Category Archives: Justine Picardie

Travel Companions (and a hard but worth while competition)

So by the time you read this I shall probably be on a train going halfway up the country to my homeland, that’s right the blogs you get over the next few days are timed and have been written in advance so I have been less reading and more typing the last few days. It is a mixture of sadness and happiness that takes me up as I love seeing all my family but sadly we are doing my Granddad’s (or as I called him Bongy) ashes, it would have been his 70th birthday on Sunday. Now that may get you all doing some maths, my Mum had me when she was 16 and my grandparents helped raise me when she was at University (well in the holidays – I was with her in term time) so as my Dad wasn’t around Bong was actually the closest thing to a Dad I had. Sadly almost two years ago he was diagnosed with cancer and died within seven weeks, and I think the shock, plus logistics of the Savidge Tribe (we are having a close family dinner Sunday and its 20 people) have held us off doing this sooner. I think it’s quite nice it’s his 70th seems timely. Anyway enough doom and gloom this is a book blog not my online therapy outpourings.

So like I said when you read this I will be on the train and what does one need for all good train journeys? No not a book… books. I see the books I travel with as being almost as important as whom I am travelling with. You need something for every possible eventuality; therefore I don’t take a book I tend to take two or three for each direction the ones I don’t read on the way to my destination I can read when I am at it if that makes sense? So I always take about six one of each of the following catagories;
a) Something big I have been meaning to read for ages
b) A guilty pleasure read in case the above really just doesn’t work out, you know something slightly erm… un-literary??!!
c) Something by one of my favourite authors (like we discussed on Thursday)
d) Something brand spanking new ‘just in’ as you never know
e) A good crime novel
f) Something that has been hovering on my TBR pile and reading radar for sometime
This so far has stood me in good stead (though do note this isnt the order I read them in) and ok so my bags might be a bit heavy (I always get a tut from the Non-Reader over the amount of books I “need” when we go on trips) but should the train breakdown in the middle of nowhere or we get stranded at a station hey I am all sorted thank you very much.

So for this trip I have enclosed in my luggage in reference to the above formula:
a) Midnights Children – Salman Rushdie (and the latest Savidge Big Reads which you can join in with, I think some of you are already?)
b) Angels & Demons – Dan Brown (as The Da Vinci Code was a complete cheap thrill page turner and also because I am also going to a special screening with Q&A’s with the stars and director next week)
c) Behind The Scenes At The Museum – Kate Atkinson (must try and love this book)
d) The Earth Hums in B Flat – Mari Strachan (and I am taking part in a blog on someone elses site where we get to ask the author lots of questions and you can join in – more of this on Wednesday)
e) The Point of Rescue – Sophie Hannah (because her books are just superb)
Now what about f? I was stuck I simply had too many contenders. Eventually I managed to whittle it down to five…

If you cant see the picture very well the five are; Daphne – Justine Picardie, The Girl on the Landing – Paul Torday, The Devil’s Paintbrush – Jake Arnott, The Road Home – Rose Tremain or The Secret River – Kate Greville!

So which one did I pick? Well I thought I would leave you guessing and see what you come up with, which one would you have taken? Which one do you think I will have taken? I can’t wait to read your thoughts… and also if you have any particular ‘books for travel’ rules yourselves?

I was going to dish up the results of my nosey findings of what people have been reading on the tube as it fits well with this but as this blog looks a little like a business report I shall hold off with any more lists and bullet points! I am going to run a little competition though… As well as telling me which one I picked from my five and your travel reads habits, if you can guess how many of the books I actually read (and which books they were) from what I have taken I will send you a very special book filled parcel! Adds to the May Bank Holiday Fun for you all I think! You have until 9am Tuesday…

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Filed under Book Thoughts, Jake Arnott, Justine Picardie, Kate Atkinson, Kate Grenville, Mari Strachan, Salman Rushdie, Sophie Hannah

I’m Back… With More Books

So I had the break away which was very much needed indeed I love London but it really can be nice to get away. Did I buy any books while I was away? Not a single one. I came back and within a few hours ‘oh look’ I have bought three but I didnt intend to go and get them. I merely wanted to go and see if the new book shop that they have been promising to open down the road was actually open yet. It wasnt… and as I walked past the window of one of the other ones I saw a book I have been wanting to get for ages, Lady With Lapdog by Anton Chekhov. Ever since seeing The Reader I have been wanting to read it, if you’ve seen the movie you’ll know why if not then I wont spoil it.

The other books that I got were books that I *needed* or ones that are quite difficult to get. I have been looking for The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas for the last month or so as I am joining one of my friends book groups in Hertfordshire next week and that is what they are reading but its not that easy to get despite being Long Listed for the Man Booker. I told my Gran that I was going to read D.M. Thomas and she exclaimed ‘ooooohhhh I think his stuff is a bit racy… if it is let me know’ I am not sure whether that meant she would avoid it or read it!

The other book that I managed to get, and am thrilled that I saw out of the corner of my eye, was White Mischief by James Fox. After reading The Bolter about the life of Idina Sackville and all the shenanigans going on in the Happy Valley I have been wanting to find out more about the era and the characters in it. White Mischief is all about one of Idina’s five husbands who was mysteriously murdered out in the Happy Valley. I only thought this was a movie I didnt realise the book (which is non-fiction I gather) had come out first so I will be devouring this very soon.
Whilst away I didn’t manage either of the two books I asked you to guess I might take with me because I was a little too busy with these two…

I did manage to finish Child 44 with Tom Rob Smith which I shall review tomorrow. Oh which two books did I take? If only I could do a drum role, sadly I can’t so I shall just say Daphne by Justine Picardie and The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. I’ve come home and started something completely different instead… and autobiography am off to go and read it now. So what are you all reading and what have you all been upto? Three days seems like a lot longer, in a good way.
Oh I also forgot to add that while I was away I received an ‘I Love Your Blog’ award from the delightful Farm Lane Books so was very chuffed, what a lovely welcome back. Do check out Farm Lane Books as its great, we are both doing the Richard and Judy Book Challenge (to read all of them) and though we occasionally differ I love hearing all her reviews and thoughts.

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Filed under Book Spree, Book Thoughts, Justine Picardie, Margaret Atwood, Tom Rob Smith

Reads for Rail Journeys

I am off for a bit of a break this weekend and Monday so there maybe some Savidge Reads Silence for a few days but hopefully not too long. I am off ‘oop’ north to the homeland to see some family and escape London life for a little while. Due to the delights of London Transport this trip is going to take around 3-4 hours each way and though its a slight drag the good news is that it means that I will be able to get some serious reading time in. The likelihood of delightful sunny views being low from the weather reports.

So I shall be finishing of the gripping thrilling and quite superb Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith then came my dilemma… what else should I take? The way things are going I will be up until the last possible moment trying to finsih Child 44 before bed time so what two others should I put in my bag. The criteria was something long, something I will hopefully get completely engrossed in and then a spare in case the first option doesn’t do the trick. Does anyone else have that rule on long journeys or trips away? I whittled it down to these five…

1. The Secret Speech – Tom Rob Smith (would this be overkill, though I am interviewing him next week?)
2. The Well of Loneliness – Radclyffe Hall (I really want to read this but not sure if am quite in the mood might grip me though)
3. Daphne – Justine Picardie (no idea why I havent read this yet after having it so long)
4. The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood (possibly one of the best reads I have never read yet)
5. The Luminous Life of Lily Aphrodite – Beatrice Colin (get ahead with the R&J reading – plus sounds brilliant)

Which ones would you have chosen or would recommend? So which two did I take? Can you guess? Well all will be revealed when I get back, but do let me know your thoughts… oh and what weekend read do you have planned? Have a lovely weekend!

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Filed under Beatrice Colin, Justine Picardie, Margaret Atwood, Radclyffe Hall, Tom Rob Smith