Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Books and more books

One of the things I particularly enjoy about reading blogs is the number of new books I come across. Reviews of new craft books are invaluable but I also enjoy reading about other books. I learned of Persephone books first from Jane and have since enjoyed reviews on her blog and others. Jane offers wonderful reviews of books as does Karen and I can't promise to offer anything so eloquent but it strikes me that thanks to a number of blogs I have read a few really wonderful books in the last couple of years, books that otherwise I might have missed so I will try to tell you about what I am read from time to time in the hope that someone else might benefit from something they might otherwise have missed.

Books are a constant in my life and books and I go back even further than knitting! I really enjoyed reading Simmy's recent post about the importance of books in the life of her and her family. As a child I was lucky enough to always have books to hand and remember when it was possible for me to buy a new Malory Towers or Famous Five every week with my pocket money, it seems to me that this would not be possible for my children, perhaps I do not give enough pocket money or books are more expensive? Bazaars and second hand shops were absolute treasure troves to me and indeed many of my books are still picked up in the same way. Actually come to think of it I don't give any pocket money although Dylan does earn 20p for practising his guitar (and I sort of resent that but it does seem to be working a treat). We are generous with books though and Dylan now romps through a wide variety of titles by himself while Tilly "reads" regularly and appears to have memorized quite a number of her favourites from cover to cover.

Nowadays I don't hang on to books the way I once did, I try to set as many as possible free with the exception of children's books, cook books, craft books etc. Moving to this small cottage was a considerable downsize and many books had to go (actually several hundred of them are still in the rented storage unit which we still cannot quite seem to downsize!). However, downsizing apart, it would seem there are still a few books in the house.

I love reading to the children although my heart does fail a little when faced with the prospect of "walking through the long wavy grass" for the 780th time. Consequently I frequently buy new books to read to them, Tilly still loves pictures but Dylan and I are more excited by adventure. Recently Roald Dahl has offered some form of compromise and we have a wonderful colour plate edition of Wind in the Willows which we are about to embark upon, it will be the second time around for Dylan but he is looking forward to reading it again.

Swallows and Amazons arrived today and I am looking forward to sharing this on the sofa, I haven't read this book, somehow missed it as a child so it should be a real treat for all of us. We love rhyme books too, Dr Zeus is very popular with adults and children and as for Spike Milligan, what could be more fun than to go exploring in the Ning Nang Nong.

I think perhaps I will "review" one book each week, perhaps the one I am reading or perhaps a children's favourite. I do hope I won't bore anyone too much but rather introduce you to a new book every now and again.


Blogger Arianwen said...

I shall be interested to hear how you get on with swallows and amazons. It is also one I missed as a child but, I now wonder if it is a little quaint for the children of today. I tried my eldest on the famous five books a few years ago and she was less than impressed. Although, she avidly reads the likes of Jacquline Wilson and Philip Pulman. When she was smaller and again with the other two I have read abridged versions of classics These combined with the illustrations of Christian Birmingham went down well with everyone.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 7:42:00 pm  
Anonymous kim said...

I would most certainly not be bored. I loved books as a child, my favorites being Dare Wright's "Take Me Home" (actually all of her books) and Ramona the Pest. Of course Judy Blume books were huge as I got older. How nice to remember these childhood treasures. And how wonderful that you can share your favorites with your own children.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 8:06:00 pm  
Blogger marit said...

I'm looking forward to any book review-I love books, and read a lot. I used to read to my children, but now they read by themselves- and Roald Dahl is certainly one of their favourites!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 9:44:00 pm  
Blogger Willow said...

I have a life goal of owning and reading all of the Newberry Award Winner books. I have discovered that I already own many of the Newberry Honor books from various years as well. I took a children's literature class in grad school and it changed my reading life. Any book worth reading to a child should be worth being read by an adult.
My favorite (this week)? The Melendy books by Elizabeth Enright. The prose is so rich and powerful I feel drunk.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 5:35:00 am  
Blogger willow said...

My eldest son (now 17) was looking over my shoulder as I read your post. I read to him at bedtime for years and Wind in the Willows is one of the books he remembers. Also Robinson Crusoe, which he might not have tackled on his own as a small child but he enjoyed being read to. Our greatest reading marathon though was the whole Narnia series which he tells me I read for 10- 15 minutes each night and took us ages to finish. I remember looking forward to the quiet reading time each evening and it was nice today to hear how much he remembered and enjoyed it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 7:08:00 am  
Anonymous kim said...

I just thought of another one. Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards. I loved that book!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 12:49:00 pm  
Blogger Thimbleanna said...

I, for one, would never be bored by a book review! Like you, I love books. And Roald Dahl! Have you read The Twits? One of my very favorite "life lesson" passages for children comes from The Twits. There is a passage where he describes Mrs. Twit and it says something like if you're full of bad thoughts you'll be ugly on the outside. I so wish I had The Twits here with me to quote it (I'm sitting in an airport) 'cause it's just SO cool! Bring on the book reviews! ;-)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:37:00 pm  
Blogger Flavaknits said...

Nina Nang Nong - my favourite childrens poem - got a marvelous book of Spikes Childrens Poems. Even my 3yr old pretends to read his Thomas Book. Not at the classic childrens book stage yet, but like to read to them all the time . (Eldest is into Captain Underpants books courtesy of hid Godfather!)
Roahld Dahl is a big hit (audio books are lifesavers for long car journeys)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 9:26:00 pm  
Anonymous sal said...

I've been book obsessed since a small child and having finally realised I can't keep buying as many as I read I've passed most on and am now extremely regular at the library! I've found some novel writers who's work covers Scotland where I moved to and one recently specific to this area 200 years ago! I loved it! My favourite as a child was 'The Magic Tree' very imaginative but I reread it recently and still enjoyed it!

Thursday, May 17, 2007 7:50:00 pm  
Blogger Karen said...

Snap! I spent my pocket money on Malory Towers and the Famous Five (and pony books).

Friday, May 18, 2007 12:41:00 pm  
Anonymous marjorie said...

I too love books and we have them all over the house, but I am really trying to downsize in the book department because it seems that a move is in our future, within the next year. I really must get rid of some stuff. And having said that, I must confess that I cannot stay away from garage sales. I just bought an antique treadle sewing machine. my second one.) Oh dear.

Monday, May 21, 2007 11:49:00 pm  
Blogger Mary deB said...

I hope you like Swallows and Amazons. My son read them last year and really liked them. I used to love the Enid Blyton books, like Castle of Adventure and that series, but now I find they are too full of bad-guy stereotypes for me to sit through.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 3:16:00 pm  
Blogger Cherry Rolfe said...

So glad to know, as I might have guessed from your aesthetic, that you are a Yarnstorm reader. Ahhhh!!!! Books..... even in a tiny cottage that has raised two fine humans without the aid of storage space, there is room for books. Persephone!!!!! Aaaaaaah!! Swallows and Amazons Aaaaaah!! Your children will thank you.

Thursday, May 24, 2007 9:03:00 pm  
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