Friday, November 18, 2022

Quote du jour/Ross MacDonald

The walls of books around him, dense with the past, formed a kind of insulation against the present world and its disasters.
     Ross Macdonald

I came upon these words near the end of my book, The Diary of a Bookseller, and they rather stopped me in my reading. I am very struck by the truth of them when it comes to my own life. My books are indeed a kind of "insulation". Looking at a shelf, or taking out a particular book seems to soothe me when the world is a bit much. I so don't understand this new trend I've read about where people want all their music on a phone and their books on a Kindle. What must their homes, their "insulation" look like? And this other trend of simplicity and spareness is beyond me. I love my books, records, CDs, DVDs, pictures, photographs, cookbooks, recipe boxes, old worn furniture. They are the signs of me, of my life, of who I am. That "I am", period. Not that I necessarily have to have them to be a real person, but they are, for me, my heart and soul. 

Have you read anything by Ross Macdonald? I looked him up, and saw the words "hard boiled" and I'm not really one for that kind of book, but I could be convinced to give him a try.

Walking around the house...

Monday, November 7, 2022

Book connections

 Years ago when I read and wrote about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I mentioned the way a book you are reading can lead you to others, just by a mention. 

Well, my current print book (on sidebar) is one that the local library email recommended. I immediately signed up for it, and began the book a couple days ago. I have gotten through just a very few pages because I have been caught by so many titles that I have to put the book down and come to the computer to learn more. 

George Orwell's "Bookshop Memories" - an essay I now have on the desktop.

Three Fevers by Leo Walmsley - a title that had me visiting the LW society and reading about his books and his life. And which sent me to Stuck in a Book because I just knew that he would have read this author.  

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell.

The Bankrupt Bookseller Speaks Again by William Y. Darling.

Ian Niall, who was mentioned by the author as having believed that the "land of milk and honey" was Galloway (Scotland) "in part because there was always an abundance of both in the pantry in the farmhouse in which he grew up, but also because, for him, it was a kind of paradise." Well, that certainly caught my interest and I have found in my searching that he is definitely someone I must read. 

All this in five pages! I'm sure there will be more to come in this wonderful book.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Quote du jour/from Call The Midwife

 I wish I'd written down the date I began watching all of Call The Midwife on Netflix. It has been a few weeks now. I've put aside The Great British Baking Show (still known to most as GBBO!) and Gardeners' World. It has been a supreme joy to see the episodes one after another. I have filled many post-it notes with quotes.

This is from episode 8 of series 9, spoken by Vanessa Redgrave at the start of the show. 

"When autumn starts to dampen into winter, should we say, 'the nights are getting dark'? Should we thrust our hands into our pockets and anticipate the chill? Or should we say, 'light the fire, draw close, it will not be as cold as you imagine'?"

And at the end of the episode.

"The seasons will always turn, the clouds will gather and the cold will come. We will survive them. We will grow regardless of the weather. We will know wonder where there has been despair. There will be happiness, and we will remember it. There will be friendships which we won't forget. Love is the constant whereby we endure all winters and all storms. It is the climate in which all things can thrive. Welcome the darkness. Embrace it as a canopy from which the stars can hang. For there are always stars when we are where we ought to be, amongst the faces we love best, each with our place, each with our purpose, as fixed and familiar as the constellations. The darkness is beautiful, for how else can we shine."