Books, life the universe

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Politics and books

I'm usually quite disinterested in local elections but this week's was an absolute gem of the English political scene and brought joy to my heart. I live near Boston in Lincolnshire and councillors for our area sit on the Boston Borough Council. For years Boston has needed a bypass - a proper bypass that is. Currently the A16 goes through the middle of it and there is gridlock every day of the week. Finally we had lots candidates standing as Boston Bypass Independent - with many of them having defected from the main political parties. What happened? They got overall control of the council at the first attempt! This is an absolute triumph for democracy in my opinion - it could only happen in the UK. What their chances of success are is anyone's guess but their going to have a go - and more power to their elbow is all I can say.

Books - I've just finished Nigel Slater's 'Toast' - and very good it was too. Growing up in the 50s and 60s. I remember how fruit cocktail and tinned peaches were a treat for high days and holidays, when choc ices came in silver foil, how the only pre-prepared meals you could get were fish fingers. Whatever happened to Surprise peas? Those little shrivelled green blobs that looked like something you'd throw out rather than eat but tasted delicious after they'd been boiled. And what about Ruffle bars? I also remember coffee crisps - what happened to them? I totally agree with his comment that there's no such thing as a bad crumble!! Thoroughly recommend it for the memories it brings back for anyone growing up in that era. His 'Kitchen Diaries' are very much cookery and food as porn -love it!

I have just bought Tim Pears' 'Blenheim Orchard' and Ian McEwan's 'On Chesil Beach' - thought I'd do some literary reading for a change. I will report back on both of these in due course. I also have William Horwood's 'Dark Hearts of Chicago' to attack as well - but that is going to take a concerted effort as it is rather large, then of course there's Michel Faber's 'The Crimson Petal and the White - another large book, not to speak of Umberto Eco's 'The Name of the Rose'. Somehow I find myself not always keen to start on a large book - unless it is by a favourite author, but I'm sure I'll get there in the end. I've also ordered one of the Mapp and Lucia books by E E Benson. They seem to keep coming onto my radar and are obviously trying to tell me something.

Have also been reading some so called chick lit - Rosy Thornton's 'More than Love Letters' - it makes a change to find a book set in anywhere other than London - this one's set in Ipswich and consists of letters and e-mails with no other narrative. The novel of letters brought up to date. It's still a good format which shows the eighteenth century novelists knew what they were doing. I recommend it for light reading.

I shall sign off as I have bank statements to check, breakfast to eat and a cake to make - and a long weekend to enjoy - no work until Wednesday.


Rosy T said...

Hi, Jilly. Just ran across your blog and saw you'd read 'More Than Love Letters'. So glad you enjoyed it! It's my first novel - fresh out last month - and I am still at the stage of being quite uncontainably excited at the idea that real people out there (i.e. other than my mum) might actually read the book! Excellent blog, by the way. I have just been reading back and finding loads of good suggestions for things to add to my tottering to-be-read pile!

Many thanks for the 'review'!

Rosy x

Jilly said...

Hi Rosy
Thanks for your comment. As you can see I've been neglecting this lately. I need to get a routine going.
I shall look out for your next book.

Rosy T said...

Well, my second novel is due out in three weeks or so.... It's a bit different - not a romance - more a sort of campus novel thingummy, like (sub-)David Lodge for girls.

Glad to see you back blogging now and again.


Jilly said...

Hi Rosy - I have just read your latest comment and have aordered a copy of your new book.