just finished reading this memoir by viv albertine – formerly guitarist of the punk rock band slits – it traces her life back from teenage all the way through to middle age. its a brutally honest recollection of life from her first boyfriend through to marriage, motherhood and change of career – describing in full frankness the pain, the joy and the mundane. i have to admit at first i thought that i wasnt interested in her life – some descriptions a bit explicit and raw, but its addictive reading and i ended up admiring her honesty; the words are very simply written which makes for an easy read and lots of her thoughts, emotions and ramblings are exactly what you wish you could admit or utter, but are too embarrassed to.
i love book shops – especially small independent ones. i have noticed recently that there are more and more individual bookshops opening, especially specialising in photography and art and special editioned books. some books are becoming like art – collectors pieces. dashwood books in new york has a beautiful and unique books, you could spend hours in there.
broadway market with its wonderful food stalls and interesting shops has 3 great book shops too, artwords books , broadway bookshop and donion books – both have an eclectic choice of books and a good selection of art based magazines.
i particularly loved the book sellers in plaza de arm as in havana, mostly selling books about che guevara.
just finished reading the wonderful memoir by Alan Johnson, This Boy. its a nostalgic insight to 50’s and 60’s London and tells a story of a poverty that we hope to have eradicated. and although i am slightly younger than Alan, it brought back a lot of similar memories of my life in Manchester – also coming from a single working mother with brothers, being alone all day, young children in those days were a familiar sight on the streets alone and nobody batted an eyelid.
one of the most spectacular book shops that i have ever seen was in tokyo recently, daikanyama T site, is a concept store with books, records, coffee shops, lounge areas, its endless and fabulous – you need a few hours to absorb and explore – the magazine selection was diverse and innovating – the whole concept inspiring – why dont we have something like that in london? i know that we have waterstones in the old simpsons building and foyles, but nothing compares.
i just tried to read ‘The Paper Trail” by Alexander Munro, which was truly fascinating, but for bedtime reading far too intellectual and brain stimulating – it tells the history of the invention of paper from early chinese times – perfect gift for those who love everything about stationary and books and the history of everyday simple things. and so now the search is on for this year’s holiday reading, any suggestions would be great.
did you know that its 800 years this year that the magna carta was introduced, which established the freedoms and democracies for people in general. you can see 4 copies of the original 1215 magna carta at the british library – the first time that they have been shown together.
finally finished reading this lovely book – its actually a brief history of london over a period of 55 years, taking you from the end of the second world war right through to the millennium – taking in all the social aspects of living and working in britain during that time, through the eyes of Marguerite, a warm and likeable character who’s passion for living and improving the lives of young women is especially admirable. so for a really good and easy read, put miss carter’s war on your list. now i need another new book to read before sleeping – its the only time i manage to read, but it means that it takes me ages……. did you know that Sheila Hancock was 80 when this – her first novel (she has written an autobiography before) was published last year? as I have always said, its never too late to start anything……. AN INSPIRATION!
another good book to buy a girlfriend is ‘dangerous women the guide to modern life’, my friend debra bought me this and aptly reminds you, teaches you and urges you – with humour – listing mottos, poetry, philosophical quotes and sayings that you will have heard before – to make your life more enhancing!
the folio society produce beautiful crafted books of classic novels and literature – the covers with their beautiful graphics and lovely paper make for ideal gifts. in a day when publishing is throw away and books can be digitally produced immediately, these are books that you will always want to keep!