Tag Archives: Muriel Barbery

Goodbye and Good Riddance To May, Bring On June…

I won’t lie to you, May was a wonderful month for going off and doing lots of lovely things and seeing lots of lovely people, it was an absolute devil for books and blogging though. Seriously, one of the worst months that I have had, if not ever then certainly in the time that I have kept this blog. I read 3 and a half books, which isn’t dreadful but one of them was, so much so that it almost killed my every waking desire for books. The struggle to finish it was real and it then made me very, very book bolshy for the rest of the month. Isn’t it awful when that happens? Thank goodness then for having still got some of Christos Tsiolkas’ short stories left which saw me back on track after the two weeks of very real fictional fury.

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It wasn’t just a lack of books being read that bothered me, it was also the lack of books being reviewed. I reviewed two last month, TWO! I feel ashamed to call myself a book blogger. The additional nightmare to that is that I have about twenty or more outstanding (and I don’t mean in a good way) reviews that I would like to share with you. I think it is going to have to be a case of separating the good, the bad and the mehing ugly and doing some round up posts, or maybe its a case of just having some up my sleeve when I have months like May in the future where I can’t blog as much as I would like? I’ll think on that, there will be some coming though which is nice, hopefully.

The month wasn’t all dreadful for book related things, I got to interview Charlotte Wood for You Wrote The Book, which you can hear here, about The Natural Way of Things which was one of my books of the year last year and you all need to read if you haven’t. It is out in the UK on Thursday, buy it or I am afraid I will have to do something nasty, like kill this blog or something – this is not an idle threat. Well, maybe slightly, just like the person writing this post. Ha. I have also dipped my toe tentatively back into the world of Booktube, you can have a gander here but I will be wanging on about it in more detail soon. Speaking of booktube though I have noticed that two (of my many new) favourite people on YouTube, both David of The Poptimist and Peter of Peter Likes Books, have said in their wrap ups they too have had dreadful months. Maybe something is in the air? Bring on June!

Before we get rid of May completely though, how has it been for you? Have you had some kind of pre-Summer slump or are you hurtling through books like there is no tomorrow? What have you been reading and loving, or indeed loathing? What else has been going on? Come on, time to check in and let me know how you all are, what has been happening, what you have been reading or buying as well as any other news. Ta ducks.

*The book in question was Muriel Barberry’s The Life of Elves, which having the quote ‘beguiling fairytale’ had me at hello when the initially nice but soon very pushy freelance publicist contacted me. However when I then read the full review, after the book took two weeks of fighting to finish, I discovered that was a very choice quote. I was furious. Why do publishers do this, actually that could apply to the pushy thing too. Anyway.

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Books for a Break Away

Now I am off up north on my own this weekend which involves (as the trains have gotten so ridiculously expensive already in the lead up to Christmas) two almost six hour journeys each way. However the fact I will be seeing my 1 year old twin cousin’s makes the trip very much worth it, though the prospect of looking after them on my own for a day or two is slightly daunting. So being in the fortunate position that I can read on a coach (some people can’t and I feel for them) I am planning on using this as perfect binge reading time and so have had to ponder over what to read for 12 hours.

Now taking books on your travels is always a tough call. You don’t want to be weighed down for a start, though that hasn’t quite worked as you will see below shortly. There is also the worry of what sort of book you will be in the mood for and with twelve hours free who knows? It also doesn’t help that I will be starting a new book tomorrow and so as a rule I always take a few books and this time I decided to take five with me. After much mulling and wandering through my bookshelves (so not planned reading its all been random) I decided on the following…

Travel Reading To Go?

  • 1984 – George Orwell (ok one bit of planned reading as this is for book group on Thursday)
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson (a short book for Halloween evening and have heard some rave reviews)
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery (been tempting me for ages)
  • Small Island – Andrea Levy (one of my tomes have been meaning to read)
  • The Year of the Flood – Margaret Atwood (something new which I have been meaning to read)

Now if you would like to get your hands on a ‘chilling’ tale for Halloween you can (I have just finished a Halloween related book to discuss tomorrow) get the Shirley Jackson for free (well 90p), as I did, with The Times as its available until the end of today. Just to give you a tip off as its alost a tenner new in the shops.

The Times & Jackson Giveaway

Speaking of newspapers etc, I am taking some bookish magazines with me such as Books Quarterly which Waterstones publish and I love, plus the wonderful Persephone Biannually which I have half read already (lovely to see lots of you in it). I am also taking a catalogue or two as Persephone and Oxford Classics aren’t just book catalogues but glossy wonderful and delightful magazines that give you much more than a blurb.

Bookish Magazines

So all in all the twelve hours should fly by before I know it! How do you choose the books you take away with you on holiday? Do you have a selection or just one and hope for the best? What bookish magazines do you simply have to get every issue of?

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Filed under Book Thoughts

Housekeeping & Other Bits & Bobs

So I have had rather a belated spring clean at Savidge Reads and changed a few bits and bobs. One of the things I have changed is finally putting up links to other book blogs that I like, which you should see on the top right. This was actually down to two other bloggers; one was Novel Insights who has now moved, the other was after receiving a lovely award from Matt at A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook who wrote some very nice stuff. I will be keeping this updated as I discover new lovely book blogs. 

I have finally updated the About Savidge Reads section as some people mentioned thanks to your feedback the other week. I like to add blogs every now and then about me as well as all the books that I read and bookish things that I think about. So that is all up. I will be adding a ‘Savidge Reads Grills’ links once I have some more author interviews up in the next few weeks. 

I have also added the final twenty books into the Savidge Reads – Great Reads page so now you have forty of them, I think this will be changing quite a lot as the year progresses and new books and some classics get read from my never ending TBR pile. Speaking of which a few more second hand books have somehow appeared in Savidge Reads Towers, rather than write all the blurbs I will pop a list of them below and if you have read any of them do let me know. At work a huge pile of books for all the staff for free turned up and I managed to collect…

  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery
  • Mystery Man – Bateman
  • Guernica – Dave Boling
  • A Start in Life – Anita Brookner
  • Girl With A Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier
  • The Aristos – John Fowles
  • The Electric Michelangelo – Sarah Hall
  • Down River – John Hart
  • I’m The King of the Castle – Susan Hill
  • The Piano Teacher – Janice Y.K. Lee
  • Something Might Happen – Julie Myerson
  • From A View to a Death – Anthony Powell
  • Precious Bane – Mary Webb

Now when I have this many new books I shouldn’t be asking you about more books… but I am going to. I am looking for books that are based in Tel Aviv as I am off there with ‘The Converted One’ for a week of beaches, reading and sunshine in September and I would love to read something that was written by someone from there or something set there, so you have your mission.

This trip sadly means that I will be missing out on Septembers Book Group which of course will have its page updated after tomorrow when we all meet to discuss ‘The Bell Jar’ by Sylvia Plath. I will still read the next months chosen book by Armen and email one of the fellow book groupers with my thoughts and pop them up here the day after.

Phew that’s been quite an event, I don’t think there is anything else. Do let me know what you think; I do love your feedback. What have you all been up to lately? Don’t forget your thoughts on my new additions to the TBR and any Tel Aviv books that you can think of. Right I am off to catch up with the final few chapters of A.S. Byatt’s ‘The Children’s Book’ which I am still loving, more on that later in the week.

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