Friday, 29 May 2015

52 Books In 52 Weeks - week 22

I think this is week 22, I know I didn't blog last week and the week before was 20, so logic dictates this is week 22. But, I may be wrong, I have been wrong before.

The subtitle of this week's blog post is Kind Hearts And Gentle People, my two reads were by Alan Titchmarsh and the lovely Clare Balding. As our good Queen reputedly said, Alan Titchmarsh has given a lot of ladies a lot of pleasure. Myself included. I could say the same for Clare Balding!

First up is Alan Titchmarsh, Bring Me Home. Alan Titchmarsh is one of those authors who promises a lot but then fails to deliver. Sorry, Alan, but I have to say this. The book covers are always lovely, either an atmospheric photograph or a lovely water colour painting. The blurb on the back always reads well. The idea for his story is always brill, but somehow he falls down in the telling. We are usually cracking along at a cracking pace and then there is an awkwardly written sentence or a clumsy bit. I can't talk, I'm not perfect either, but then I'm not writing and selling books. But the ideas for Alan's stories are always quite strong and I feel rotten for being critical. Maybe he needs a different editor, or someone to say, hey, Alan, go rewrite that last paragraph. Anyhow, if he does read this, sorry Alan, I don't like to be mean. Having said all that, I enjoyed the book - Scottish castle, Scottish landscape and scenery. Folk from all ends of the social spectrum. Family get together and family secrets. Say no more.

My second books for this week was Clare Balding's Walking Home. My friend in work has been brought me to the 21st century and shown me how to listen to a podcast. I only really listen to one, though J kindly downloads lots for me. ~And my podcast of choice is Ramblings on radio 4. Clare heads off for a bit of a dander in the company of various walking groups, and chats and walks and chats. The result are some very interesting programmes. Very ordinary people living ordinary lives are often the most interesting. I think that is why I enjoy genealogy so much. Walking Home is an anecdotal book. The chapters alternate between walks with Clare's own family, great outdoors people but reluctant walkers; walking is something you do because you have something to do; and some of the walks which made it into the radio programme. This is a lovely book, I really enjoyed my walks with Clare and the book was just handbag sized. Just the right size for me to read whilst waiting for the Chelsea team to honour us with their presence on their open top bus victory parade last Monday.

For those who are interested, Kind Hearts and Gentle People is a popular song from 1948, written by Sammy Fain and Bob Hilliard, or so Wikipedia tells me. And, I am sorry Alan. If I should die overnight I feel terrible that I was mean about your book. I did love you on Gardener's World though and the Chelsea Flower Show.

The tie in for the 52 books in 52 weeks was GK Chesterton. I love GK Chesterton. He is on my kindle, a fall back for when I want to reread old favourites. Like putting on your favourite slippers. Unfortunately I just didn't have time to reread him this week, but I will, soon.

Helen x

1 comment:

  1. I really like Alan Titchmarsh too, but I know what you mean about his novels. Sometimes I wonder if editors etc don't like to correct or criticise 'celebrity' authors?


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