Tag Archives: Philip K. Dick

Hear Read This is Back… And We Would Love You To Get Involved!

I hope all your turkey and trifle are settling down. I have to say I feel ridiculously full after two Christmas dinners and I have another coming on Wednesday with my mother. I may explode. Anyway, I thought I would pop a quick post up between reviews and my forthcoming best of 2015 lists to tell you the exciting news that the podcast Hear Read This is coming back very soon. First with an A Little Life special and then a new series in 2016. Hoorah.

Now if you are wondering what on earth I am talking about, firstly shame on you though you now had a backlog of podcast listening, let me explain. Many of you will know I host The Readers with Thomas, and before with Gavin, where we talk all sorts of book based banter every fortnight. Interspersed with that I also make the podcast You Wrote The Book where I interview an author (the latest one is with Michel Faber which the recording of was one of my highlights of the year, one of my fav authors – whose books I do not seem able to review – who was wonderful to spend time with) and chat about their books and the like for 25 minutes or so. On top of that once a month I have been known to join Rob and Kate of Adventures with Words along with Gavin to record Hear Read This; a podcast where four hosts discuss two books over one episode… well we used to.

We have had a break but have decided, after recording a very fun (for us anyway) Christmas special of Adventures with Words that we will be back in January with a bit of a twist for the return. Firstly we will only talk about one book a month; warts, spoilers and all. We shall still sing a books praise (A Month in the Country) or slate it from the roof tops (The Martian) or bicker and differ if the case demands it we will just go into it all in more detail. The other change is that each month we will each suggest a book and you get to vote for which one we read. Here are this months choices…

Which could possibly be my choice?

So which is it to be? Will it be some good old gothic with ghosts, apocalypses and more in Shirley Jackson’s The Sundial? A thrilling, dangerous and illicit love affair in Patricia Highsmith’s cult classic Carol? A collection of mythical beasts from all over the world in Gods, Memes and Monsters? Or will it be a world in where the Nazi’s won the war as envisioned by Philip K Dick with The Man in the Castle? You can choose by voting on the Hear Read This post here. And I would love, love, love you to vote – though I can’t tell you which one is my choice, though some of you may guess.

You have until the special A Little Life episode of Hear Read This with Rob and myself, where we come at the book from almost polar opposite opinions, which will go live soon. The winning title, along with how else you can be involved, will be announced on New Years Day, so you (and Rob, Kate, Gavin and I) can get spending your book vouchers asap and get reading! So which book is it to be?

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The Book Buying Ban… Is Over!

For those of you who might be new to Savidge Reads, or those of you who might have forgotten (possibly because actually I didn’t mention it that much) for the whole of 2010 I put myself on a book buying ban. Why?  Well you would be right in wondering why as surely someone who loves books as much as I do shouldn’t be curbing their addiction. Yet with a really wonderful charity book shop down the road (which you have no idea how much I now miss) and more and more books coming in from publishers I felt that my TBR was going out of control and some books I had always meant to read were missing out. So how did I manage…?

Well if I am honest I actually managed really rather well I think. I will happily admit that the initial month or two, especially when January saw some marvellous book sales unlike this year, things were a little bit tough, March brought my birthday and saw a fresh stockpile of some I wanted but after that it really seemed to be quite easy. Though I did have to avoid book shops at all costs for about 5 months, seriously if I saw one I quite clearly veered away. Book group also proved trying as I couldn’t always get one (so thanks to a few members and a few publishers for there help, credit where credit is due) but there were some great benefits.

The biggest benefit was rediscovering the joys of the library. I don’t know why, especially as I used it so much as a child, in the last few years or so I had been a little snobby about the library. That is all officially blown out of the water now. Where could I go when I fancied an old classic? Where could I turn to if a few books on other blogs had really tickled my fancy and I was trying not to beg publishers? Where could I peruse the shelves and pick up books at random and pop them back spending a good hour lost in the endless possibilities of books? The library of course! In fact if it wasn’t for the last year I don’t think I would have been rushing to join my local one when I moved up north, me and the library are now the firmest of friends.

Another great thing it has taught me is that I need to read much more by whim and let my mind lead me rather than how cheap a book is in the charity shop, how lovely a new edition looks, how I kind of want that third book in the 3 for 2 and then I don’t read it. I could go on and on. It also taught me that books you don’t own have an impulse about them, this should be obvious I know, I would see/read about a book I didn’t have and desperately want it and then just go and buy it. Last year I learnt that there is an initial itch to read it as soon as you have read about it, however if you leave it a few days/weeks later you forget you really wanted it.

So when I finally allowed myself to wander around Waterstones and some second hand shops in town did I rush and buy everything I saw? Nope, not at all in fact I was most restrained. I had two books I’ve wanted for about four months yet have not seen in the library (I know I could order one in but you might as well buy cheap off Amazon or in a shop for the prize the libraries charge to reserve), one impulse charity buy, and two books I had already read but were a bargain…

‘The Man in the High Castle’ by Philip K. Dick is rather a left field choice in some ways as I don’t think I like sci-fi (and just like ‘coming of age tales’ I am often proved this isn’t the case) but I have been meaning to read his work for quite some time and this sounds like the most accessible for me, the idea of a world where the Nazi’s won the war petrifies me. ‘The Edwardians’ by Vita Sackville-West was a bargain in a lovely Virago edition, I know nothing about this it just sounds rather upper class society shenanigans which I quite fancy since ‘Downtown Abbey’. Edith Wharton’s ‘The House of Mirth’ is a classic I’ve been hankering to read for a while, I like a good femme fatale who might just fall from the heights she climbs. ‘Kafka on the Shore’ is a Murakami book that I lent out… and never got back and remains my favourite of his I have read so far, and Sophie Hannah’s ‘The Other Half Lives’ I have in hardback but its so blinking heavy I saw this for 50p and decision made. Is that a bit OCD, maybe that’s another post for the future?

So would I do it again, yeah – I think I would. I admit I am lucky as I got parcels from readers, publishers, family and friends but I did so much better than I thought I could, and didn’t break the book buying ban once. Me and my local library are now in love and its made me change my book binge habits for good I think!

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