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  • Biography
    I read mainly contemporary North American Literature.
  • Location
    West Midlands
  • Interests
    Reading, cinema, travelling. very idle gardening

BrumB's Achievements


Resident (4/5)

  1. I'm off to hide in the air raid shelter at the bottom of the garden! Good idea about sending it back though, Granny Weatherwax - any suggestions for an appropriate comment - afraid I haven't the stomach for a dog turd?
  2. Has anyone else received a letter this morning from David Cameron setting out his brief and asking for money? I am not now nor ever have been a member of the Conservative party, have never voted for them and have always sent canvassers away from my door in no doubt as to my political leanings, so why me? However, I am impressed at the speed of this letter arriving! What's going on?
  3. Hazel, I'm sorry school spoilt Little Women for you. I haven't read Behind the Mask but shall do so now. There's nothing worse than reading a book with that cloud 'the best...whatever' hanging over it. I agree that parts are twee and unbelievable to us but referring back to a previous thread, I think it does make a difference to know something of Louisa May Alcott's background when reading Little Women as an adult. You probably already know that the story is based very much on her own family experiences. Her father was a liberal educationist and a dreamer who involved his family with an early commune and, from what I remember, more or less gave up supporting them in any useful way. This meant that Louisa and her sisters had to work at whatever they could to support the family. She eventually became a nurse and a suffragette as well as a writer. and the mother of her dead sister's child. I think it is a mistake to read Little Women as a sentimental novel without understanding the background. I do have her biography somewhere but can't find it to put the reference here - sorry about that. I recently re-read it and enjoyed it just as much as when I was a child. I hope you will reconsider confining it to Room 101! What Katy Did was written by Susan Coolidge but that is a whole other story!
  4. General ideas for cool grandmothers that I know would include alcohol, books (probably something new that you like as well), cds (see books) and dvds (see books). Absolutely no chocolate, Michael Palin, David Attenborough, world music or nostalgia!
  5. Don't worry Claire I realised you didn't think it had been set in Bradford but it was interesting that you saw most Victorian cemetaries as similar. I read this when it first came out and before I had really heard of Tracy Chevalier. The details are now rather vague in my head. Oddly enough I think the relationship that stayed mainly with me was the one between the girls and the boy, Simon - the gravedigger's son (?). So the class division must have struck me more than the suffragette movement - a bit worrying! As literature, I loved the graveyard metaphors of the urn and the angel. What surprises me when you walk round Victorian cemetaries is how similar the monuments are compared say, with those in a country churchyard. In my experience you seldom get the same sense of the individual or the passing of time. But they are certainly grand places and tell their own story. Think I'll read this again! Thanks, Claire.
  6. First of all CJS welcome to BGO. In answer to your post, I'm very dubious about lists of best books so why don't you follow your interests - much more fun. Can't see why any reader of any kind of book should call themselves a 'cultural loser'! I haven't read any Herbert but believe he is rather scary so you could try The Brothers Karamazov, The Trial, Brave New World, 1984 if you haven't already read them. If I were to recommend my favourites from the list from when I was your age they would be Catch 22, Catcher in the Rye, Lucky Jim, and To Kill a Mocking Bird so that certainly dates me!
  7. I loved this book and, for some reason, imagined it as set in Stoke Newington cemetary. Somehow it seemed to me to be a peculiarly London book so it was interesting to see that Claire could place it in Bradford.
  8. BrumB


    I feel just the same and as a member of Bookcrossing, I now pass on even more books. This is partly due to lack of space. However, I regret it some ways because I have some interesting books inherited from my parents and relatives which are very much of their time and are really entertaining. By keeping 'worthy' books I wonder if my children and grandchildren will get as much pleasure from what I have.
  9. BrumB


    Thanks, Flingo - that makes sense but I think there is a difference between a book which has been misused and one which is well read. I'm certainly more careful with books that would be difficult to replace and no longer lend them to other people - have lost too many that way. I think the availability of cheap books via the internet has somewhat changed my way of thinking. Not sure if it is a good thing or not.
  10. 8 - didn't get the Falstaff one and, worse, didn't get the Hamlet. Ouch!
  11. This one may be apocryphal but is said to be in a churchyard in Cheltenham Here lie I and my four daughters Dead of drinking Cheltenham Waters If we'd but stuck to Epsom salts We wouldn't be lying in these here vaults.
  12. Very disappointing but, however you look at it, there is no getting away from the basic misogyny of Taming of the Shrew so why try. It might have worked better if there had been more wit and less silliness. Hard to imagine that anyone would be turned on by a Katherine who sounded more like an alien than a person.
  13. BrumB


    Slight diversion from Bookmarks, but I like books to look read. Part of reading for me is when and where I read a book and who else has read it. I am struggling at the moment to throw away a two volume copy of War and Peace which has travelled all over the world and was last read by my son on a Greek beach. The cover is falling off and it smells vaguely of Ambre Solaire. I have already bought the Wordsworth edition replacement but somehow the old, used copy keeps finding its way back on the shelf. I am interested to know why you would want a copy you have read to be in pristine condition?
  14. Thanks, David. I suppose I should know this by now. It's just that all those Sunday magazines with people dressed in silk and velvet serving dainty canapes and champagne confuse me.
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