Where In The Literary World Are You Today?

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Today I am with M. Poirot, we are cruising down the Nile. There are a couple of newlyweds being stalked by a very annoyed ex-bestfriend. This isn't going to end well, I am sure, and the heat is playing merry havoc with M. Poirot's moustache. 

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

The Dark Is Rising Readathon 2015

Isn't the interweb wonderful? Out of the blue I was Tweeted by Danny about a potential The Dark Is Rising Readathon in December this year. Would I be interested in taking part? Hmmm... let me think... Oh go on then! A group read of my very favourite books? I wasn't likely to say no was I?

There is a nice Facebook group, and a Twitter account at @TDiRReadathon. So, anyone else fancy reading them? If you haven't read them, they are wonderful, and I can guarantee you a fantastic weekend fighting the ancient forces of darkness, all set in the glorious British countryside and interwoven with Arthurian legends, across five wonderful books*.

The movie stinks, so give that a miss. 

The books are:

TDiR - Book 1.jpg
TDiR - Book 2.jpg

*Don't be put off that it is five books, they are short, we are not talking George RR Martin length here! 

 

Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell

Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell

Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell

In the summer of 1976 the UK was experiencing a massive heatwave. Now before we get into lots of jokes about British weather, this was actually very serious. We are not used to extreme weather here, and weeks of consecutive temperatures in the high 80Fs and low 90Fs, and no rain led to illness, deaths of the vulnerable and water rationing. We are simply not used to those sorts of temperatures here. We have the same problem when on odd occasions it gets very cold. 

I digress. Instructions for a Heatwave is set during this summer. We meet the Riordan family, Robert and Gretta, and their three grown up children. One morning Robert goes out to get the paper and never returns. The three children return to the family home from their own messed up lives to try and work out where their father has gone. 

The central mystery of where Robert has gone rather takes a back seat for most of the book as we get to know and understand the family. I was a little confused by this, until I got to the point where the enormous metaphorical skeleton in the cupboard was revealed (and it is a biggie). The reader needs to understand the complex history of each of these characters to understand just what a bombshell this particular skeleton is. 

All in all I rather enjoyed this, I don't remember this summer, I was less than a year old, but I do remember the late 1970s, so there was some real nostalgia to wallow in alongside the intelligent look at how and why families operate the way that they do.  

Breakfast and Books in Bath

A bath full of Books at Mr B's Emporium

A bath full of Books at Mr B's Emporium

Well, what a lovely day The Delightful Mr F and I have had in Bath. Bath is always a winner when it  comes to mooching about, eating nice food, drinking coffee and buying books, but today was especially nice. 

We left Fennell Towers early, aiming to have breakfast in Bath. A few months ago The Delightful Mr F had discovered a lovely cafe, Rosarios, which served good coffee and we decided to have breakfast there. It was wonderful. We had poached eggs on potato cakes with smoked salmon and avocado. If the photo of that doesn't make you drool, then I don't know what will. The cafe is just super, full of delicious fresh food, and a lovely friendly atmosphere. It would be a great place to take a book and linger over one of their lovely cakes. 

Breakfast at Rosarios in Bath

Breakfast at Rosarios in Bath

After fuelling ourselves for the day ahead, we hit the bookshops. Bath has three wonderful bookshops, but I am sure you can imagine where we ended up...

Yep, we went to Mr B's, where we saw most of the Mr B's gang. I found a lovely stack of books to take home with me. I can't think of a single instance where I have visited Mr B's and come away empty handed. I feel it was a particularly strong haul this time. 

The Subprimes by Karl Taro Greenfeld looks particularly interesting and Meadowland by John Lewis-Stemple looks a delight. Of course, I had to buy the new Pratchett book. 

So, there we have it. A lovely day out with good food, good books and good company. May the Bank Holiday weather do its worst. I have books to read, so I am happy!

L-Space... Thank you Sir Terry

The Librarian (from Wikipedia)

The Librarian (from Wikipedia)

If you would be so kind as to take a quick glance to the left hand menu bar, you will see an additional button has materialised. It takes you to a list of the Terry Pratchett Discworld novels. His final book, The Shepherd's Crown is released today, and I thought it was about time that my very favourite author had a list of his own on the blog. 

I haven't reviewed as many Pratchett's as you might think, so I will rectify that. In the meantime, head over to Pratchett Job where one brave soul is reading each of the Discworld books back to back and blogging about them. His reviews are fantastic, and his attempt at ranking them is surely going to cause pandemonium! 

I am off to Mr B's tomorrow to pick up my copy of The Shepherd's Crown and will read it over the bank holiday weekend. I am looking forward to it, but whatever the ending of the novel I know I will be sad, as it is the end of the Discworld journey.