Tuesday, 16 December 2008

i saw, i read, i listened

am just after finishing the book that changed my life ed by roxanne cody and joy johannessen.

i came across it in the library in the you cannot remove this book section, a challenge in itself, but one that i can't help but approve of as it forces the halfway interested reader to sit their ass down and get reading in a public space. and by doing so i managed to get speaking to someone who'll be doing some singing at forthcoming performances. nice.

as to the book itself. it's not a book of criticism nor is it really a book about books that changed my life but more a book of anecdotes, short stories, insights into why and how books can affect the life of the reader. several things were immediately apparent as themes - access to books, the omportance of reading out loud, the nature of the book as escape, the book as ameans of realisation (particularly for the young) that we are not alone

what i also liked was the manner in which many of the contributors didn't talk about the significance of the book, its importance, why everyone should read it but more about why they liked it, what it meant, specifically to them. there were many books for children. very worth a read. very worth a purchase, esp given the charity it supports. they're even good enough to credit calvino's why read the classics which appears on far too few bookshelves

i found this individualistic approach again on my favourite tv this week, okay my only tv this week. here, and worth watching for carluccio's history of italy as told through the medium of biscuits, chef antonio carluccio takes us into the world of lampedusa's the leopard through the medium of the food mentioned within it. quirky, informative and funny and, after the above, yet another book on my to read (again) list.

one of the few perks at work is the computer's continuing ability to play iplayer. i like to sit in my office in the wee hours and catch some radio. this programme took me many attempts to get through it but it was so well worth the effort i may even have to tape it in order to listen to it again. as derek walcott is questioned about omeros, the same themes emerge, the voice, the story. he's sharp and witty. it's a real radio treat. and there's omeros on that list

the carluccio will only be available for another few days and i can;t say for walcott but follow that link into world book club and there's a wealth of other material just waiting....

finally, i was browsing for some poetry today and i came across this. i've no intention of going over the tired old laureate discussion but really how is it even possible we don't have something like this in the uk, let alone scotland. not only that but unlike the usual celebrity driven readings so beloved of the bbc, these are just ordinary folk reading a poem and telling a story. fantastic. this is what poetry should look like


Sorlil said...

oh I love that great poem link, thanks for that.

swiss said...

i'm just looking the world boook club site wondering who i'm going to listen to next. margaret atwood seems likely but so many to choose from!

the poetry link? i like the wee girl but i also like the puerto rican teacher woman. i like her reading in english but it sounds so, so much better in spanish!