There are some great book review websites and blogs (one of my addictions) and there is no way I would ever be able to do what they do. I know of one site where the lovely lady manages to read three or four books per week, she then writes fabulous long reviews about them. What I would like to do is tell you about some of the books and authors I have enjoyed over the last twenty odd years; thanks to websites like Amazon most of the books are still available.
My reading habit is a bit odd or so I'm told; the thing is I keep certain books for different situations. When I'm writing I seem to stick to biographies, real life story's and travel books. Other times I just love to read my favourite authors, fiction by the boat load escaping into other peoples worlds, that's when I'm at my happiest.
Then I have what I call my 'SUNDAY BEST BOOKS', people of a certain age will remember that when we were young we had clothes that we only wore on Sundays and special occasions. Well I have books like that, I think it's because I have been reading some authors for so many years, I like to treat their books with lots of love and respect, that's not saying I don't treat all books with repect, but these just have that little bit of extra love given to them, am I being stupid I don't know
If one of my favorite authors has a book out say in February and I know I have a holiday in June I will save it until then, because I know I won't have to rush through it. This list does get added to all the time, at the moment I think there are about twenty authors on it; one author was only added just last year but her book has become one of my all-time favourite reads, more about that in a later blog.
I do think you have to be in the right mood for for certain books, even down to what time of the year it is, I did say I was odd didn't I and the older I get the worse I become. My obsessive reading habit all started with one book and to this day it's still one of my all-time favourites, even though it was written way back in 1992.
The book I'm talking about was written by Robert James Waller 'THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY', let me tell you about the book and how I came to read it.
I first started to read this book at Gatwick airport; I was going on holiday to the Canary Islands. The book had been featured in a big way on The Oprah show, all of America seemed to be talking about it. When I'd got myself settled in my seat on the plane, an older lady sitting next to me had noticed the book, she remarked that she didn't think it was a good idea for me to be reading it now and suggested I saved it for my holiday as I would probably get upset, and perhaps being on a plane wasn't the best place for, well lets say being emotional.
As the story unfolds it's a very hot summer in Madison County Iowa, the year is 1965 a middle-aged photographer, Robert Kincaid is lost, so he drives up to a farm to ask directions. That is where he meets Francesca Johnson an Italian war bride, she is there alone as her husband and children have gone off to the state fair. She directs him to the location he's looking for, but then she invites him to join her later for dinner. During dinner Roberts talks to her about art and poetry; these are things she never gets to talk about with the local towns people. This takes her right back to when she was a Neapolitan girl and not just a bored farmers wife.The next night she invites him back again for dinner and with a little help from a few glasses of brandy, one thing leads to another and thats where I'm going to leave them.
If you have never read this book, I suggest you might like to give it a go, It's a short book and the two characters come to life in an instant. I find that nowadays a lot of books seem to be full of young fit glamorous creatures, so to have a love story about two people in their late forties is so refreshing.
Back to the plane I hear you say, well I managed to finish the book during the flight and just like the lady sat beside me said I did cry, actually I sobbed and when I turned towards her she was crying too. The book was later made into a wonderful film with Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, I loved the film but I was so glad I read the book first.
As well as my favorite books I will in the next few blogs talk about some of my SUNDAY BEST authors.