Friday, 2 September 2011

Peyton place

I'd heard about Peyton Place but I couldn't tell you when or why. I knew it is a grown up book but only had that knowledge vaguely at the back of my mind. I bought my copy of Peyton Place from a charity shop in Oxford where it's orange cover had caught my eye.

It follows the lives of the townspeople of Peyton Place, a small town in America from the 30s to the 50s and I finished it in a week or so. The feel of the book is a little trashy, in the literary sense, but the story was very interesting. It aims to show what lurks beneath the surface of a normal everyday town-in this case incest, extortion, voyeurism and generally salubrious behaviour. I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, and I enjoyed the way she deals with sex and different types of desire-she deals with it so freely that the book was banned on publication.

Peyton place is definitely worth reading, and you'll never look at your neighbours the same way again...

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Friday, 12 August 2011

Shameful books

All our books are packed, but I had one book ready to read which I devoured very quickly. Okay, I'm going to confess-I am a fan of the shopoholic books by Sophie Kinsella. I know, I know, they're chick lit at best and vacuous trash at worst but I don't care, I love them! Mini Shopoholic is the latest in the series and while I wish I could update you about Voltaire or sone other worthy tome, I can't. I can tell you that I enjoyed Mini Shopoholic immensely and will re-read the first ones if I ever find them. The story is mostly about a party but I don't read these for thd plot, I read them fir the snippets of comedy genius and brand name shout outs (both of which appear aplenty). Frankly, I still can't believe the main character has a husband let alone a child as she's extremely irritating generally, but I cheerfully suspend my disbelief and enjoy the ride. I suggest you do the same. AC x

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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Cheating and Eclipse

I must confess to some cheating as I've been reading the first two Poldark novels which I borrowed from my local library (use your libraries kids or they'll be gone tomorrow!) and they are great fun and highly recommended. However I don't own them so I can't talk about them. What I can talk about is Eclipse the third (and I thought final but apparently not) part of Stephanie Meyer's paranormal romance the Twilight Saga. These books get slated a lot though I doubt Meyers cares as they've made her a fortune. I like them generally but they're not in the least sophisticated - I get the impression that they're aimed at kids as Meyers doesn't seem able to engage in a higher level than that of an angsty teen. And I challenge anyone to not want to punch Bella in the face were she real. Her main problem is which hunky supernatural being she should spend eternity with, and boy does she whine about it. I was hoping someone would mercifully finish her off so the plot would just get going again. But she survives, as usual, and through no fault of her own. The book was okay, it shouldn't win anything (and I hope it hadn't) but it helped while away some lunch breaks and was thick enough to wedge open a door when needed. Result! And to you doubters who think I've been making up genres, I've been reliably informed that paranormal romance is a genuine genre so there.

AC x

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Friday, 22 July 2011


Only three weeks until we move house. We are packing our books first as they take up the most space. We haven't finished the cataloguing yet (nearly) and so far we have 1,200 books! We haev some duplicates but not too many and mostly classics. Doing the cataloguing has also highlighted some old friends (Dave Eggers anyone) and has reignited my love for some forgotten authors. I am very much looking forward to moving our booky friends (ie books) in their new home and reading them all again!

AC x

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

And we're back...

It's been a busy old time for us - I, Allotment Cat, am now married to him, Madrigal Boy, and as such we have been super busy well getting married. We are now in the middle of moving house and as such I suggested we make a note of all our books as we packed them and then we would actually know what we had. Madrigal Boy set to work writing a catalogue system for us (as a computer scientist he has never been happier) and he even bought a scanner. Now we are packing books into boxes and scanning them as we go. The catalogue is broken into two collections and his (that's right, we don't share) so we can actually see what we have and stop buying duplicates of things! So far I am up to about 300 books while MB is up to about 100 (but only because we started on my shelves first). I think we will hit abou 700 books before we are finished. How many books does it take to make a Library I wonder?

And now to start reading them!
I will be back soon!
Love TAC

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Wells Tower - Everything Ravaged Everything Burned

Madrigal boy bought me this a while ago (he will make an appearance I promise, but he's quietly welshing on our deal and reading a HUGE library books so he's a bit behind) and I wasn't sure about it because, frankly, the title scared me a bit. I don't want nightmares when I select a bedtime book. However I'm a big fan of good short stories (Raymond Carver and the like) and this was great. It's the type of book that makes you want to start writing straight away, but you won't be able to write as well as he can. I tried. I'll definitely be finding out more about him, and I was especially excited to discover he is part of the McSweenies clan which is a badge of honour to wear with pride. Get the book, and read it, right now. Go. I'm not writing any more so off you pop...

Friday, 23 April 2010

Some Country Houses and Their Owners - James Lee-Milne

This was a great book. I have Lee-Milne's full diaries for that era knocking about on the shelves (unread, naturally) but now I wish I hadn't as I have a sneaky suspicion that all the good bits are in this tiny tome. My particular favourite was the section when a particular country house owner offered their house to the National Trust before commenting how she thought the Nazi's actually had the right idea. Ho hum.

It certainly spurred me on to actually visit some of these homes as to read about their last owners and the circumstances under which they were donated adds a poignancy which comes from knowing that the War had impoverished the upper classes and ended an era of luxury. Elder sons were also scarce leaving distraught parents with no heir and so in their grief they choose to leave their estate, their family history, to the National Trust, to be absorbed into the national consciousness and become a monument instead of a loved family home. Recommended.