The final week. Only two months late. Fail. But still, now I can go back to normal blog posts that will hopefully happen a bit more frequently. I heard there was a second one running through July. Haha. Jog on, son.
Day 22 – Out of print
The Log of the Ark – Kenneth Walker (illus. G Boumphrey)
This is a lovely children’s book from 1923, though I first read it when I was already an adult. It is a different take on the story of Noah’s Ark, featuring talking animals and a few now sadly extinct species such as Luminous Puffins and Wumpety-Dumps. It is funny and heart-breaking and beautifully explains why some animals hunt others. All the animals start off as friends, but by the end of the journey (through the slimy, nefarious deeds of the Scub) tensions are mounting… If you ever find a copy; grab it. The one on our shelf is falling apart from numerous re-reads.
Day 23 – Made to read at school
Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
Writing essays about books often ruins them forever, but I still think fondly about Far From the Madding Crowd. I’m not desperate to read it again, mind, but when you wade through the bucolic idyll there’s some weighty issues in there. Illegitimacy, women’s lib, sex and death and obsession… it’s all there. Like the Archers before the Archers.
Day 24 – Hooked me into reading
Redwall – Brian Jacques
For all I stole my sister’s books, or got in fights with her, she sometimes read to me when I was little. I have no idea why this occasionally happened. I asked her one day what she was reading, and it was Redwall and she started to read it to me. Wow, what a story! I must have been seven or eight? I could of course read for myself by then, but the Redwall series isn’t exactly light on word-count. By the time I was in secondary, I was pinching the series from her, but it was that first telling of Redwall that lit the fire of storytelling in my brain. Thank you, sister!
Day 25 – Never finished it
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell – Susanna Clarke
This would seem right up my alley, wouldn’t it? But… meh… I just couldn’t get to grips with it. It’s still on my shelf, and I keep promising to re-visit it one day. It’s survived various house moves without getting given away. This winter’s project, perhaps?
Day 26 – Should have sold more copies
I have no idea. I don’t really know if the books I buy are bestsellers or not. All of the books on this list over the whole month I would implore people to buy, or borrow from somewhere. How would I even find out if they sold well? I mean, I can give you some recommendations… Twelve by Jasper Kent is for horror and history fans, Masquerade by Rivka Spicer is for dark romance and urban fans – no fifty shades stuff though – and The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi is for sci-fi, modern exoticism fans.
Day 27 – Want to be one of the characters
Harry Potter and the… – J K Rowling
I mean, come on, I pretty much AM Hermione Granger.
Day 28 – Bought at my favourite independent bookshop
Every cross stitch pattern book a person could possibly want. *pleased sigh* The below is only a selection.
Day 29 – The one I have re-read most often
I have a cadre of favourites that I cycle between. Ready, Player One, The Lies of Locke Lamora, Pride and Prejudice, Chocolat and Feet of Clay. Bitch got range, y’all. Above all of those though, I think I’ve probably read The Girl Guide Handbook more than anything else in my life, ever.
Day 30 – The book I’d save if my house were burning down
Conversations with Spirits – E O Higgins
Like trying to decide which child to save… this was super tough. But given the rainbow-vomit review I did of this book, I had to pick it. If nothing else, he signed the darn thing, so in 100 years when my grandchildren are talking to the android of Fiona Bruce on Antiques Roadshow, hopefully it’ll help them retire to Mars. Plus it is an amazing marble statue of a book.
Well, that’s it, folks! Please look back over all thirty days’ worth, or trawl through the #bookadayuk hashtag on Twitter to find some great reads. My TBR pile grows larger every day…