Monday, 22 January 2018

A Book about Books.....and Another Book

 The book about books and reading is the latest from author Susan Hill

 Jacob's Room is Full of Books; A Year of Reading

  This is Susan Hill's second book about books and I didn't think it was as good as her first book on this subject ( Howard's End is on the Landing).

The library blurb says........

When we spend so much of our time immersed in books, who's to say where reading ends and living begins? The two are impossibly and gloriously wedded, as Hill shows in 'Jacob's Room Has Too Many Books'. Considering everything from Edith Wharton's novels through to Alan Bennett's diaries, Virginia Woolf and the writings of twelfth century monk Aelred of Rievaulx, Susan Hill charts a year of her life through the books she has read, reread or returned to the shelf.

She does rather a lot of name dropping in this book, all the famous writers she's met and stayed with but then as a long established writer she's bound to know many others.

There is a rather good list in the back of every book or poem mentioned, I was pleased to find I had read a few but there were many others I won't be reading ...........ever.

An interesting read but not riveting.


It's been many years since I read a book by this author. He's been extremely prolific including the Sharpe series and The Last Kingdom series which have both been turned into TV films.
This latest is a stand alone novel.
Set in London in 1593 it tells the story of playwright William Shakespeare, his plays and players told through the eyes of his younger brother Richard who ran away from home to join his brother a few years earlier.
 This is what the library website says

A dramatic new departure for international bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, FOOLS AND MORTALS takes us into the heart of the Elizabethan era, long one of his favourite periods of British history.In the heart of Elizabethan England, Richard Shakespeare dreams of a glittering career in one of the London playhouses, a world dominated by his older brother, William. But he is a penniless actor, making ends meet through a combination of a beautiful face, petty theft and a silver tongue. Increasingly estranged from his brother as William's star rises, Richard's onetime gratitude is souring and he is sorely tempted to abandon family loyalty.So when a priceless manuscript goes missing, suspicion falls upon Richard, forcing onto a perilous path through a bawdy and frequently brutal London. Entangles in a high-stakes game of duplicity and betrayal which threatens not only his career and potential fortune, but also the lives of his fellow players, Richard has to call on all he has now learned from the brightest stages and the darkest alleyways of the city. To avoid the gallows, he must play the role of a lifetime .Fools and Mortals is a richly portrayed tour de force with all Bernard Cornwell's hallmark storytelling and a remarkable cast of characters: you walk the streets, explore the palaces, experience the scandals, rivalries and fierce ambitions, and stand side-by-side with the men and women of Elizabethan London.
As soon as I started reading it felt very familiar despite knowing that it had not been read my me before. Then it dawned on me that it's almost a mash up of a series of books by Edward Marston and Rory Clements.

Edward Marston wrote 16 books about 16th century player Nicholas Bracewell, who acted with a similar group to the Shakespeare players and solved crimes at the same time.
book cover of The Queen\'s Head

I've read about half of the 16 so far and have the rest here to read sometime. I've seen these dismissed as rubbish by some critics, but don't think they are That bad!

Rory Clements has written 7 books about John Shakespeare another brother of William.
This one Martyr is the first and here's the library info again.........
England is close to war. Within days the axe could fall on the neck of Mary Queen of Scots, & Spain is already gathering a battle fleet to avenge her. Tensions in Elizabeth I's government are at breaking point. At the eye of the storm is John Shakespeare, chief intelligencer in the secret service of Sir Francis Walsingham.
book cover of Martyr

All three authors take the reader into Elizabethan London where Catholics are persecuted and violence is everywhere.

The Rory Clements books are the most complicated, Edward Marston the lightest read and the new Bernard Cornwell sits somewhere in the middle.

Thank you to everyone for the lovely "welcome home" comments for Col. His two weeks 'inside' turned out to be two weeks getting worse rather than better. The headaches which were the reason for him going in faded away with paracetamol and codeine after a few days. The odd liver function results righted themselves without treatment so the biopsy and internal bleeding caused by it could have been avoided and the low blood pressure came, went, came back again and went again for no reason. Of course no one knew all this at the beginning and they have to be doubly careful.

Very warm welcome to two new followers. Hi and Hi.

 Back Tomorrow

Saturday, 20 January 2018

13th - 19th January........ Low Spend January? Ha !

Saturday 13th to Friday 19th

The Pennies Pinched..........................
Remembered to use £1 parking ticket voucher in Asda so free parking
Made batch  of pizza bases to pop in freezer
Mixed up a box full of crumble topping for freezer
Took flask and snacks when going to hospital
Tap water run into jug while waiting for hot water - used to flush loo.
Knitted 2 dishcloths
Repaired a bird peanut feeder
Cut my own hair

The Spending..........................
Hospital Car park and Park and Ride for the week £11.50
Cat Food £12
Diesel £26
Batteries from Original Factory Shop £4* 
Asda and Lidl Shopping..... Things that were gone from or getting low in the freezer - gammon joint, butter,baking fat,frozen peas,bread + cheese, fruit,salad,milk  etc. £25
Clothes £3 ( shorts to fit my big bum from charity shop - rare find!especially in mid winter)
Xmas £2 ( two small gifts for friend from charity shop)
Phone Top Up and D/D for Cols phone £17.50
Borrowing DVD from library £1

Total for week £102

The excuse..........I wasn't expecting the DVD to arrive with the January mobile library!

The Fail...............Used the oven on two days to cook just one thing - tut,tut

The Bravery!............ I went home from hospital visiting via friends just over the Essex border. This is the first time I've driven there and back on my own.  Very Exciting!

The Good News...........Colin is home from hospital. They decided that provided his blood pressure was OK on Thursday morning he could go home and I finally got a call from him late afternoon to say he was just waiting for tablets so just as it got dark and started to rain I set out to pick him up. He was so glad to get out as a really obnoxious, noisy and nasty old man had been causing hell for his family, nurses and fellow patients for the last 48 hours.
 We eventually got home just after 8pm and he went straight to bed. Now we start the slow road to recovery again. He is incredibly tired and energy is non-existent, he's lost a lot of weight again and as for muscles - gone! Now need to keep him well so he doesn't have to go back again.

* On the subject of batteries - that is small AA ones for clocks and TV remote etc - has anyone bought a battery charger lately? We had one for years and it used to work really well, then it seemed to not be charging so we got some new re-chargeable batteries to see if they were the problem. But no, it's the charger not working. I want to get a new one but not sure what sort is best nowadays. In the meantime I have bought a pack of 8  Duracell AA for £4 which seems the cheapest decent ones around.
At least nowadays batteries can be recycled but I'd still prefer to use re-chargables if I can.

Back Monday

Friday, 19 January 2018

Oh Dear, I Went in a Charity Shop..............

.....................and spent money, even though it was supposedly  Low-Spend-January.

There's a thing about shopping as I do.............. almost everything second-hand.......... you have to buy it when you see it because it won't be there next time and you may never see it again.

Top photo is a very pretty storage box and a little kit to make a chicken from felt, these will both be Christmas presents for a friend. I think she will like them. £1.50 and 50p.Hope she doesn't suddenly decide to read the blog.

And a pair of cotton shorts for me for £3. A surprise.....  as I don't often look at clothes nowadays. Even more of a surprise to find shorts in winter. But something like this is a good rare find in big-bum size!

A good start to 2018............ rescuing things from landfill and helping charities too. (See the Halo!)

Back Soon

Thank you for lots of comments yesterday and ideas for the pinhead oats.