Tag Archives: Random Savidgeness

Your Thoughts; Board Games, Stationery & Incoming Books

I have been thinking about bringing some new posts to Savidge Reads, and indeed bringing some old posts back, so have been pondering them all. I then thought ‘hang on, who better to ask for some feedback on all this than those lovely folk who visit the blog’ and so that is what I am doing, I know I am like Sherlock in my deducing of problems, ha!

So, first up new ideas. One of them I have been thinking about for a while and it involves stationery. I have been a huge fan of stationery since time began, well since I was about eight or nine. I can spend hours and hours, and often have, in a Paperchase and am always hankering after a notebook fix. Myself and the lovely Kate of Adventures with Words, did try and start a blog on stationery alone back in 2014. I was rubbish, Kate was brilliant, we both got crazy busy. Well I am thinking of bringing the occasional stationery post to Savidge Reads as in general if you love a good book you love a good notebook… or twelve. What do you think?

The next new idea has a much less booky link and I have to admit I hadn’t thought of doing until I had an email this morning. The email was asking if I would like to review the occasional board game or two. Now admittedly I don’t play them often but I do love a board game and as the nights draw in and you long to sit in front of a fire of an evening (even when you don’t have one like me, weeps) sometimes you want to actually spend some time being social rather than having your face in a book. I know, it sounds crazy but it’s true. Well there are only so many more episodes of The Good Wife, which I am obsessed with, that I have left to watch and I used to love Monopoly, Cluedo, The Gunge Game, etc. So I am thinking about it, it could be fun every now and again?

Clacts-10-Best-Learning-Board-Games-For-Kids

Finally I am pondering whether I should bring back my incoming posts. Not everything that comes in to Savidge Reads, that would be bonkers and with so many unsolicited (and sometimes totally inappropriate) copies of books coming here it might make my fingers bleed. I am talking about the highlights, some books that you might want to check out in the forthcoming weeks and months. I love nosing at what other people get copies of, but it can seem show offy. Maybe there is another way I could do it? Could I consider bringing back some embedded vlogging?

I would love your thoughts on these, bringing back the old or keeping the new. Feel free to shout ‘what the hell are you thinking of Simon, the blog is Savidge Reads not Savidge Stationery or Savidge Games – what next from board games to yawn tastic ‘gaming’ on the computer and telling us all about that or maybe you’ll just start with a weekly post about kittens? ‘ or want to yell ‘Book blogs should be just that and nothing else, think on sunshine!’  I would also love to know if you have anything you would like to suggest for a new series of posts or any other feedback, like get on with commenting back (which is my next ‘thing’ over the next week) or things you don’t like on the blog, only the later if you put it nicely – ha! As always any feedback and thoughts on my thoughts are welcome. Blimey, that was only meant to be a short post.

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I’ve Had Visitors…

I have just had the joy of my mother and my little brother coming to visit for a few days and it has been really, really lovely. The weather was amazing and so we headed to Crosby and Anthony Gormley’s statue (see below) as well as going to Formby which I had completely forgotten was where my Great Uncle Len and Great Aunty Betty used to live, and so where my mother spent quite a few summer holidays visiting as a girl. We had gone to see if we could see any red squirrels and after a serious bit of hunting we did in deed see… one. Yes, just the one but still one was better than none.

My mother, some random man and I

My mother, some random man and I

Of course my mother being my mother, there was a huge amount of book chat that went on. In fact at one point my mother said ‘I am so sorry but with all these books on all these shelves I find it very difficult to talk about anything else without staring at the shelves and talking about what I have and hadn’t read.’ It is at moment’s like this that I know we are really family, ha. I also managed some rather good book shopping as in Formby we played, with my brother and The Beard (whose mother met my mother for the first time this trip, eek) of course, the Charity Shop Challenge – who could get the best gift for someone else, chosen from a hat, for just a fiver! We all did very well, though I did most well at finding these bargains for myself…

Bargain book haul!

Bargain book haul!

It has been a wonderful few days. There is nothing quite like some quality time with family and fresh air, or indeed a cheeky charity shop haul, especially when you get some real gems. None of these were more than £2. I am thrilled with all of the above and they will feed my current need for some older fiction between my contemporary reads. What have you been up to recently? Got any book bargains at all? Have you read any of the books that I managed to get my hands on?

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Silenced By Technology

So it’s been a bit quiet around here this weekend, actually in reality at Savidge Reads HQ it has been a weekend of swearing at my computer screen or having endless hour long chats with techn-bods at the end of the phone all over the world. In short Windows 10 killed my computer and introduced the blue screen of death which restarts your computer for eternity. Seriously, horrendous.  

I could go on an indepth rant about how rude PC World’s staff were over the phone (the Know How team who don’t know how to empathise or be polite), how it took five calls to get someone at Microsoft to admit they understood what on earth I was talking about or how global company HP don’t have customer services on the weekends. I won’t. I will say thank you to my mate Adam who picked it up last night and has mended it and upgraded it and will deliver it later on this evening. In the meantime I am sat in the corner reading. Back properly soon… Hopefully!

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Gone But Not Forgotten…

It is two years today since the wonderful and bookish influence on my life that Gran was sadly passed away far too young and far too soon – we still had so many books to talk about and bookshops to go to. It’s weird in some ways as it feels at once much longer since she died and also like it was yesterday. The raw bits from the final few weeks have gone and the happy memories (of which there were many) are  much stronger now which is lovely. I still miss her hugely and still think of phoning her when I finish a book or ponder what I should read next or when I read one of her favourite authors latest books and wonder what she would have made of it. Or kick myself that she couldn’t have seen me judging a prize like Fiction Uncovered and have come to the party where she would have been in her absolute element. None of this will ever go or fade, especially when she makes spooky appearances in copies of her books I have inherited as I mentioned recently. God love her. I’m just still slowly acclimatising I guess.

Me and Gran

I was umming and ahhing about how to make her reading influence mine again this year; I delved into Graham Greene after she died (which was hit and miss) and then last year finally read  (and even met) Rose Tremain and fell in love with her prose and stories as Gran had many years before me and kept urging me to read her. So I was pondering who might be next, if I was going to do it. Well I am, and the answer came to me when I was moving books on shelves earlier this week, as I have three shelves of books I inherited from Gran… and one author I suddenly realised was in quite abundance.

Oh Shute!

Oh Shute!

Nevil Shute! I have myself only read one of Nevil Shute’s novels, On The Beach, which I was dubious about reading way back when it was chosen for a book group I was a part of in London. As it was, and despite the fact it is set on a submarine which is even worse than a book being set on a boat, I thought it was a marvellous novel which as stayed with me longer than I thought it would, I remember being very emotional at the end. Anyway Gran had quite a collection, which as I cannot ask her I am assuming she had read as I remember one particular cover of his novels from my childhood as it was on her bedside shelves in Matlock Bath for years and years and years. Weirdly it is the only one that I cannot find…

The memories...

The memories…

I wonder if my aunty Alice inherited it, it was probably the fact we had an Alice in the family that made it resonate in my brain. So I am going to track down that edition of A Town Like Alice in the next few weeks and get a copy, I know it won’t be Gran’s but the image has a nostalgia. I am also slightly miffed I can’t find her edition of Requiem for a Wren which I know is meant to be amazing. Anyway… I haven’t decided which of these books, or his books, I will read or in what order yet but I will be reading some Shute over the autumn and probably the winter and would love it if any of you would like to join in. I would also love it if you had some recommendations for me on which Shute novels are particularly brilliant. Thank you – and thanks Gran… I hope!

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Vintage Pride Classics Winner…

Apologies for the delay in me drawing the lucky winner of the three wonderful Vintage Classic’s editions that they released especially for Pride as they are LGBT Classics. The winner, chosen by Random.org, of a copy of each of Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, Alan Hollinghurst’s The Swimming Pool Library and Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle is… Layla (@1mpossiblealice)

Vintage Pride Classics

Layla please send me your details to savidgereads@gmail.com and I will get the copies of the book out to you next week.

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Going Forward…

I have mentioned a couple of times in the last few weeks and months that I feel that Savidge Reads needs to have a rethink and a reassessment of where it is going and what it is doing. This is in part because I always think it is good to have a think about where you are at in all aspects of your life every now and again (I did used to be an Agony Uncle, so watch out sometimes I get all deep and therapeutic) and after a Fiction Uncovered FM segment with the lovely Naomi Frisby talking about reviewing now and the role of bloggers and all sorts of other shenanigans which really made me think about my role as a blogger – which when you sit at your laptop and type your reading diary you tend to forget.

I could write a long old blog about all the things it made me ponder, but that might head towards navel gazing and be quite a boring thing to read. Plus you can hear all the things I thought as I discussed them on the radio here and laughed about them. Instead I thought to make it short sharp and snappy (and keep it upbeat, no one likes a woe is me blog post, seriously they don’t) I would let you know what you will be getting from Savidge Reads moving forward – I love a bullet point or several…

  • More blog posts – now I have finished judging and have caught up there will be more reviews a coming (this was heightened only today when I was finding new spaces for new books and emptied one particular group of shelves which had over 60 books I have read but not reviewed lurking on it)
  • More commenting – I have been rubbish at commenting back I am so sorry, I am hoping reading over 100 books in three months will allow some forgiveness for this error
  • More books you might not have heard of – whilst I am sure I will fall foul to some hyped books (A Little Life will be my book of the year, some deserve ALL the hype) and of course want to be reading the next books by my favourite big authors like Margaret Atwood etc, but I really want to go off and find real gems hidden away from all over the shop and then share them with you
  • More features – I have some ideas for new features and series of blog posts coming, like Readers Retreats next week, you will also get more of the same, no blog tours though
  • More negative posts – It sounds odd to say its a good thing to write about more books I don’t like, but if you only hear about what I do like how will you have anything to compare it to? Also lots and lots of you loved my post tearing a new one into Andy Weir’s The Martian and so as long as I keep it constructive and only go totally to town on books selling millions, so the author couldn’t give a toss what I think, it is all win win
  • More me – as in more personality, not the ins and outs of my private life as no one needs more of that, just more of the me you hear on The Readers (snarky and banter based basically)

Erm, in a nutshell just more. I have the blogging bug back again, even though I don’t half feel rusty at it. Especially the reviewing part, I am dusting of the rust though and getting back in the swing tomorrow. In the meantime if you have any thoughts on what you would (or wouldn’t, there’s always one) like to see on Savidge Reads then let me know.

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Vintage Pride – A Giveaway

This weekend sees the launch of the UK’s Pride season (which seems all the more apt after the news in America today, well done United States you should be very proud) where the cities, towns and all sorts of places celebrate everything LGBT up and down the country over the (hopefully sunny) summer months. To coincide with this, the lovely folk at Vintage have decided to proudly (see what I have done here) celebrate some of their classic novels both by LGBT authors and with LGBT themes. The books they have chosen are Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, Alan Hollinghurst’s The Swimming Pool Library and Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle.  None of which I have read yet, shame on me. They look gorgeous and I happen to have a spare set…

FullSizeRender (1)

I couldn’t even line them up straight, ha!

So I thought I would do a giveaway of a set to some lucky person. All I want to know is which book with an LGBT theme you have most loved and why, without spoilers? That simple. Now because postage of books across oceans is so expensive, as I have discovered trying to get some books I want from America, I’m afraid I can only send these to a lucky winner in the UK or Europe*, sorry but the Hall is huge so it’s a bulky set to post – *unless you are coming to Booktopia Petoskey and can wait until September in which case I can pack them in my luggage. Right, get recommending. and good luck. You have until end of play Sunday the 28th of June.

Oh and in case you’re wondering mine would be a tie between Catherine Hall’s The Proof of Love or Bethan Roberts’ My Policeman. If you’ve not read either or both of those then you really must!

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