Ways well worn
This familiar place of stone and brick
Temporal, yet not entirely material
Spectres of the past
memories distant impose themselves
On the present,
An overlay of times a world away
Recovered only in reminiscences
The bustling city
Shorn of its socialness,
A perturbing reminder of the past
Often we meet in imagination
Do I dream
Or the city?
Since 2013, most of the thoughts that arrive on this blog have first been scrawled casually, or furiously into my notebook. A constant companion for just over six years, travelling with me over three continents. Inevitably, now it is sadly full.
We have travelled to plenty of museums, mountains, and bookshops together; whilst resting in many pubs, coffee shops, and parks along the way. Sat in the sun, or curled up in bed, in all the elements, it’s been a delightful bonding with an inanimate object.
The style of handwriting, once neat and small, conserving the space, turned into more messy but better worded observations on places, books, ideas, etc, as time passed. Blue ink turned to a mixture of colours as pens were ‘borrowed’ and never returned, leaving me no choice but to acquire them in the same way. This is now one of my small pool of talents. Continue reading “Received and Noted”
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
Admittedly, it’s not much of a synopsis for the book but what it does do is set the scene of long ages past, an established world, and a cyclical recurring of Shadow. The beginning of the story does have a similarity to Tolkien’s, The Lord of the Rings, to give you some idea of the direction of the book, but soon opens out into something pleasingly different, once it gets going.
I savoured the beginning much more this second time around, knowing all that would happen in the next 13 instalments, it was good to appreciate the build up. Straight from the off there are plenty of details fleshing out the land and its peoples, and a compelling legend of the local area. The world building was one of the main reasons I came back to this series.
The burgeoning foundations are very solid, and also puts many important pieces in play for later books, something the reader won’t appreciate without the hindsight of latter entries, and a reread. There is plenty of peril coming from all angles which keeps the story moving, and the atmosphere is heavy on the hunted feel, where anyone or anything could be masking its own hidden purposes. Continue reading “The Eye of the World – Robert Jordan”
As we all know, odd little facts about a story can stay with the reader for years, so after last week’s team success in finding a book I had sought for years, I thought I would throw another wider ranging mystery your way to capture your imaginations.
I touched on this a few years ago in another aged post, along with some other various things. It comes from the book Inca Gold, a book of action, adventure, and a lost treasure, which always adds something thrilling to a story.
Towards the end of the book, protagonist Dirk Pitt comes across the grave of 10-year-old girl, Patty Lou Cutting, in the Sonoran Desert, Mexico, upon which the are the words:
The dark night some stars shine through.
The dullest morn a radiant brew.
And where dusk comes, God’s hand to you.
The significance of which is never expanded upon, it just hangs there cryptically, tantalisingly challenging the reader with its nebulous presence. Continue reading “Patty Lou Cutting: The Clive Cussler Conundrum”
The power of community once again comes through! Yesterday I shared my experiences with a book memory I had – or thought I had – and the subsequent adventures in tracking the possibly mythical book down.
Having thought the story too obscure to be well-remembered, or at least the clues given, too little to go on, it was surprising when, less than a day later this suggestion came through the comments.
It’s a massive thank you to Liz who found this book, primarily based on the mentioning of a scary tunnel. After watched a reading of the book (below) on YouTube, It’s more than likely that this is indeed the one I have been seeking.
Although it doesn’t tally up exactly with what I remember, the memory is undoubtedly embellished after all the other books since read. Not only that but the chances of two tunnels in two patchwork quilts isn’t going to be statistically high. Continue reading “Patching the Clues Together”
A comment from Victoria – on recent post A Pound of Paper – about a book she was trying to remember the title of, got me thinking about my own quest for a book from yesteryear that remains an enigma.
Back when I was in school, I vividly remember reading a book about a patchwork quilt. The details still stored in my brain are thus:
A child is fascinated with a quilt and each square patch provides a mini adventure for the narrator. I believe the adventures were completely in the mind of the child, as opposed to actually being trapped in the quilt.
One section fascinated me above all, a tunnel was the particular patchwork picture this time, and the child is walking through it. It’s dark and footsteps echo loudly, they sound like someone following, paranoia strikes and some running towards the light at the end of the tunnels follows ensues.
As I remembered those specifics as well as I did, it must still be worth a reread just for that specific section, and so at every opportunity I trawl lots of charity shops, market stalls, libraries, and of course bookshops on a quest to enjoy my bit of nostalgia. Continue reading “Book Memory…or imagined?”
In rural Australia of the fifties where John Baxter grew up, reading books was regarded with suspicion; owning and collecting them with utter incomprehension. Despite this, by the age of eleven Baxter had ‘collected’ his first book The Poems of Rupert Brooke. He’d read it often, but now he had to own it. This modest purchase marked the beginning of an obsession that would take him all over the world…
This is the book to devour. It has inspired my many forays into mass purchasing, the impact of which had waned somewhat, but has now thankfully been reinforced on rereading this. A Pound of Paper, is not only a call to read, but to read widely; to gather, and appreciate the book as a whole, not just for the words therein.
It’s always a delight to discover how a fellow reader started, and carried on their journey. Details of their collection, and their escalation is both an encouragement – as if any were needed – and pure literary porn. This reader ate up Baxter’s enthusiastic retelling of his adventures, which range between comic and cringe with alarming regularity.
One of the best things about A Pound of Paper is the forays into, and finding beauty within, the obscure, even the badly written. There is an element of snobbery here, one could argue, but it doesn’t spoil anything, and I for one enjoy the jaunt into the arcane passageways of literature that I would have otherwise missed. Continue reading “A Pound of Paper – John Baxter”