Of late I have become an obsessive listener to Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4. Clever, famous (not necessarily the same thing) and interesting people are interviewed and asked to choose eight records they would like to have with them on a desert island. I wanted to get to know some of my readers a little better, so thought it would be fun to feature readers and their favourite reads. This spawned the rather natty, although probably not originally named "Reader's Reads".
If you would like to be featured, please contact me via the email button (bottom left of the main page) and I'll email out the bits and pieces to you.
Each reader has a comfy seat, anywhere in the world, real or imaginary, a beverage and snack of their choice and a bookcase which will only hold eight books.
Today's reader is the lovely Chris Hallam, engineer and all round good egg. Chris has a really lovely selection of books to share with us.
I have carefully thought of where I read and I cannot pin it down to a comfy chair! Mostly I read in bed but I do read quite a lot when travelling principally on the tube/train in and around London. Indeed I missed my stop at Vauxhall recently as I was so into David Mitchell’s Bone Clocks! So I think that the photo of the tube seat is most appropriate.
- The one which kickstarted your reading habit
A book that kick started my reading habit? This was difficult and took me back to my childhood. Having been born into a working class family in the fifties, a class which I still fervently belong to, I like John Prescott’s definition of himself; working class but with middle class aspirations, books were not as common in they are now. However I was surrounded by things to read; mainly comics, Victor and Wizard were my staples and Eagle if I had the money. The DC comic books, Superman etc., also played a prominent role but I remember using a public library in Toton quite a lot. It was only a small library but the librarian didn’t seem to mind a scruffy little herb like me using it. I don’t quite remember my age but I’d put in in the 12-14 range, and I must have convinced her that I would return the books as I read an awful lot of sci-fi from there. I also spent many a happy afternoon in there just browsing the shelves, which was in between setting the local fields on fire and making other general mayhem with my mates…
- The one which changed your view of the world
Ian Serraillier’s Silver Sword changed my view on the world. We read it at school and again I can’t quite remember the age but I am sure I was still at junior school. The war was still fresh in many people’s memory then and this book opened my eyes to a wider world and the horrors that it held. I still give it to children in the family. I don’t think any of them have read it but you never know.
- The one you go back to again and again
It’s a children’s book Over Sea Under Stone by Susan Cooper which is a book I have re-read the most. I have read the whole Dark is Rising series 3 may be 4 times but the first book I have seem to like the most possibly due to its naivety.
- The one you comfort read
My comfort read is a genre rather than a book. I worked in the south of France for 3 years in the early 90’s and to help improve my French the librarian at the works library suggested that I start on BD’s, Bande Dessinée, other words a graphic novel in French. I started with Asterix and Tin Tin; Asterix is easier to read than Tin Tin and far funnier. I started reading Largo Winch series which first came out in 1990 and I have purchased every issue since then. They usually come out around the end of November and I read it in the run up to Christmas, a perfect start to the holiday!
- The one which you had an unexpected response to
The one that I had an unexpected response to was the Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. This is the only book of his that I have managed to finish. I was very moved by the ending possibly because as the road ahead is shorter than the one in behind you begin to analyse what you have achieved and is it a legacy that you would want? An easy book to read and highly recommended.
- The one you wish you had time to read
A book I wish I had time to read? There isn't one really. There are lots of books I have started and not finished but that's because they didn't catch my imagination not because I thought I didn't have the time to finish them.
- The one with sentimental value
Sentimental value? Again difficult and again back to my childhood; Rupert the Bear! My father used to read the Daily Express when I was a boy and in those days the Express was a broadsheet. Rupert was one of the cartoons but it was the annual that took my eye because of the colour. When I see a Rupert book these days it takes me back…
- The last one you read
The last book I read was the Bone Clocks, the one I’m reading at the moment is the third of the Game of Thrones series. I love the TV programmes but they deviate from the books and you do get more detail which fills in the gaps which the series doesn’t. Mind you at 1500 pages I do wonder whether I will ever get to the end!
My beverage of choice is: Drink? Water or maybe a bottle of Peroni!
My snack of choice is: Snack would be something salty or maybe chocolate!
Thanks Chris! It totally agree with you on the Silver Sword, and everyone knows how much I love Oversea Undertone!