So I did some new stuff yesterday that was pretty cool. Me and Westie (he seems cools with his name being out there in the interwebs now so on going with it) went to Birmingham yesterday (not new I hear you say, wait a sec you impatient person says I). We went to the Post office Vaults and there I had a delicious beer called Bakers Dozen (new to me) but I can’t remember the brewery for the life of me. Then we went to the new brew dog pub on Birmingham. Must say I’m not really keen, the beer is as tasty as ever and the same old formula of stripped back bare brick warehouse has been implemented as with the other brew dog establishments I’ve been to in Scotland, but it seems that they’ve stripped all the fun out by not having any awesome games to sit and play whilst enjoying my beer. However West needed the loo and upon his return made me follow him (yeah I know a bit creepy, but you just get used to this sort of silliness after a couple of years). It turns out that down and behind the staircase to the loo is a load of old lovely comfy sofas and books on beer and was much much nicer than upstairs. So if you can go go and hang around outside the loos and your experience will be much more pleasant (there’s a sentence I was fairly certain I’d never type). The beers we had were Dead pony club and four (in 1/3 servings) by a brewery called De molten but I’ll never spell them right in a million years.
Anyway on to the proper new thing. I to Westie to the theatre. We’ve never been together before and I took him and my dad and his mate to see a touring version of The Mousetrap which is celebrating its 60th year. It was excellent. Not one me member of the cast let the side down and most of them were relatively well known in soap circles at least. Its still touring all over the place so if you can get tickets to somewhere near you then go for it.
Also in recent months I’ve been to see The Hobbit (twice -i fell asleep the second time but it was a very late showing and my bed time is 10), Les Miserables (again twice, stayed awake both timed and honestly really enjoyed it, but I can see why its not everyone’s cup of tea). Finally I went to see django unchained (once). Seriously wow what a film, I’m now a little bit in awe of Christopher Waltz and would love for him to get the Best Actor award, but I’m off to see Lincoln next week (maybe) so perhaps DDL will sway me (I heartily doubt it).
Anyway that’s it from me for now. I’ve got a few days off this week do who knows, I might rack up a few more new things.
Oh and it just started SNOWING!!!! Boom!
Ridiculous I can’t remember a time I’ve not read. Ask my parents I’ve always had a book in my hand. I used to read my baby brother stories when he was born (I was about 3). When it was bath time I used to make him stories up about a magical kingdom Where he was a prince and his favourite toy (milly moo) was a magical cow that could talk. And a bit like lassie they’d go on exciting adventures and save people.
Anyway the first novel I remember reading I literally have no idea….the book I really remember reading that was any great length was the witches by road Dahl. My nan had bought it for me for easter (im not keen on eggs, books were generally requested instead). I read it at home and then gave it to my teacher for him ti read to the class as id enjoyed it so much. I was in year three at the time so id have been approximately 8years old. I presume I read stuff of a similar length way before this or my Nan wouldn’t have picked it up for me. So thats what ill go with.
Well madness. All of my books I’ve kept because I’ve read them a lot or I certainly want to. The book i’ll mention here though is 12 bar blues. This is the story of a young woman called Sylvia who is a retired prostitute looking into her family history and ends up finding out shes related to a jazzman by the name of lick holden.
Although I’ve never been, to me invokes the very essence of the deep south. During the description of lick rocking a honky tonk you van almost hear the music pounding your ears.
This book covers a lot of topics, death, rape, murder, prostitution, almost incest (except they ain’t no relation). It sounds really depressing but actually it ls a really enjoyable read and fallen back on a few times knowing it wont let me down.
Sadly the same can’t be said for Patrick Neates follow-up, the london pigeon wars, but we’ll save that for another day…
Plenty of books are hard to read, either becuase they’re boring (The Help, anything over written by stephen King) , or use complicated words (anything by Will Self) or make up their own language (Clockwork Orange).
However the two books I’ve found most difficult to read are The road by Cormac McCarthy. Thanks to his general illigical/non use of grammar I find it really hard to keepup with any of his books - i was so glad when they made the film of No country for Old Men ascould confirm that the way I’d read it was the way it had happened according to the film. The Road, however was also harrowing as hell, with everything that seemed positive (yay a house in the distance it might have food) it was taken away within the next 3 pages (boo its full of cannibals)… it was a super tough read.
The book that took me longest to read, is still my finest reading achievement - Anna Karenina. this is actually a really fantastic story/book but it isn’t half a slog. 6 months of repeated flights to and from Italy, reading it every coach journey and still I never seemed to get through it. When I eventually finished it i felt an enormous sense of achievement. I can’t tell you why it was difficult, it was jsut so much plot and sub polt and sub sub plot that i ended up after to re-read lots of sections to try annd keep up with what was going on, but I got there eventually. Give it a go, see if you find it any easier.
Over the years very few book have actually made me cry, however there is 1 that without failure im sure could make me cry every time I read it - Goodnight Mr Tom.
Apparently this is a childrens book. Apparently we hate children enough to depress the crap out of them with this. Being forced to read this book is akin to the sad child neglect/abuse that is detailed in this book.
Billed as heart-warming tale of of an evacuee winning over a gumpy old widower, actually it’d a series of anecdotes about child neglect - at one point leading to a death, mental illness, and blown up kids interspersed with adorable heart-warming tales of am olden nurturing a young boy back to a sense of normality via buying him art supplies and buying him a new outfit.
I made the mistake of reading this on the train to sheffield a few months back and eventually gave up as the shame of repeatedly sobbing infront of strangers was too much
Dont read this book, dont give it to a child to read. If you have to read it, read alone with a cup of tea, a big pack of biscuits and someone to hug you at the end of it.
I hate this title it suggests that whoever wrote the list doesn’t like non-fiction and that non-fiction books are boring. This person is an idiot. I can’t just list one non fiction book I’ve ‘actually’ enjoyed because there’s loads. For instance right now I’m reading Caitlin (pronounced CAT-lin) Morans collection of columns form various national newspapers which has had me chuckling and reading huge chunks out at bed time, my favorites being the conversations she has with her husband at the beginning of each section.
Swapping tales West has been reading me bits of Dom Jolys ‘Dark tourist’. If you can get a copy of either of these I’d strongly recommend giving either of them a read.
In front of me is a book called Cupcakes and Kalashnikovs, which is an awesome collection of journalism written by women from the last 100 years (the book was published in 2005). It has some awesome articles from writers such as Naomi Wolf, Sylvia Pankhurst, Betty Freidan and Dorothy Parker. There is easily an article for everyone in this book and it’s great to dip in and out of.
The best non-fiction I’ve read in a while though was ‘Man Walks Into A Pub’ by Pete Brown, which is billed as a social history of beer. If you have even the vaguest knowledge or interest of beer, or you know someone who does then buy it. Watching how England went from being a gin soaked hell hole (and one i frankly wish would return) to being overrun by 4 large breweries selling horrible flavoured pissy lager, right up to the ever growing explosion of micro breweries and the impact of CAMRA in the UK. It is very UK central, but it’s still a really awesome interesting read.
I might not get a chance to do day 6 tomorrow. I’m off to an Italian restaurant with ‘the ladies’ from work. I’ll do my best though.
Sorry im too tired for day 5 today. I had to arrange a trip to india for three people, 1 of which is not going ob the same flight or from the same place as the others. Ah well only hotels, currency and taxi transfers to go. If only the dicks in purchasing could sort themselves the fuck out I wouldn’t have to sort all this out in 5 days and have them repeatedly fuck my plans up because they haven’t actually bothered to confirm any of the meetings my guys are going out for are still taking place. Do you see this glen-you’re an incompetent moron!
More from the lives of books tomorrow.
This is really tough for me, since I visit my folks home twice a week I dont really need reminding of it and my home is where I am right now I guess. So again I don’t need to be reminded of it.
Instead I bring to you a book that reminds me of my Nans house since Im not there. That book is a reverse dictionary that my nan used to use to do the crossword. It made me laugh because when we were little we thought it was a dictionary that taught you how to spell words incorrectly. It turns out that really its just a sort of thesaurus and not really as much fun, but my nans house is the only place I’ve ever seen a book called a reverse dictionary and I’m sure if I saw one id think of my Nan.