Monday, 25 October 2010

Books etc.

I have been having such good book karma recently... everything I've read over the last couple of weeks, I've really enjoyed, even those random books that jump into the pile from the library. First there was Anthony Capella's "The Various Flavours of Coffee", the story of a Victorian coffee merchant, which was much more thrilling than it sounds. My next book was a just-can't-wait-until-Christmas-to-give-it-to-you-present from my Best Friend, "Diary of a Provincial Lady" by E. M. Delafield. Oh my goodness, this was wonderful, and what's more came in this beautiful Cath Kidston edition. Next was the new Maggie O'Farrell, "The Hand That First Held Mine", which is simply the best book about motherhood that I've ever read and - possibly - one of the best books I've read in ages. And finally, "Tortilla Curtain" by T.C.Boyle, an American novel about the lives of illegal Mexican immigrants - not at all easy to read but still a book I'd absolutely recommend.

To continue on the literary theme, I've been to hear two writers speak about their latest books too. First Best Friend and I went to hear Lionel Shriver speak. She reads brilliantly and speaks with such erudition and intelligence, I could have listened to her for hours. Then on Thursday Lovely Husband and I took the Beautiful Girl to hear Anthony Browne speak about his role as Children's Laureate. We met him afterwards and he was very sweet to the Girl, signing a copy of his latest book for her.

I now find myself in a strange state of limbo, having read everything on my shelves at least once and am at a bit of a loss as to what to choose next. What have you been reading recently? Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated!

Edited to add: I went with the new Lionel Shriver, "So Much for That" and I loved it. An incredible beggars-belief story, masterfully told. Highly recommended. The good book karma continues....

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Too Much of a Good Thing?

I have a mild obsession with eating seasonally. This is less to do with a worthy high-mindedness about food miles and supporting local business - important though they may be - and more to do with simple greed. I like to eat food when it tastes best and it tastes best when it's in season. I would no more want to eat strawberries at Christmas than I would a shepherd's pie on a July afternoon. At this time of year my thoughts turn to soup - butternut squash, please - to pears and mushrooms. But principally to apples and to the pig. It was only when I considered what I ate one day this week that I wondered if I was becoming slightly too obsessive: for breakfast, apple and cinnamon granola; for lunch, a ham roll and an apple; and for dinner.... sausages with apples cooked in the pan with them. Oh, and a slice of homemade apple cake. Could this be considered Too Much of a Good Thing? The thought of the roast pork with crackling and apple sauce I am planning on cooking this weekend would suggest not....

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Snatched moments.....

The combination of a meeting I'm attending finishing earlier than I expected (how often does that happen?) and the Beautiful Girl having a playdate after school, means I find myself in the city centre by myself with a couple of hours to spare. I decide to get an early start on the Christmas shopping then almost immediately give it up as a bad job. Instead I get my nails painted a luscious plum colour that makes me happy every time I admire them. Which is often.