Sunday, 17 January 2010

Reading for Pleasure.

One of the things I wanted to do in 2010 was to read more. I actually already read a lot, but since starting the degree most of my reading has been related to whatever module I'm currently studying. Reading purely for pleasure has started to feel like a clandestine activity! So this year... it's going to be different. The first book I've finished is Small Island by Andrea Levy.


I was a little disappointed to find it serialised on BBC just before Christmas but I still watched it and enjoyed it, even if it did spoil the ending of the book slightly. It tells the story of Hortense and Gilbert, fresh off the boat from Jamaica, interwoven with the story of their landlady Queenie and her husband Bernard. It's a wonderfully senstitive story of post war Britain, filled with humour and warmth, dealing with the subjects of immigration and predudice. I can thoroughly recommend it!

The Thoughtful Dresser by Linda Grant is non fiction and I suppose it is related to my current fashion module, although not required reading. I found it a little repetitive yet interesting in parts as she discusses the importance of clothes in our lives and dismisses the idea that clothes, fashion and shopping are trivial interests. It certainly made an interesting read and Linda Grant has a blog called The Thoughtful Dresser.

And the book I've just finished in less than a week (in record time for me) is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I wouldn't normally choose a thriller but I'd seen this recommended on so many blogs I was curious... and I couldn't put it down! Fascinating characters and a gripping plot, I thought it was great! Usually with thrillers, once it becomes obvious who has done what and why I lose interest but this has me turning the page to the very end. And I've just ordered the next book in the trilogy!

Much has been written about Haiti on blogs over the past week and there are many different organisations that are helping, but if you are not sure where to give, check out Pebbledash where there is information about Shelterbox, a Cornwall based organisation.

21 comments:

  1. I've just finished the 3rd book in "The Girl With" trilogy. They just get better and better! So much so that I'm going back to the beginning and reading all three again. Enjoy!

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  2. I have just finished "Eat, pray, love" Very thought provoking. Will have to see if I can fit in some meditation.

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  3. I saw a feature about shelterbox on the news, a fantastic idea.

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  4. I don't know how you find time to read for pleasure with everything else you get done. I'm obviously slowing down and have definitely been in a very torpid state during all that cold weather. I'm hoping that spring will cause my sap to rise! Those books all sound worth reading. I am going into our Oxfam shop tomorrow - they usually have a collection for any large emergency fund, and if they don't I'll check out your link.

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  5. We read Small Island for our book group last year. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought the adaptation was very good, though Queenie was rather more delicate in the TV version that I had imagined her to be - I was picturing Bet Lynch I think!

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  6. I loved small island and was cross with the silly BBC ending after such a faithful adaptation...I am trying to read more and have I since jan 1st...not a page...too busy with work and knitting and the house...although I can knit and read...I am reading the boy with the cuckoo clock heart ...its lovely and very very slim....

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  7. I loved "Small Island".... My other half (never a great reader) has read the "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy and loved them..... I have found the only way not to feel "guilty" about reading is to give myself half an hour (or a chapter a day) every morning in bed when there is a book I want to read.......... If I try reading in bed at night, I don't even get to the bottom of the page before I fall asleep!

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  8. I don't know if its worse when you have read the book then see the film/TV drama or the other way around - whichever, its never really quite the same is it? I found I didn't really like Queenie very much in the book and yet felt quite sorry for her in the TV adaptation.

    Have you read 'Lovely Bones' by Alice Sebold? It comes out on film on the 27th (I think). I know I will probably be disappointed but I must go and see it - I loved the book. :)

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  9. I watched the Small Country on the box at Christmas and would like to read it ,if only to see how faithful the TV version is, and I will be looking out for the other books you mention I love thrillers so certainly the girl with the tattoo appeals .I posted an entry on my blog yesterday after 7 months absence tut tut ! ...love Jan xx

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  10. Our book club read the Small Island a while back - one of the books that everyone enjoyed. Don't forget, I'd quite like to borrow the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo if you think to bring it to class, thanks x

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  11. I loved Small Island too. My reading has gone to pot of late, I don't seem to be able to just pick up a book and read. I blame my iPhone...I seem to faff about on that when I go to bed instead of read a few pages. Not good!
    I've often looked at the dragon tattoo one, so I'm glad you'd recommend it.

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  12. i nearly bought the small island book last week but was a bit put off by the tv bits that i saw - however i shall give it a go. like the look of the thriller tho!!

    xxx

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  13. I only saw the first part of Small Island on tv soon your recommendation I shall have to get the book. The'Dragon Tattoo...' sounds a must read too.

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  14. I have heard lots of good things about The girl with the Dragon Tattoo, so I think I will have to get this! I am planning on reading more in 2010 too!
    Have you read A Thousand Splendid Suns, it's one of my faves!x

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  15. Just a thimbleful....


    I too am an avid reader and belong to a Book Group, which is great as it makes you read books outside your comfort zone ei.e the last one on our list The Post Birthday World by Lionel Shriever. Oooops.

    I too saw the BBC item on SHELTERBOXES, a Rotary led initiative and the boxes are stored at Culdrose on The Lizard. George's Rotary Club is constantly involved in kitting them out - a tent to sleep 10 for a year, colouring books & pencils, kitchen utensils etc. They go straight to the nearest Rotary Club and are distributed BY Rotarians, no room for pilfering.

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  16. I LOVED Small Island! We read it a few years ago in my book group -- I think it was my favorite book that year. Sadly, the goobers in my bookgroup didn't feel the same way. Your cover is different than mine -- I always find it so interesting that one title will have different covers for different markets.

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  17. Thanks for the recommendations Gina - The Thoughtful Dresser was a recent title in our book group, just as I was joining though, so I didn't read it. I didn't watch SMall Island so perhaps I'll give the book a go, and like you I don't normally go for thrillers - perhaps you've given me a change of heart!

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  18. I enjoyed the TV adaptation of Small Island better than the book which I found a bit too 'narrative'. I still enjoyed it though. I read next to nothing last year but did enjoy two of the Scotland Street books by Alexander McCall Smith. They were good to read in short bursts and full of characters. My Favourite book of recent years was Anne Michaels 'Fugitive Pieces'.Not to everyone's taste but the dscriptive passages about Greece made me return after 30 years.

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  19. My reading has slipped slightly...aiming to get back on track. Have just finished One Day by David Nicholls. Loved it!
    Thanks for linking to me re Shelterbox!

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  20. I love reading and would like to read Small Island as i enjoyed the TV series and they very often do not do justice to the books.

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  21. I try to get a little reading in but at the moment its Burgundian courts, a bit boring!

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