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!
took all the family home at xmas to see grandma and finally managed to show them bits of manchester that was not just their grandma’s house and inside a chinese restaurant. we spent the afternoon walking around the northern quarter, discovering the record shops and vintage stores. we particularly liked magma books, with its unusual collection of publications – didn’t realise that there was a branch in london too. of course we all had cake and tea at teacup – delicious!
i recently finished reading ‘ J. M. W Turner’ by Peter Akroyd, influenced by seeing the exhibition at the tate , which ends this month- i wanted to know more about this intriguing man, but especially after seeing the film – the only thing i suggest is having your iPad right next to you whilst you are reading so that you can google the actual paintings as reference – there was definitely not enough pictures in the book to illustrate the description of the paintings.
i am halfway through reading ‘Miss Carter’s War’ by Sheila Hancock, which i am thoroughly enjoying – funnily enough its quite like the film ‘imitation game’, in that its a similar era and addresses the same social issues, but its all through the eyes of a young female teacher.