Saturday, November 17, 2007

Book Stuff Pinched from Azahar...

Four childhood books -

1. Susan's Secret Garden. I used to demand this again and again and 'read' it aloud at the same pace as my parents were telling it to me. What a fucking annoying child I must've been. Found it for sale at a car boot sale a couple of years ago and almost weed myself with excitement. Read it aloud to my parents during Sunday dinner and almost got a pasting.

2. Polly of Primrose Hill. Originally in a fusty smelling slightly furry pale green hardcover, I bought this from abebooks for my own children recently. I read it to them, and the descriptive passage about the orphan Polly shopping for her first party dress (pale lemon and fluffy like a chick) still had the power to make me sniffle a little. My children loved it too, which just goes to show that little girls will always be thrilled by stories of invalids, grandpas, secret tunnels, orphans and evil housekeepers. Sigh.

3. Helen Keller's Teacher. A badly written, indulgent, shmaltzy tale about the life of Annie Sullivan, the woman who 'rescued' Helen Keller from her 'life of darkness'. Passages from that book stayed with me for years, until (finding it on amazon) I read it to my own daughters (are you spotting a trend here dear readers?). Annie and her brother Jimmy, cast out by a cruel distant relatives after the death of Just About Anyone Who Ever Loved them, are sent to a poorhouse where they shared beds with foul smelling old women with no limbs or eyes or ears (or something like that). Bonny loves it so much she sleeps with it under her pillow. It gave me the bleddy nightmares. Kids are weird.

4. What Katy Did. More invalids. I fear I'm a bit sick myself when I analyse this lot.

Four authors I will read again and again -

1. Milan Kundera. Especially Laughable Loves. Made for the loo.
2. Slavenka Drakulic. Especially... well no. All of her stuff.
3. Ted Hughes. Poetry counts, right?
4. Pat Barker - but only Union Street.

Four authors I will never read again -

1. Jodi bloody Picoult for starters.

2. Jackie Collins.

3. Emily Bronte. Yes yes, I know. Shut up.

4. Joseph Conrad. Bleurgh. Even if he was Polish, he's rubbish.

The first four books on my to-be-read list -

I have a wicker picnic basket by my bed, stacked high with two wobbly piles of books I have yet to read. The four top ones...

1. Patricia Highsmith x 2. The names escape me, but I am recommended them, and lent them by a dear friend, so I shall. Soon. The writing is just so bloody small and my eyes arent what they used to be. (Pass my pension book and ear trumpet)

3. Magda Szabo, The Door. I'm a whore for east/central european books/writers. I want to read this, but still it sits there. I might move it to the top.

4. Iain Banks, Dead Air.

The four books I would take to a desert island

Hmm. Difficult.

1. Slavenka Drakulic - Taste of a Man.

2. Nicholson Baker - Vox.

3. Ted Hughes, Collected Works. I love him.

4. Shakespeare- Collected Works. And I'd learn to love him.

The last lines of one of my favourite books -

"She's never found peace since she left his arms, and never will again till she's as he is now!"
(the exclamation mark rather ruins it, but Arabella always was a hysterical type)*

*(that last was me incidentally, not Hardy)

take it and run dear readers...


nursemyra said...

does poetry count? of course!

your desert island choices are interesting. if you were marooned alone, wouldn't Vox just make you horny?

Pesk said...

Well yes it would Myra, that's why it's there... not much inspiration from a bunch of coconuts. Taste of a Man is on there to help gear myself up in case one is marooned. A girl can get hungry ha?

nursemyra said...

I've read and enjoyed the taste of a man as well. I've always wanted to meet a brazilian anthropologist in a library but ours seems to only attract asian studios and welfare mothers :-(

Pesk said...

Sounds like ours if you add pensioners. Speaking of libraries and pensioners, my dad brought me the first slavenka drakulic i ever read, home from the library. Sounds right up your alley he said, handing over 'As if I am not there', a story which goes(and i quote) "into the very heart of the Balkan darkness".
Can recommend it though. Isn't she good?