Friday, 27 July 2012

One on One by Craig Brown

If you're looking for some potted history and a quick overview of many biographies - snap shots in the lives of the famous or worthy - then I really recommend One on One by Craig Brown.  In a couple of pages he describes an encounter between two people (Nancy Reagan and Andy Warhol, for example) and then moves on to the next encounter.  Each story is told with a light touch and gentle commentary, using many of their own words and thoughts - the Bibliography at the back is about 20 pages!  Brilliant if you've only got a few minutes, just as good if you have more time and want to go on a journey that reads like a 'six degrees of separation' on a grand scale.  I'll be loading it on askmeaboutbooks.co.uk as soon as I finish it!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Hay On Wye - The Welsh Book Town!

Went to Hay On Wye with the family today.  Not the easiest of places with children, although definitely worth a return trip with them and some pocket money to pick up all the books they wanted!  It's such an interesting little town, especially on a hot sunny day like today, when all the 'outdoor' bookshops were open, with their little 'honesty payment' boxes.  So many lovely old books, although in some places you're hard pressed to do anything but gaze in wonder at the bizarre collections of random titles and genres - definitely requires a good couple of hours of uninterupted browsing to find the right book (or all the books in a series!) in some places.  The Cinema Bookshop, however, is very well organised and has so many old and new books you're bound to find something.  We'll definitely be back when we have a house, have all our stuff back from it's 8000 mile journey and know whether we have any bookshelf space left!
However, H-O-W could definitely do with the askmeaboutbooks.co.uk treatment!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Something to read... please...

Oh, no!  My fears are proved true.  I can't find anything to read!  I can't be bothered to search through loads of reviews, and I've not got anything I haven't read on askmeaboutbooks.co.uk at the moment!  What can I read?  I fancy something funny, a bit challenging with a happy ending and nothing that will make me blush!
Time to do some reseach, I suppose.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Surveys and stats...

You know, I love surveys.  I wonder what it is that makes some of us want to put down all our thoughts and ideas, preferences or analyse our personalities.  If you're one of those who enjoys them too, click on the link below to fill in my simple 10 question survey on reading. It's partly for fun and partly to help me fine tune the askmeaboutbooks.co.uk website!  Cheers.
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/63VHQDQ

Monday, 2 July 2012

Books I love...

I love books that I can re-read over and over again without getting tired of them.  I've started Elizabeth Moon's Oath of Fealty again (after book three ended so distressingly!), and I think it's my third time round.  Somehow, though I know what's coming, it still seems fresh and I find myself anticipating the plot with pleasure and still finding something new.  I wonder what it is in the quality of writing that makes this possible - is it the characters that are so appealling you want to read their story again and again, is it an intricate plot that means you have to read a book many times to truly explore and know all the twists and turns?
And yet it's great to read new books too, everything unfolding gently or rapidly before your mind, a new world to explore, new people to meet.  I love to see new titles on askmeaboutbooks.co.uk.  I have my favourite search routes, of course - Genre, Themes - but sometimes it's good to mix things up and see what comes up!  I must put in a 'random choice' button!