Reading

Hello. I am just here to let you know about a book. I have struggled a bit with books recently but not this one. I found it on a site I love; Furrowed Middlebrow. It showcases forgotten women authors up to the mid twentieth century and I would like to be buried on this site please. He is now publishing books that are difficult to obtain as they have been out of print for so long. This is a development that I am very pleased about.  Lots of people seem to find long lost gems on the “For Sale” shelves at their local library. All we seem to get is “How to lose 150lbs in twenty minutes” or biographies of people in Emmerdale.

As I get older, I am finding I am more and more out of step with modern culture and I can find less and less that I want to read or watch. Witness the new Joaquin Phoenix movie – “You Were Never Really Here”. I haven’t seen it but it is apparently a work of near genius; brilliantly acted, great set pieces and fantastic direction and script (by the same person) However, here is the insight section from the BBFC’s site (The BBFC are the people who give films certificates)

Stronger scenes include a bloody shooting. A man kills multiple people with a hammer, without graphic detail. There is also occasional hand-to-hand combat featuring heavy blows.
A dead man is discovered with a large bloody slash wound across his throat. Deep and ragged wounds are seen on another man’s hands. Another scene depicts a suicide with strong bloody detail. There are also images of bodies with bloody bullet wounds, and a man uses pliers to pull out his own tooth.
There are visual and verbal references to child sex abuse throughout the film. The references are not graphic. In one scene a young girl is shown sitting on a bed facing away from camera and a man places his hand on her bare back. There is brief genital nudity in a sequence in which a naked man is pulled out of a room where is it is implied that child sexual abuse has been taking place.
There are scenes of self-harm in which a man places a plastic bag over his head. There are separate sequences in which a child performs the same act.

I have spared you the paragraph that details the language used. We are all too young. I just don’t have the energy. I have decided that I am going to retreat into some semi-permanent Miss Havisham state and just get on with only watching and reading the things that I think I have the constitution for.

So – to A Chelsea Concerto by Frances Faviell. Actually, after all that moaning, this is not a soft read. It’s a memoir of life in London during the Blitz and she doesn’t hold much back. Faviell lived in Chelsea before and during the Blitz and because of its position it was heavily bombed. At the beginning of the book, there is almost a light hearted atmosphere. War has been declared but nothing much happens. Then things start to change. She volunteers for the Red Cross and also to support refugees as she is able to speak several languages. There are some lovely moments – very British defiance in the face of a seemingly invincible enemy – and it is also very funny sometimes. However, it may not be for your maiden aunt – unless she is of a certain age, in which case she may have seen this stuff in real life anyway. It is a great book. I raced through it and then a curious HOH picked it up and devoured it as well.

I fully intend to go back and have a look at buying some more of her books. However that will be after Lent because I am not buying any books until Easter! What about that then? Impressed ain’t ya? I was overwhelmed by books at Christmas and think the reason that some reading was annoying me was that I could always see my “To Read” pile in my mind’s eye and it was pressing me to get finished. So far I have caught up with a nifty thriller “Black Water Lillies” that FOW1 gave me at Christmas – excellent with a twist I did not see coming. Also I have re-read a Barbara Pym and also a Georgette Heyer mystery. (I’m not that keen on the Regency stuff – I like her detective fiction) I’m also reading more magazines instead of just flicking through them, spotting decent articles, not reading them and then never going back to them, which I was doing nearly all the time. My favourite magazine at the moment is “the simple things”. It is complete rubbish. Lots of photos of posh type people tramping through the snow with their perfect children, then coming home to home-made soup which they drink in their perfect kitchens AND I LOVE IT! NOT SORRY!

It’s all working out rather well actually, although I am getting a bit twitchy about book buying now and keep coming across things I fancy. I probably need to fight the urge and get out more, except it is going to snow here again at the weekend apparently. I was just about to start dragging my spring stuff out from under the bed but, instead, I will be doubling up on bed socks.

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1 Comment

  1. March 19, 2018 / 10:42 pm

    I think The Simple Things is a good read too – but a bit expensive. I bought 12 for £1 at a yard sale in the autumn and I’m still enjoying them. I like the blackboard slogans on the back covers.
    But yes, rich people with apparently perfect children.

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