And The Books Have Been Chosen

•January 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Yes this is another shameless plug of the very exciting project I am part of called Not The Tv Book Group which I know I mentioned the other day, seeing them all together though don’t they just look gorgeous??!! Isn’t it a great selection. That’s all for now!!

Not The TV Book Group

•January 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a book group where you could talk about a book with people all over the world for a whole day? Well odd you should all be thinking that as it seems there now is and I am taking part in my other more bookish guise as Savidge Reads. It is a venture that I am really, really, really excited about.

I openly admit that I was really pretty darn angry about last weeks TV Book Club it was in the main because of the lack of time given to a book people had spent money and time on. I have nothing against the show as we need all the book shows we can get on TV, I just didn’t think the public were rewarded for their time effort and pounds. Nor do I have anything against Amanda Ross, I don’t know her, I am just a bit jealous of her job ha! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to choose the British publics reading for pounds?

Well until the everso unlikely event of that ever happening I am taking part in The Not The TV Book Group along side Lynne of Dovegreyreader, Kim of Reading Matters and Kirsty of Other Stories. We aren’t trying to ‘take on’ The TV Book Club or to mock it (the title is based in homage to the Not The Booker that the Guardian started), just do something different. We haven’t told any publishers or authors we might know before hand, in fact if they know it will be through out blogs so no favoritism or any marketing is part of this, its just for the passion of reading, its been harder than we all thought too.

As I write this we have just spent a good three hours whittling down a shortlist of eight books from 16. We each spent hours (and I mean hours) toiling over 4 choices to then be whittled down by the group of us as a whole. We had certain criteria we had to match for the intial four alone…

  • Nothing we have read, reviewed or written about before.
  • It must be available in paperback in the UK at the moment.
  • It must have been published within the last five years.

So what is the 16 date schedule, we thought a book a fortnight was more realistic than one a week and we would all like to read other books too, and what are the books… you will have to keep popping by our blogs today to find out, I would suggest early evening maybe. I am a big book tease aren’t I?

Can You Read Me Like A Book?

•January 21, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I have already done this post on the other blog, but then thought that it might be good for those of you who don’t read that and who could get to know me better on here, so here you go…

I got tagged by the lovely Simon T of Stuck in a Book last week in a meme he had created. It’s a great idea and one that, should you wish to, you can all have a go at. You simply go to your shelves close your eyes and pull ten random books of them and then tell your readers what those ten books tell the world about you. Simon says (ha, I normally am on the receiving end of that saying) that you can cheat a bit which is what I had to do a bit as I only took books of my shelves with books I had read on and some of the titles didn’t work. Anyway on with the books which as you can see I carefully arranged on the sofa… sort of.

Blackmoor by Edward Hogan
This is the best casing point of proving that I wasn’t cheating and as soon as I had picked it I thought ‘oh no’ as I couldn’t think of anything it said about me. I then remembered that it is set in Derbyshire and that is where I am from so that tells you more about me doesn’t it.

The Mitford’s: Letters Between Six Sisters edited by Charlotte Mosley
Now you probably already know I am a bit of a Mitford maniac so that’s not really something new. But I am a huge fan of letter writing. I used to write sides and sides of A4 letters to my friends but sadly it’s gone out of fashion, I am thinking I should make some new pen-pals but not sure how you go about it.

The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins
Now after my sensation season I don’t need to fill you all in on how much I love the genre or how fascinated I am by all things Victorian but its worth a mention. Did you also know that I am into all thinks ghostly and though I haven’t stayed in a haunted hotel I worked in on in Devizes and have stayed in a few haunted sites like Peterborough Museum which was once a hospital and a mansion (I even spent a while in the old morgue) I have also slept in the London Tombs a lovely bunch of plague pits for charity.

Animals People by Indra Sinha
India is one of the countries that I most want to go to, fact one. The second fact is that I have always been a big fan of pets. In fact from about 3 years old I had a duck called Rapunzel who lived indoors with us and would fly to me if I shouted her, she was one of the best pets ever. Since then though I have reverted to cats and goldfish, I only have the latter at the moment but we could be getting two little sets of whiskers in the house soon. Very excited! Ooh and thirdly I did my work experience at a vet surgery and was in the Swindon press after we helped save a dog’s life.

Spies by Michael Frayn
My fantasy job, as I soon decided I didn’t want to be a vet, is now to be a spy. It won’t happen in a million years but I would love it, apart from being terrified all the time. It is also why I am addicted to Spooks when it’s on.

The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld
If I had done a degree my aim was to become a psychologist and to go onto do criminal profiling and working out why people kill and how their killings say so much about a killer. I think its fascinating and why I like crime fiction so much and need the occasionally binge.

Daphne by Justine Picardie
Good old Daphers is my favourite author and Rebecca is my favourite book, can’t say more than that can I? Ha!

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
Well I am an avid reader and hopefully the books I read aren’t common. Hmmm, how do I put that better? I hope I read a diverse collection of books. Also apart from age and national treasure status I like to think I have a lot in common with Alan Bennett he’s northern, a writer etc, etc.

The Accidental by Ali Smith
I am one of the clumsiest people you could ever meet, seriously it’s ridiculous. Falling seems to be one of my specialities or bumping into things or tripping, basically anything is a health hazard.

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
This was my only cheat and it’s a bit of a tenuous fact. I am a big fan of cats; in fact as a kid I wasn’t interested in dinosaurs but I wanted a sabre tooth tiger as a pet. So I think if I could be any animal it would be snow leopard or white tiger. I know that’s pushing it a bit but it’s the best I could do.

So there you have it! Who else is up for doing this? I wont tag particular people just leave it up to all of you to have a go at and if you do it do pop a link in the comments, or of course if you have already done it. Do you think these books say a lot about me; do you feel you know me a little bit better?

The TV Book Show Made Me Cross…

•January 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

You all should really know that I am a huge book junkie aka book geek and so I couldn’t really let the last 25 minutes of TV I have endured slip by with out comment. Despite the fact that it’s been one of the most hyped shows in a while I missed ‘The TV Book Show’ last night (because I am a Dancing on Ice addict) but have just watched it first thing this morning with my cup of coffee and toast and have come away in a rather bad mood.

For those of you who have no clue what I have started rambling about we have had a big book club on the television for a few years now called The Richard and Judy Book Club. It’s been a huge hit here in the UK and has seen all the books become best sellers and has made a lot more people get into reading. It was only a ten minute segment on their channel 4 chat show but it was a blissful bookish ten minutes perfectly pitched with the author talking, two celebrities debating the book with R&J and then a book groups opinions on the book. Delightful!

Richard and Judy left Channel 4 taking their book group and a whole heap of money with them and so now Channel 4 have produced a similar show only now we get 25 minutes and five presenters which to me sounded like a dream, until I just watched it.

I am going to forgive the fact that all the presenters seemed a bit too smiley, nodding and talked over one another trying to be the star or the funniest because it was the first show, mind you surely they had rehearsal time. I don’t think we needed a discussion about how David Spikey says ‘book’ for a minute or another minute long chat about how posh Chris Evans thinks Jo Brand has gotten whilst Laila Rouass and Gok Wan pout obliviously the latter livening up for the occasional flirting moment aimed at Nathaniel Parker. Cringe worthy but still forgivable for a first show.

What I cant forgive is the fact that Chris Evans (we all know autobiography sales have dropped so clearly the marketing people on the book show haven’t their fingers on the bookish pulse) got a whacking great ten minutes to talk about himself his book, followed by a segment on unused words The One Show did last week and the actual book choice got a minute of Sarah Waters talking (which was ace) before the book got a quick three minute chat which was summed up by the line ‘it’s worth a read really’.

What really made me frustrated was that for the money the public will have spent on the book (unless its from a library) it is just not right that they are repaid with such a limp small discussion, well chat. What bothers me more is that a book like Sarah Waters ‘The Little Stranger’ takes a long time to read and when you are aiming a book group at parents and people who don’t read as much because they are busy with children, work etc as well as discerned readers its just a disgrace when people invest so much time in a book to be treated to that. (I might even send a strongly worded email its riled me so, for the people in control are sure not to read book blogs if the show was anything to go by.) I might wait a week and see how things go in the next programme. I am really quite annoyed about it though can you tell?

I mean, if I was making the book show I would get rid of the ‘hilarious aren’t we’ or ‘pouting’ panel and get in some book addicts who would happily be paid less (hint, hint, me) and who would enthuse about all things bookish (and not need to have written questions and notes in their copy – yes Mr Spikey I mean you) rather than spend four minutes discussing a book they had to read, and didn’t seem to like without giving any good reasons as to why, to earn the channel and themselves some cash. I would also bring back the Book Groups and their wonderful thoughts on the books. There am done… I feel better now.

Just Call Me Simon Attenborough…

•January 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Trying to have a phone conversation with one of your friends, who is going through a romantic and possible life crisis, whilst sliding downstairs on your back and sliding up again on your front before crawling into your kitchen isn’t easy I discovered recently. Now if you are a close friend who feels sorry for the non existant readership of this blog and who has popped by out of pity then you will already know this story, apologies. So why was I doing this rather mad manoeuver? No it wasnt just because I could, though good reason. I was trying to take this picture (sorry if you are a pigeon lover)…

If you are reading this on facebook (please stop – go to the actual link and subscribe as I need all the readership I can get) then you may have seen today’s enthralling picture taken from my kitchen the other day. Yes this is a Bird of Prey here in South London, apparently a Kestrel which I thought it was though some doubted me. I wasn’t a bird spotter in my early teens for nothing you know. I have just over shared haven’t I?

I havent named her yet but I have seen her a few times now I am wondering if I could tame and train her? I have been reliably informed it is a she by my friend Polly’s Dad. Ha, thats like when you are at school and you say ‘yeah, but I so no that cos my Mum said’ but Henk is a man who would know. It’s odd when something so not urban appears in your urban surroundings. It’s like you suddenly remember the rest of the world exists outside your window, a bit like when it snows terrifically too.

Where was I going with this? I am not sure even I know, I think I just wanted to share that with you. I have since ascertained that I really want a pet. I know I already have two Goldfish (quite likely soon to be one, one has awful fin flop) and a very clever cunning mouse who I almost respect after he can now avoid ten traps in a row and eat the cheese of them. I want something little and cute and fluffy and I think before long there may the the pitter patter of feet and some ‘meewing’ in this house, could get rid of that illustrious mouse too!

Snowy Thoughts…

•January 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I didn’t die of frost bite or anything like that. The boiler is now working wonderfully thanks for asking. It did take about 4 days to get sorted and so things were a little chilly in Savidge Towers. It was suggested I could set fire to my many books… this didn’t go down well. So what news do I have to report on? Well I think that a photo which my Gran sent me earlier in the week really sums up what today’s post is all about…

Thats right, snow. I have to say the mass hysteria over frozen water has been bothering me. I mean really its not the apocolypse is it? Well not this week. I mean growing up in Matlock Bath and living on one of the sides of the steep valleys we just got on with it. Even if there was snow 3ft deep and the walk to school could mame us, kill us or just break all our bones we walked that mile down precipices and back up again in the afternoon.

Even now, well last week, when my teeth were chattering because of the white fluffy stuff and no boiler I wasnt enraged at it… I was with my landlord and British Gas but best not to get started on that. Then suddenly it changed… suddenly it was Savidge vs. Snow. Towards the end of last week, I dont know if it was the mass media hatred of snow infecting me, the chaos it caused to book group, me just being moody or the fact I had started with the lurgy,nI suddenly despised it and couldnt wait for it to all just hurry up and bugger off melt. Most unlike me, ha!

When I woke up the other day to find the only thing outside vaguely resembling snow was dirty brown slush I missed it. I won’t lie. It was no longer with us, like a one night stand you regretted long before you sobered up and all that seemed left was a slightly grey London, a dull London, a snow-less London. I wanted it to come back. Isn’t that always the way of these things?

So this morning when I awoke and was greated to the wonderful two inch thick snow in the street can you imagine what I did? Did I run out in the snow and start making angel shapes on the high street, throwing it in the air and acting like I was three? Or did I simply think ‘bugger… that’s my parcels posted this week never arriving then’ and swiftly shove my head back under the duvet?

I will leave you to decide that one.

Freezing, But So Angry Could Boil…

•January 5, 2010 • 2 Comments


I haven’t blogged sooner as 2010 already seems to be filled with drama and even a little bit of potential death. Honestly it’s been quite exciting, in a highly dangerous and deathly sort of way…

I mentioned that as I awoke to 2010 there was a smell of gas in the air… and I dont mean that sort of gas you rude reader. Well the smell got worse. British (evil) Gas were called and I got told to ‘phone your landlord, it’s their responsibility’ which didn’t seem quite right to me but they are the people who know don’t you know and so I left quite a few messages. No avail until yesterday when angry landlord wants to know why emergency gas people haven’t been phoned. My response ‘I didn’t know they existed didn’t go down to well’.

I spoken with them and so much fear was put into me ‘don’t touch anything electrical, don’t switch anything on, don’t turn anything off’ I almost wondered if I was allowed to breathe. I get its serious, I understand I could have had some sort of poisoning but when did this suddenly become my fault? When did I tamper with the hob/boiler/meter in a plot to kill myself and anyone in a 200 meter radius?

Fair play to them they did send the most miserable technician round to have a look and moan about how cold it was. I did tell him I was aware how cold it was as I had no heating, not even a smile cracked at that, I ask you. Found boiler is leaking quite a lot. Then all gas turned off and he’s gone. Yes gone. No you need to contact so and so, no report given, and no forms to say why everything was off or how to turn it on, which becomes crucial in a moment, just you wait.

Phone landlord and explain, landlord unimpressed has to call builder and actually be paid to do something. Builder (not an engineer) turns up and says if the gas is not on cant fix the boiler, yet this man is qualified to know. Lots of heated debate (in a freezing flat) ensues between landlord, builder and me. Builder looks at boiler as if psychically might mend it. He then spots electrics (pictured) that have been hidden and looks deeply concerned. When you see them you might look concerned… I bloody was.

Builder will come back this morning and fix everything. He will be here ay 9am he promises without fail. Builder comes back this morning two hours late and turns out doesn’t have any spanners with him, leaves at 11 to ‘be back in a minute with tools’. I am still waiting. I think I might have hyperthermia setting in. In fact I ought to stop typing as my frozen fingers might snap and break off… If you haven’t heard from me in a week call the emergency services. Or just assume I have forgotten I have a non book based blog once again.