Two posts in two days... what is the world coming to? Despite running about like a headless chicken for most of today getting ready for Open Studios (or at least that is what I was supposed to have been doing) I realised that I completely missed my Year in Books post at the beginning of the month, so as I am now collapsed on the sofa I thought I would get it done while I've got a chance... it could be a while before I'm back again!
June's choice Nora Webster was a bit of a disappointment. I really wanted to enjoy it. I liked the style and the prose (enough to make me willing to try more from Colm Toibin) but I just didn't care enough about Nora Webster, recently widowed and trying to come to terms with her life. It was just too slow and dreary and I couldn't help being more concerned about her two young sons who were also dealing with their bereavement at the loss of their father. I wanted to give Nora a shake and tell her to pay more attention to her boys!
The second book I read last month was The Secret Diary of a BBC Secretary, which was written by my friend Sarah. Although I had downloaded it to my Kindle a while ago I couldn't bring myself to read it. What if I didn't like it... what would I say to Sarah? But Sarah and I met for lunch last month and I decided that I really did need to bite the bullet and read it. I started that afternoon and two days later I'd finished it. I loved this book and by the time I got to the second half I couldn't put it down. It is the diary of 19 year old Sarah Shaw, written in 1971 when she was working as a secretary for the BBC and living in a run down hostel in London. Not only does it convey the era perfectly but it also tells of the blossoming but unlikely romance between Sarah and a lift operator at the BBC's old Langham building. It is written with great humour and honesty, with a brilliant eye for detail that took me right back to 1971.
Another unlikely read for me last month was An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield. You'll have heard of Chris because he was the astronaut who sang "Space Oddity" from the International Space Station and the resulting you tube video went viral. I was surprised that I enjoyed this as much as I did. It was a bit repetitive and full of jargon at times but it still made for a fascinating read that I really enjoyed.
I also managed to fit in a thriller by Val McDermid, The Skeleton Road. I don't read that many thrillers finding them a bit formulaic but my Mum devours them one after another and often passes them my way... and this was one of those. It was entertaining enough telling the story of a skeleton found in the remains of an old school in Edinburgh and linking back to the war in Croatia but as often with thrillers it was a bit predictable and I'd guessed "Who Done It" pretty early on. A good holiday read though!
And so to my choice fo July... How to Catch a Frog by Heather Ross. A wonderful memoir of Ross's childhood in Vermont... that I'm already half way through! You'll notice that I've gone from tea and cake with last month's choice, to a rather necessary G & T in the garden this month... I'm under pressure guys... only two days to go until Open Studios and I'm nowhere near ready....
So what have I really been doing today...updating a tutorial for making these newspaper backgrounds and putting it into my Etsy shop, following some requests after last week's class in Bristol... of course. I know how to prioritise, me! You can find it here should you be interested.
Tomorrow it really will be action stations for Open Studios... full details of where and when to find me if you are anywhere near South Cambs can be found Here: www.camopenstudios.co.uk