Saturday, 19 May 2012

Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany

By the time you read this, I'll either be in London or Sussex - a couple of my friends and I are off to Charleston and Monk's House (the homes of Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf respectively) for a literary jaunt.  At least that's the plan - right now I feel deathly with one of my oh-so-common colds.  But I am determined to enjoy myself!  I am equally determined to tell you about a book, a link, and a blog post... so make yourself comfortable, and enjoy.

1.) The book -  I can't remember how I found this title, but it's been waiting in a draft post for many months: David Batterham's Among Booksellers.  Read all about it here, but essentially it's the letters of a bookseller travelling Europe, meeting the eccentric booksellers of the world on his way.  It sounds great fun.

2.) The link - apparently the French isn't very good in this clip (I watched it silently with the subtitles, and also wouldn't notice poor French anyway) but cat-lovers will find this amusing, I think...

3.) The blog post - is a little silly, and not entirely for the faint-hearted.  You've probably heard of Fifty Shades of Gray/Grey and have probably the same level of desire to read it as I have (i.e. none whatsoever) - well, Book Riot have read it so that you don't have to!  Their review is very funny...

4.) P.S. - if you're in the UK, make sure you're watching the documentaries Chatsworth on BBC and 56 Up on ITV - both are brilliant so far.  And, guess what?  They're on at the same time.  Of course.  9pm on Mondays - started last week, and have a couple more episodes to come.



13 comments:

  1. Like you, the odds that I'll ever read the Fifty Shades books are pretty much non-existent but I am loving all the snarky reviews and websites that are devoted to highlighting just how bad they really are. There's a tumblr blog called "Fifty Shades of Suck" which highlights how poorly-written the books are by pulling out the most absurd quotes (and adding snarkly commentary, of course). And wow are they awful. The most amusing bits, for me, are the completely banal and pointless descriptions, whether it's an ode to orange juice (actually, beverages in general seem to get a bizarre level of detail) or a description of air travel.

    Hope you've recovered from your cold and are enjoying Sussex or London!

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    1. Those are hilarious, Claire! I would feel bad for laughing at her, but she's laughing all the way to the bank herself, so...

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  2. I was sitting here feeling all dejected, because this time last week I was in Paris, and the sky was blue, and the sun shone, and flowers bloomed, and birds sang... Then I linked to Henry the French Cat, and laughed so much I spilt my cup of tea... Thank you Simon for cheering me up, I guess life is not so bad after all! Enjoy your jaunt,

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    1. I'm so pleased! I can't get enough of cynical cats, online or in literature.

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  3. Okay, am embarrassed but am going to write this. Fifty Shades of Grey. I read a review on it during its extremely early days in a magazine re: Good Reading (Australian publication). I bought it based on this enthusiastic review, okay so my discerning skills don't always work. Then by the time it arrived I had heard/read everything else about it and now it is setting on my shelf and I don't want to read it b/c it sounds awful. But now that I have it I might do the 60 page test I do w/ books and see if it is as bad as everyone says it is and have a laugh. About the watch the cat video. That sounds good. Happy travels.

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    1. Haha! What a confession, Pam! Well, let us know what it's really like, if you brave those 60 pages...

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  4. Have a wonderful trip to Sussex Simon - I went to Charleston in the 80s at the height of my Bloomsbury obsession on a wonderfully sunny day and it was a magical experience. But I didn't see Monk's House so you are very lucky and I hope you have a great time.

    The cat link was wonderful - I have sent it to my children who are always watching silly cat things on YouTube and they loved it to.

    Also enjoyed the review of 50 Shades which has made me even more determined I won't read it. I sigh sadly every time I see people reading stuff like that and Twilight when there are so many good books out there to be read (to each their own I suppose!)

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    1. Thanks, Karen - it was a lovely trip, worth the ages we took to plan it! In the 80s people still lived at Monk's House, using all the Woolfs' things - can you imagine??

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  5. I loved the BookRiot piece on 50 Shades of Grey. So so so funny. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I do love a hatchet job now and then!

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  6. How did you find "Among Booksellers"? I told you about it :)

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    1. Ahha! That explains it - thanks Alison!

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  7. Still laughing over that 50 Shades review - thanks for the link which I'm going to steal. And Claire's link! Snort....

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