After yesterday’s post, it makes sense to add that the last few pages of The BBC Big Read book listed the books that didn’t make it into the top one hundred. There are far too many Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Wilson books for my liking, which underlines the major flaw in the survey.
There are some good quality books that didn’t make it, and plenty of choice for the book pile. After the forty-three that I had read from the top one hundred, it’s even more dismaying to find that I have only read thirty-six of this offering, although I did start Moby Dick, and The Handmaid’s Tale but didn’t finish them. I trust your scoring will put me to shame. Continue reading “The Other One Hundred”
Here’s a blast from the past! In 2003 the BBC launched a survey to find the nation’s best loved book of all time.
Although the results are somewhat engaging, by allowing unlimited entries per author the final list clogs up a bit. The rule of only one book per author in the top twenty-one places, which then went on to the final round of voting, balances this out a little. Below is the final order.
As a retrospective it makes for interesting reading, it’s not a surprise to see the Harry Potter books placing so highly (as well as Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials), although that probably speaks more for the demographic of voters and the HP phenomenon being at fever pitch at the time, perhaps.
Now is your turn to play along at home, how many of these have you read? I’ve finished the highlighted forty-three books, which is a bit disappointing, especially as I have owned plenty of the other books at times but never gotten around to reading them when they were within my grasp. Continue reading “The Big Read”
Whilst we are all appreciating our living room walls as never before, it makes sense to share what has been diverting my attention and hopefully will give you something to do as well.
Grabbing some reading time is always handy for a book blog, as well as a mixture of sci-fi, philosophy, essays, I have also been hunting through obscure books thanks to Gutenberg. Free books, albeit read on a screen, is a treat.
From that I can segue neatly onto the proofreading. Originally conceived to assist Project Gutenberg, Distributed Proofreaders is now the main source of PG e-books. I do my bit everyday and am bookmarking some obscure works to read once they have been through the various rounds of proofing and formatting.
For those of you with any interest in how I look or sound, I present to you a vlog in which Crissy and I ramble a bit about LDRs and such. If anyone wishes me to do a book vlog, please let me know, and also feel free to share any ideas for said project.
Being gifted some book tokens for my birthday, I naturally went to the nearest bookshop to grab some good books. Sadly said shop was WH Smiths and despite a smattering of other genres, it largely focuses on bestseller ficton, which on the whole are usually a disappointing bunch.
The next day I found myself up at the High Peak Bookshop (and Café) which had a much better range of stock in, and I plumped for a number of genres I haven’t explored in a while, and endured lots of annoying people passing through my browsing eyeline.
Sci-fi is something rare for me to venture into although when I have dabbled, there have been some corkers namely Solaris and 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequels. A story from titan H.G. Wells will surely live up to such names. The Elegant Universe was another choice to continue a ‘science’ theme. There is something fascinating about the universe, it’s a majestic mystery and well worth the time to explore. Continue reading “Token Book Haul”
For 30p a time, the library will allow me to order books in, if they have them anywhere in stock. This has led me to trawl my Amazon wish list for a number of the books – I couldn’t very well look to claim all 800 or so – that I haven’t been able to source at bookshops. I am hoping to be able to get some of these within the next few months. It’s cheaper than a second hand bookshop and keeps the service afloat so all is good, and a worthwhile investment.
The day after I gathered my previous library pile (see last post), I went to my other local library to have a look at their collection. The last time I visited was probably sometime during the late 80’s. A lot had changed, the main theme – as across all libraries – being more space to manoeuvrer, and sadly as a consequence, less book choice.
It’s still incredible value to be able to take out mountains of literature with no cost whatsoever, and although many libraries have closed or at best contracted in recent years, I find myself extremely lucky to be able to source such quality books whenever I wish.
I took a punt on the books left and right (above), as I hadn’t heard of either but wanted to bulk out my pile. When it came to the Barnes offering, again an author I haven’t read before but one I was at least aware of and have seen several bloggers cover before. Continue reading “Library Lives”
The last time I took books out of the library they had those slips in a special pocket inside the front cover where the date of each time the book was taken out could be seen, and frequently was smudged with the ink of the stamp. A lot has changed since then but my quest for free books remains undiminished.
These days I can have twenty-four books in my possession at any one time, and keep them for a month. There will be lots more benefits to discover when I get around to it such as ordering specific books from other libraries and other things no doubt, but at the moment I am happy with my first haul, which over two days (and two libraries) came to thirteen books, six of which are in this post.
Although I was surprised not to find more books by staple authors like Charles Dickens, Patrick White, and Jules Verne – all of which I had a hankering to read – and also finding the history sections almost entirely focused on British history, there was nonetheless a good selection to be explored. Continue reading “Library Life”
Whilst wandering around the local shops, I couldn’t resist perusing the book titles in the charity shop – just to look of course, not to buy. Unsurprisingly I came out about five minutes later with four books, and over 2000 pages worth of words, for the princely sum of £1.90. With that quality bit of business done, I am now able to enjoy more fine literature on the bus to and from work.
I haven’t really dabbled too much in author correspondence before so this will be a pleasant departure from my usual tastes. I am also anticipating The Forsyte Saga to have the same impact as Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time series, which I absolutely adored.
All being well I shall be around all of your lovely blogs at the weekend, apologies for the long delay, I think i finally have my blog mojo back.
There exists in my house a shelf which I call The Bookshelf of Guilt. It’s reserved for all those really thick tomes that I usually avoid, not because I don’t want to read them but because they are so Big. It’s easy to spend years shying away from these massive books that sit judging you every time you pick a ‘normal’ sized book.
Reason suggests that reading shorter books will allow you to experience more now, and will also mean more time to read the longer books ‘sometime later on’. Let’s be honest it won’t happen, with that reasoning.
I set myself a goal to read one such big book a year, mainly because people gravitate to the largest book on a shelf and without fail ask if I have read it. That was half the reason I got around to reading War and Peace. Choosing this time was fairly easy. The Brothers Karamazov, and The Mysteries of Paris were in the early running, to name but two but I finally I narrowed it down to a couple of philosophy books in the end.
After so many recent fiction reads it seemed sensible to mix things up a bit. My next read was chosen from the non fiction pile, and finally came down to either: Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy or Diarmaid MacCulloch’s A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years.Continue reading “Murdering Books”
After the good news of last post, Crissy’s anniversary gift to me was to let me run rampant in a bookshop. This excitement was slightly sullied as half of the shop was blocked off due to cleaning so I couldn’t get to the science section, amongst others. The history section was disappointingly lacking too.
Rallying, I did manage to pick up three books, and went to a coffee shop, pleasingly empty, to review my new purchases. Supping a hot Mocha, and trying not to gag at the stupidly powerful smelling cheese meal the woman half the café away was eating, it was with great pleasure that I slowly peeled back the plastic bag to review the new reads.
Having read The Great Gatsby all the way back in sixth form, and being reminded of the pleasure I had from that book by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie. I fancied reading more by F. Scott Fitzgerald so Now The Beautiful and Damned can take its place on the unread shelf next to Tender is the Night, which I also picked up a while back for the same reason. Continue reading “Books, Again”