Thoughts for Granny Savidge Reads

As some of you will have seen on Twitter last night we had a bit of a big shock in the family yesterday. Granny Savidge Reads, who those of you who have been/are regulars of the blog will know and love from her posts, sadly had a brain haemorrhage and stroke yesterday morning. This was completely out of the blue and has been rather serious.

I did go and see her last night, and of course will be visiting regularly, and whilst she is still able to talk and has her wry sense of humour she is unfortunately paralysed down her whole left side. This for a very social and mobile jet setting 70 year old is very frustrating and scary as I am sure you can imagine. Not only that but she has shocking double vision so she can’t move her head without feeling sick and most vexing for her she cannot read, one of her main lifelong loves.

As her future possible recovery is going to take weeks and weeks The Beard and I have decided we are going to get her an iPod and fill it with audio books, that way she can be lost in the world of fiction she loves so much even if she can’t focus on a page/screen. So any recommendations of good ones with a literary or comic bent would be most welcome.

Anyway, I thought I would share the sad news with you as I know some of you enjoy her posts and hearing about one of the biggest book influencers of my life. Let’s hope she gets well as soon as she can, I will keep you posted even if my posting might go to pot over the next few weeks/months as we spend as much time with her as we can supporting her recovery.  Please send her your get well vibes and thoughts!


Filed under Granny Savidge Reads, Random Savidgeness

39 responses to “Thoughts for Granny Savidge Reads

  1. Oh, I do hope Granny Savidge’s recovery is smooth and happens relatively quickly. Wishing her and your family all the best. For her ipod, will you be putting in any Wodehouse?

  2. Armen

    Simon, I hope she recovers very very soon.
    as for books, Alys, Always by Harriet Lane, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi or something by Penelope Lively.

  3. Sarah

    My grandma had a stroke four years ago, and like your gran, was left with very bad double vision but only slight paralysis on her left side. Over the years, she has learnt to walk with a stroller, and, although her double vision is still there, she can now read again, as long as it is light enough. With the love and support of her family, I’m sure Granny Savidge Reads will make steady progress. Sending lots of love and positive thoughts her way.

  4. What a terrible shock for you all. I am so sorry and am sending lots of love and well wishes to Granny Savidge as well as all your family. I hope that she can get her movement and vision back as close to normal as possible – strokes are so cruel. From the sound of her previous posts, she is one determined lady and I can imagine she is going to push herself very hard to get better, and having such a loving and supporting family will be an enormous help in the recovery process.

    You are so thoughtful – audiobooks are a fantastic idea. What about getting her the Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard? There’s four of them and the characters are fantastic – its set before, during and just after the war so it’s a real family epic and one she can definitely get lost in and will provide several hours of listening time.

    Please do keep us updated and I’ll be thinking of you.


  5. Simon, I’m so sorry to hear about Granny Savidge. How frightening this whole experience must be for her and your whole family. She sounds like a strong, active woman which hopefully is very much in her favor as she works towards her recovery. The ipod of books is a really thoughtful idea. I was also going to suggest Wodehouse – something light and funny. I especially like Simon Callow’s reading of Bertie and Jeeves. Agatha Christies also make very entertaining audio books – absorbing mysteries but also familiar and comforting.

    Sending positive thoughts to you all from across the pond.

  6. I’m sorry to hear about your Gran, Simon. Wishing her a speedy recovery. I’m sure your care and attention, and a host of audio books, will work wonders. More positive-from-across-the-pond thoughts, here.

  7. David

    Simon, I’m very sorry to hear your news and hope Granny Savage can make a good and swift recovery. My Dad had a stroke last September (he’s 65) and is now back at work and other than some minor speech problems and a bit of what they call “emotional liability” he is almost back to normal. The recovery process can be hard work, both for the patient and their family, but it isn’t insurmountable. Good to hear she hasn’t lost her sense of humour – nor did my Dad and you honestly can’t underestimate how important that will be to her recovery. Having her ability to read taken away from her sounds terrible though if that is one of her loves, so I hope the double vision is only a temporary thing.
    Sending you and Granny Savage my very best wishes.

  8. gaskella

    Gosh what a shock for you all. I hope Granny Savidge starts to recover as soon as possible, and knowing you are all there supporting her will be a great help. Big hugs and best wishes. On the audiobook front, I’m not a great connoisseur, but I always enjoy Bill Bryson on the radio …

  9. My prayers are with her.the fact that she is such a strong woman will help in her recovery.your idea with the beard to give her audio books is great will hep keep her interested and her mind stimulated.

  10. Bless her – sending lots of energy her way across the Channel! So sorry to hear the bad news.
    I haven’t got much experience with audio books, but one that I have heard good things about is David Sedaris ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’, read by the author himself (all about his move to France and the resulting culture shock).

  11. Kim

    i’m so sorry about this – a couple of weeks ago i listened to your podcast with your gran and i thought she was lovely. i hope her recovery will be smooth and swift, and bless you for your wonderful idea!

    i’m reading the finkler question by howard jacobson, which is rather hilarious.

  12. Tawny

    What a great idea for your granny. I am sure she will appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity as she recovers. And we do wish her a quick recovery. (You’re a good grandson!)

  13. Best wishes for a full recovery and much strength to all of you.

    If she finds full books too much, you might try to load a few short story podcasts on there. Some I recommend are NPR’s Selected Shorts at and The Classic Tales at

    The most recent episodes are available for free on iTunes.

  14. I’m so sorry to hear about this. I don’t have anything specific, but I recommend short stories that don’t involve too much concentration. Jeeves and Wooster maybe. You will both be in my thoughts.

  15. So sorry to hear that your gran is poorly – it’s always difficult to watch our loved ones struggle. I hope she makes a speedy and complete recovery. I’m really enjoying Jim Dale’s narration of The Night Circus right now, and I love a good Agatha Christie on audio when I want to get my mind off things. The Crooked House is a favorite. Best wishes to your gran and your family!

  16. I’m so sorry to hear the news about your gran. From listening to your recent podcast I can tell that she is a very strong woman with a great sense of humor. I always think laughter is the best medicine.
    How about some Bill Bryson to satisfy her travel itch?
    I hope her vision clears up quickly!

  17. Sue N

    So sorry to here this Simon, hope she recovers quickly. Thinking of you and your Mum. X

  18. Jamie

    Simon, I’m so sorry to hear about Granny Savidge! She is such a lovely person. She and you family are in my prayers.
    Persephone has a few audio books available which are good, perhaps she would like “Cheerful Weather For The Wedding” or “Mrs. Lives For The Day”?
    Both are quite funny.
    Get well soon, Granny Savidge!!!

  19. Sorry to hear about Granny Savidge…hope she recovers well and your family are OK. I would agree with Agatha Christie – not too taxing but always entertaining. x

  20. I’m so sorry to hear your news, Simon, and of course send my very best wishes for a speedy recovery to Granny Savidge.
    I haven’t listened to many audiobooks, but we do have Hugh Laurie reading Alexander McCall Smith’s Portuguese Irregular Verbs books (e.g. The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs) and they are very funny. Wodehouse would be great, too.

  21. I’m so sorry to hear this news, Simon. My thoughts and prayer are with your Gran for a speedy recovery.

  22. So sorry to hear this news, Simon. Am thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed for Granny Savidge. Strokes can be devastating — an old colleague had one several years ago and he had a lucky escape but his recovery was very slow. My two grandfathers also had strokes and lost their speech permanently — it was heartbreaking.

  23. Amy C

    That is awful news! So sorry, will be thinking of her and hope she can make a rapid recovery. It’s great she has a grandson by her side who will help keep her reading (i.e. listening) despite everything.

  24. Tom Perkins

    Dear Simon, I am so sorry to to hear about your Grand, my prayers and thoughts are with you. The IPod is a good idea, it will keep her mind sharp, add some podcasts to the books. I so much enjoy your blog, keep up the good work with more about you and your life, this is as interesting to me as the book reviews.

  25. Best wishes to your gran, Simon. She is so lucky to have a loving and supportive family to get her through this challenging time. She’ll be in my thoughts.
    One of the most enjoyable audiobooks I’ve listened to lately was The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin (I think it’s called My Last Duchess in the UK). It’s a very entertaining and wry book and has a great narrator.

  26. Kristen M.

    I’ll be thinking of you and your family and dear Granny Savidge and hoping for a speedy recovery for such a grand woman. I bet your gesture will really help get her spirits up!

  27. All the best to Granny Savidge. I’m wishing a speedy recovery for her. Your time with her on The Readers podcast is a highlight for me out of all of the episodes and I hope she gets well very soon.

  28. My thoughts are with Granny Savidge and the family. Hope it all goes well.

  29. Mel

    Hi Simon, I was sorry to read this news this morning, I send your Granny, you, and your family my best wishes. Hoepfully your Granny will make a full recovery, with the wonders of modern technology and medicine I’m sure she will. As I work with older people I know of many people who’ve had strokes and making good recoveries!
    My audio book recommendation would be Dodi Smith’s ‘I capture the castle’ – I read it for the first time recently and I absolutely adored it. So sweet and funny! (I hope I haven’t made a hideous faux pass and it turns out to be your Granny’s least favourite book of all time!). x

  30. Janet D

    Simon I can only echo what everyone has said and wish your Gran well and hope for as healthy a recovery as possible for her. A sense of humour always helps get through trying times so I know you both have that in spades.Very best wishes.x

  31. Sarah Cubitt

    Once again, sorry to read all of the above, it’s such a horrible thing to happen. About the double vision – if you got your gran an eye patch & cover the eye which isn’t working properly, the double vision will go & she may feel up to reading when well enough. Also, if vision stays this way, once she’s well enough she should see an orthoptist, who can put plastic prisms in her glasses to make the double vision go into a single image too.
    In the mean time – my favourite audio book ever is the book thief – not only is the book wonderful, but the narrator is too.
    Love to Granny S x

  32. I’m so sorry your granny is going through all of this and I wish her all the best in her recovery.

    Is your grandmother familiar with P. G. Wodehouse? I’ve only heard a bit of Carry On Jeeves read by Martin Jarvis, but it sounded wonderful and Wodehouse seems like a nice combination of being funny while retaining some literary quality for distraction.

  33. Eva

    Oh no. I’m sending tons of good thoughts and wishes to Granny Savidge and the whole Savidge family.

    I quite enjoy reading Wodehouse via audiobook.

  34. Healing thoughts and a speedy recovery to your Grannie, take care all of you. Short stories might be a good option 🙂

  35. Geraldine

    So sorry to read about your gran.What a blessing for her to have a grandson like you.

  36. Sending positive thoughts your Granny’s way. Let us hope that good words and laughter speed her recovery.

  37. I’m sorry to hear that Granny Savidge is ill and I hope that she has a speedy recovery. One thing that I got from Audible, which I don’t think anyone has recommended yet, is a Gerald Durrell audiobook – he has some brilliant observations of both animals and humans, and they are funny, sunny and entertaining. I can only echo all the Wodehouse suggestions as well.

  38. So sorry to hear that. I hope she makes a steady recovery. And I hope the audio books help her. Best wishes to you all.

  39. Simon, I’m just catching up and so have only just read this…sending best wishes to Granny Savidge for a good recovery.

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