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Tuesday 28 March 2023

Best non-fiction book I've read

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews was an interesting one. I read a lot of non-fiction in various areas, most often Richard III or on America - I've just finished Kate Andersen Brower's books on the presidency and they were excellent. However the one that came to mind here was "The Brontes" by Juliet Barker.

"The Brontes" isn't a quick read - it's a tome, but Barker's research is in-depth and fascinating. I live reasonably close to Haworth and the Bronte Parsonage, so the Brontes have always interested me, and Barker puts a lot of effort into debunking a lot of the Bronte myths and bringing unknown facts to light. She also gives my favourite Bronte, Anne, her due by going into plenty of detail about her life and writing, which a lot of previous biographers tended to skip over.

So what's the best non-fiction book you've read? I'm always open to a new one.

Tuesday 21 March 2023

A famous book I've never read and why

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews took a bit of thought. I went through a phase many years ago of trying to catch up on my classics, so I got quite a lot of famous books under my belt in those years. I can, however, come up with one I've never managed to get through.

"Tom Jones" by Henry Fielding.

I tried, I really did. I even had a go at the Clandestine Classics version Totally Bound brought out. But it was no good - I just couldn't do it. It's so wordy and so little seems to happen that I simply gave up.

I did initially consider mentioning "Nicholas Nickleby" for this as well. I like some of Dickens, but I prefer his more deeply psychological books like "David Copperfield". I found "Nicholas Nickleby" to be too heavy on the comedy.

So which famous book have you never read?

Tuesday 14 March 2023

Favourite historical personage to read about

 Firstly, I love this topic from Long and Short Reviews, just because I love the word "personage". We don't hear it enough these days.

In any event, I love history, and in the past I would definitely have said Henry VIII for this. I spent a lot of time reading about him and his wives - it was a remarkable period in history and all six of his wives were interesting to read about, especially Katherine Parr. However, after I started reading further back and got into the Wars of the Roses, I changed my mind about my favourite historical figure.

Now it's Richard III.

Richard is becoming better known in recent years and there is a lot more debate as to whether he genuinely did kill the Princes in the Tower. Personally, as a staunch Ricardian, I don't believe he did it. I'm leaning towards Henry VII myself, although there are some interesting theories about one or both of the princes possibly escaping and surviving into adulthood. Until we're able to test the bones found in the Tower we'll never know for sure.

It also helps that I have scoliosis myself, so that's something I share with Richard III.

So who is your favourite historical personage to read about?

Monday 6 March 2023

Something funny that happened to me

 I had to think about this topic from Long and Short Reviews. I had a few funny things that had happened to me at work, but figured it was probably best to avoid mentioning those in case former bosses got annoyed. So I eventually remembered something which wasn't particularly funny at the time, but did make me laugh afterwards.

I used to drive a Kia Soul Burner. These were fairly unique in that they only came in black with a dragon decal down each side. It was very rare that I saw another one, and if I did, the other driver and I would often wave to each other. Needless to say, they were very distinctive, which proved to be useful one very hot Saturday when I had popped to the supermarket.

I got back to the car, went to reverse out of the space and found the gears had got stuck. No matter what I did, I couldn't get it out of reverse, neither could I get the car to move in any direction (which was probably for the best given it was in reverse). So I called the RAC and explained where I was.

For some reason they were really struggling to locate the supermarket on their system. For pity's sake, it's a huge Asda, it can't be that difficult. They then wanted to know how they would find the car, since it was one of many in a large car park. I told them it was a black car with a dragon down the side, so they couldn't miss it.

Then, since it was a scorching hot day and the car park was fairly empty, I stretched out on the car blanket in the next space and sunbathed.

They showed up ten minutes later and, wouldn't you know, had no problems finding me. I don't know if it was the dragon or the blue-haired freak lying in a parking space, but they came straight to me. They also managed to fix the gearbox without having to take the car away, so I made it home about half an hour later.

My husband's comment was "It could only happen to you."

So what funny things have happened to you?