Simon’s Bookish Bits #2

I think that this might be the last Simon’s Bookish Bits (and its only the third) of 2009 as next Saturday is of course Boxing Day and I will be doing something a little bit festive and Christmas themed. Well I will if the post sorts itself out as I am awaiting some parcels and yet getting some from November instead… interesting. The week after will be all about Bookish Resolutions and of course be 2010, its getting scarily close.

Now as one year starts another one ends. I am planning to give you a full list or two fo my best books of 2009. You can however have a sneak peak of one of my favourites on the Oxford University Press Blog. I was kindly asked by Kirsty, as one of their favourite bloggers, to give a review of one of my favourites along side the delightful company of Vulpes Libris, Dovergreyreader, Kimbofo, Eve’s Alexandria, Random Jottings and Stuck in a Book. Do have a gander it’s a very interesting selection of choices.

Speaking of Kirsty she has written on her blog the list of festive reading she will be partaking in over the festive period. I have also seen festive bookish posts from Paperback Reader and the aforementioned Kimbofo and Simon Stuck-in-a-Book too. One blogger who I know you can help decide what to read over the season, as you are so good at advising me, is Novel Insights. She wants you to help her choose her holiday reads though none are festively themed she has some corkers to look forward too. I have finally whittled down my festive fiction maybes and they will be…


Peyton Place and Great Expectations aren’t festive reads, but they are two reads I have been desperate to read for the last few months and I like the idea of something salacious and something truly classic. The last two choices are some Christmas murder and mayhem from Agatha Christie and Agatha Raisin. Mind you I say first, they haven’t actually turned up though some lovely books sent in November have which is nice…

  • Precious by Sapphire (which I want to start now)
  • The Passport – Herta Muller
  • Doors Open – Ian Rankin
  • Firmin – Sam Savage (whose name is a bit too like mine)
  • An Equal Stillness – Francesca Kay
  • An Elergy for Easterly – Petina Gappah
  • The Confessions of Edward Day – Valerie Martin
  • The Complaints – Ian Rankin

Looks like I have some more crime to go. In the world of podcasts it’s a little out of date in parts but my podcast of the week is from Faber and Faber. I only found it yesterday and there were so many podcasts they had I wanted to listen to by some of their top authors it was a gem of a find. Pop to their homepage, scroll down and you can download them all. 

Now finally something not bookish at all but I had to share with you all a little bit of pre-Christmas joy that I have bought myself. I have been looking for one of these for absolutely ages to go on my new desk and finally I find one…

That’s right an original 1980’s dial phone… for £2 and its been converted for new phone lines already. I was ecstatic. Right that is me done and dusted for now. So what’s been going on in all of your bookish worlds this week? What books have you loved? What are you reading at the moment? What’s news?


Filed under Book Thoughts, Herta Muller, Ian Rankin, Petina Gappah, Sam Savage, Sapphire, Simon's Bookish Bits, Valerie Martin

22 responses to “Simon’s Bookish Bits #2

  1. I second that, the phone is ace. The festive season always gets me in the mood to read a classic, you know bit like how the BBC always has an period drama on. So I’m currently reading Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd.

    • I am so pleased other people are loving the phone. Its very non Bookish but I just had to share.

      I havent tried any Hardy so do let me know how that goes. I am taking a big step into the Dickensian for the first time over the next week or so and am a bit daunted.

      • I’ve never read any Hardy either…must admit so far its not a very happy story but I am hooked. I’ve read one Dickens book which was Nicholas Nickleby veery long book but I really liked it, you remind me I need to read more Dickens.

      • Oh thats a good sign that I will like Dickens, we will see am planning on starting it on Boxing Day-ish!

  2. I can’t believe you found the phone so inexpensively. I want a similar version myself. I find that the handsets on modern phones are too small for my hands. I get cramps. Giving me a big old phone any day.

    • They have tried to do modern reproductions of these with push buttons… sooooo missing the point there I feel. The whole point about these iconic phones is that they are dial up and you have to get your finger trapped etc he he.

  3. Another podcast that may be of interest to your readers is Radio 4’s Open Book podcast. It is only available until 4 pm this afternoon (20th Dec), when the next edition of the programme is broadcast. It includes an interesting discussion about the future of the bookshop. The somewhat surprising conclusion was that things could be most difficult for what may first appear to be the dominant player on the high street, Waterstones. The contributors felt that it might be squeezed by independents at the specialist end of the market, and by supermarkets and the web at the “pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap” end.

    • Hi David, I subscribe to that on iTunes and it lets you store it for good its really cool as the one about book shops was very interesting. This week is apparently about Sherlock Holmes so am excited about that as Sherlock will be featuring on the blog alot in the Spring!

  4. How cool to be featured on the UOP blog. And I do like your phone. Does it come in black?

    Our first home, which we bought six years ago, still had a wall mounted rotary phone with a 30 foot cord on it. The kind kids used to love because they could stretch the phone out into whatever room their parents weren’t in at the time.

    I have to say, it was a better quality connection than anything we’ve had since.

    • I was thrilled to be asked to be on the OUP blog especially with the company I was asked to be with!

      You can get the phones in black on ebay I think but they are normally a good £20 so this one for £2 was an utter bargain!

  5. Thanks for the link to the OUP blog–how cool. I had no idea they asked for bloggers’s favorite reads–I’m a great fan of pretty much everyone who shared there! Where have I been that I missed this? As for holiday reads, I would love to read Peyton Place and have had a copy to read for years. It looks like you have some good choices there.

    • I think a few of us bloggers were very lucky to be asked and naturally I wasnt going to say no to being popped up on there. I was just chuffed to be called a favourite of theirs.

      I have a very good relationship with OUP and am very excited they are helping me with another springtime season… more on that very soon!

  6. Oh what a fabulous phone! My nan used to have one like that and I spent hours dialing on it when I was a little-un.

  7. Firmin is cute, I think you’ll enjoy it. I read it around the same time as Alan Bennet’s ‘The Uncommon Reader’ and it seemed a good follow on as the narrator of Firmin loves books so much.

  8. Maybe, there are cute little animals characters and books which might make you feel warm and fuzzy, but there is some minor tragedy.

  9. Confuse all the children with the phone! Wonderful.

    Could you go on my site to make any comments for my bookclub’s 2010-11 book selections? I would appreciate it.

    • Hahaha I hadnt thought how modern kids would have no idea what to do with these… that could be funny. Mind you my brother and sister both have my blackberry down to a t, so am sure they could manage to get the jist of this.

      I would be honored to pop by and comment, I shall do so shortly.

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