!  I love rain and snow so this book is book is right up my alley.  I can’t tell you how excited I was to flick through the pages.  My particular favourites are “Le petit chaperon rough, Paris” & “Velib, Paris”

If you like photography or weather then this is a definitely a book to get.

Posted in Bloggage, Books, Celebration, Films, Finished Reads, Life

June/July ’15 Finish Reads

I’m rather pleased to say that my last three reads are actually books that I’d previously started but never finished.

The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin – I didn’t think I’d read much of this book but a bookmark still in it tells me I had actually gotten almost 100 pages into it!  However upon re-reading it I couldn’t remember anything about it at all!  On the other hand in the re-read I couldn’t understand why I didn’t finish it first time around!  I have the second book in the series on my shelf just waiting to be picked up.

My second read – previously I had only read a chapter or two of this book.  On the other hand, I’d seen the series, the film, and listened to the audiobook – so it really was time to pick up the book and read the words for myself.  Yes I’m referring to the first in the Karla Trilogy – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré!  

The series and the film follow each other fairly closely.  The book was written in 1974 and the series was made in 1979 so period was in keeping with the book.  There was one or two small changes made – locations – that when it came to the film they too, kept the places changed – I’m not sure I understand why.  On the other hand I did enjoy the book and Alec Guinness was Smiley for me the whole way through.

Finally, I got my hands on a copy of A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr

This had come to my attention last year (or was it the year before?)  I couldn’t find it anywhere so in the end I ordered it in the library.  Unfortunately for me the mood had passed by the time I’d gotten it.  It’s a short read – 85 pages and I only got about 28 pages into it when I had to return it.  So when I saw that Penguin had just released it as a Modern Classic this summer, I knew I had to get my hands on it and try it again.  Now one habit of mine is to find out how many pages are in a book and figure out where the half way mark is.  When I did that here I spotted that the story was signed off as such, as if it were a letter.  So that was how I read it – as a letter.  I devoured it which I’m rather pleased with as I’m a slow reader.  I loved it – I loved that warm summer – slightly struggled with the phonetic accent but that wasn’t the stumbling block that it possibly was last time.

Now I think my next read will be a new purchase but I’m still not entirely sure which.

Posted in Bloggage, Books, Holidays, Reading

Holiday Plans #1

This morning, on the bus going to work, I decided to put my mind to a very important decision.

What books will I bring on holidays?

This will dictate the mood of the holiday.

I’m thinking Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and a Poirot.


We’re only away on a city break for a week – I doubt I’ll even get half of one read!

Posted in Bloggage, Books, Celebration, Childhood Memories, Life, Links, Reading

Not My Father’s Son

This is the autobiography of Alan Cumming.  It was read by himself on BBC radio 4 recently as the book at bedtime.  For me it was a little bit past my bedtime so I got the audiobook from the library.

Can I just say WOW!

I remember watching his episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” and thinking that’s tragic but isn’t it lovely that his grandfather was held in such high esteem…
Nobody would have guessed the turmoil he was going through while the filming of that episode.  That episode is used as the framework for the book – for him to tell us who he is – where he came from.  On twitter I said it swung from harrowing to happy – reading it, it interchanges between the Then of childhood to the Now of filming the programme.

Speaking of remembering seeing Alan on television – I saw him on The Late Late Show (RTÉ) talking about his relationship with his dad and I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to say it wasn’t a happy go lucky childhood.  However listening to his lilting accent, his voice somehow protects us from his words.  You really are routing for the “Then” & “Now” Alan to come through, despite the fact that you kind of know that he has, you are so wrapped up in the story.

This story is very redemptive – by the end of it I would have loved to say to Mary Darling (his Mam) – you did a great job!  to Grant – please keep looking after him, he’s mad about you.  To Alan, Thank You!  Thank you for The HighLife, the photos, and your honesty.

If you don’t read (auto)biographies then listen to this one!

Posted in Bloggage, Books, Friends, Reading

The Organised Criminal

Last week we were at a book launch – it was a friend of ours that was having the launch.

A book by a friend is always a dodgy thing.  It could be great but it might not.

Well today I finished The Organised Criminal.

Generally I’m not a great one for florid writing but in this time I lapped it up.  In this instance the sentences were short and sharp, maintaining a steady pace.

The voice of the book is that of Jay O’Reilly who is also the main protagonist.

On the opening page we find out that he’s heading home for a family funeral, home being Crossmaglen, Northern Ireland.  He’s not overly happy about being back – no that’s not right – he’s not comfortable being back but it’s good to see some old friendly faces.

I don’t want to say anything else about the story as that would give the story away.  A good sign for me is that as I come to the end I just don’t want to put it down – I have to find out how does it all work out and in this particular instance I couldn’t put it down.  Now all I want to is to read more by Jarlath.

Posted in Bloggage, Books, Life, Reading

A Scream In Soho

I did it!

I bought a copy of A Scream In Soho from the British Library during the summer last year and started to read it shortly after Christmas but found it very slow going.

It took me a while to get used to the style of writing.  Words are spelled out using accent phonetics – if there is such a thing – you knew if you had a Cockney, Italian, Irish or upper class British character.  The other thing I found was that for the first 50 pages or so it was mainly scene setting and hypothesising and theories – it felt a bit turgid – like wading through tar.  On the other hand, once the first corpse is located, it takes off at a gallop.  It took me 3wk to read the first few pages and the other 200 pages took 3 days.

I must add that I was under a cloud for the first while got a confidence shot last week, which might also have boosted my reading concentration…

A Scream In Soho by John G Brandon

(Click on Image to be taken to the British Library Shop – better still go to the actual shop it’s heavenly)

Posted in Books, Food, Home, Life, Photography, Seasons

Sunny Sunday Breakfast

In the mornings we have sunshine on our veranda but come the afternoon the sun is out in the back garden.

So this morning I had my breakfast out doors.  Yes the weather has been that good over the last few days.

Armed with my iPhone I took a photo but can’t decide which app – the Instagram or Flickr?




Whichever one you like let me reassure you it was all really delicious & relaxing.

Posted in Books

What will you read this summer?

Most of yesterday was filled with a yearning to read something different. My usual habits are crime fiction, fantasy & a bit of SF with bits and pieces thrown in on the sides for good measure. However I think it’s fair to say that it hasn’t been the best of times so far this year what with his cancer and me with stuff so my head isn’t in the mood for finding new books and that is why I’m having a summer of re-reads. It’s probably just a comfort thing and sticking to what I know so that is why I’ll be digging into the bits and pieces.

I’ve picked three books that I will re-read and one that’s been on my self for a while.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
I Capture The Castle by Dodi Smith
Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart

The book that’s been on my shelf for a while sees me drifting back to crime fiction (ish) I say ish ’cause I’m not sure if it is or isn’t! Anyway that one is One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson.

However there is one new book that I might pick up over the summer and that is “Miss Conceived” by Emma Hannigan – I saw it when I was out shopping and it appealed to me – don’t ask!!

Posted in Books

Books, Books, Books!

I am trying to decide on my up and coming reading.  I am in the middle of an Ian Rankin phase and would like to continue with that.  However, I see that Little Dorrit is going to be on the telly soon and the other day I was in Chapters having a look at the back of it thinking – that looks good.  So the plan might be to record the adaptation on the telly and read the book – or should I watch it and then read it?  Not too sure which order to do it in – a faithful retelling of the story would of course generally spoil the storyline if I wanted to read it.  On the other hand artistic licence might mean that what is on the telly has little to do with what is printed on the page – oh decisions, decisions!

Another thing that has to be considered at this time of year is that it is this time of year.  One more festival to pass by and then we can safely say ’tis the Season.  I have 2 books I like to read – Alice Taylor  The Night Before Christmas and some other book (it has no cover) I think it’s called Dear Santa – it’s a romance book.  So the draw back to all of this is that I’m a slow reader – Little Dorrit could take me ’til Summer at my rate and as I’m not really a two at a time anymore that would knock any festive reading out the window – and believe me I have alot of festive reading = an entire shelf of short stories and interesting facty type books.

Ok I’ve come to a semi/demi decision: Finish the Rebus book I’m in the middle of at work and on the bus etc.  In bed read facty type books.  See if I can get Dickens with a decent font and see how it goes – it might turn out I can’t read it anyway (I get like that sometimes) and can pick it up at a later date.  If I am going to read it there is a chance that it will be too big for handbag and therefore relegate it to weekend reading.

It’s not totally satisfactory but it is a way ahead so we shall see what today brings.