Bedside Table Critique

A few weeks ago I wrote about some books that I’d borrowed from the library.

At the time I said something foolish, like I find PD James comforting.  The Private Patient wasn’t comforting.  It was dull.  The characters were so stiff and un-interesting it was hard to tell the dead from the living.

I couldn’t honestly believe that several people who shared a house completely refrained from gossiping because their employer did not approve of such a thing.  Are they kidding?  A patient has just been strangled to DEATH and no-one gossiped about it?  And no-one left, resulting in 2 more murders.  Bugger that, I’d be out of there at first light after the first murder.

So all in all it was boring.  Even imagining Daglish in the novel looked like Martin Shaw when he was Doyle from The Professionals didn’t help.  I was only 7 when that tv show finished but my sister who was 11 years older than me kept a photo of him stuck to her dressing table mirror.  This has, as you might be able to tell, left a lasting impression on me.  If you don’t know what Martin Shaw looked like in 1981, check this out.  See?  I told you.

The second novel I read was Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy.  After The Private Patient this book was a breath of fresh air.  It gave me the comfort I craved.  It didn’t challenge me too much, didn’t horrify or plant itself inside my brain for weeks to come.  It told an interesting story and wrapped it up with a big red happy ending bow.  I thought it would when I started reading, just as I know that Adam Daglish will get the murderer in the end.  But the journey along the way in Minding Frankie and the characters that were delivered with it were just so much more interesting.

So, what’s on my bedside table now?  Well lots of people gave me great book ideas as feedback to the post on Facebook, but I forgot to take my list with me when I went to the library last – face-palm.  Surely there’s some sort of phone app for that?  Just Googled it.  There is. Of course I’d then have to get a new phone so I could use the app.  Hmmmm…  Anyway – I’m reading Ian Rankin’s Black and Blue at the moment and I am thoroughly enjoying the train wreck that is Rebus.

I’ve hooked in to Goodreads as you can see on the side bar and I have my list written out and ready to go for the next library visit (barring an iPhone or Android fairy visiting during the night).  Thanks for the ideas – keep them coming.

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Completely Lost for Words Wednesday

A while ago, I described how my youngest son got his nickname This Dog Bruce (Bruce for short).

I haven’t been able to find that book again.  Imagine then, the moment when Bruce pulls a book out of his library bag to show me, saying he chose it because he likes the funny dog on the cover, and it is – ta-dah – This Dog Bruce.  I was truly gobsmacked.  And thrilled.  Him too – can’t you tell?

This Dog Bruce with "This Dog Bruce"

A visit to the library

On Saturday, I took Bruce and Squidge to one of our Council’s libraries.  The librarian charged with engaging youth in our area has started a lego club.

It gives the boys a chance to play with more of their favourite toy, be challenged into trying new things, and be inspired by what other kids are doing with lego.  It also gives them, post the lego club, an opportunity to nag me about new lego they would like to own (aaarrrghh!).

For me, it’s an opportunity to browse the library ailses and choose a couple of books I might like to read.  Invariably though, I’m frozen by indecision and more often than not turn to an author I’ve read before.  This week I came home with a P.D. James and a Maeve Binchy.  Hardly hard literature.

So this is what I now have on my bedside table:

My pile o'reading

Aside from P.D. James and Maeve Binchy I’m reading Muddle Earth which was a book given to Squidge for his birthday last year.  He seemed to enjoy it, so being a fan of Lord of the Rings I thought I’d give the spoof version for kids a go.  I don’t mind it, except for the characters constantly telling each other to Shut Up.  That’s getting on my nerves.

The rather large wadge of paper is a children’s book my DB has finished writing.  I find it laugh out loud funny and I’ll be sure to post when it’s published.  He’s given previous drafts to friends with kids and they in turn have passed it on to their friends.  He’s got good feedback on it and people have asked when the next one is coming.

I’ve not yet started on Maeve.  I read one of her books over Christmas and enjoyed it for an easy, Christmas read.

I find P.D. James comforting.  I know what to expect.  Sometimes that’s what I want in my bedtime reading.

The notebook at the bottom of the pile has been usurped somewhat by this blog.  I think it looks rather forlorn and neglected.  I’ll have to rectify that.

What’s on your bedside table?  I need inspiration for when these books are due back in a couple of weeks!