So Bookish Bloggers has been on a bit of a hiatus – not for lack of willing participants! In fact, I’ve got some great submissions piled up I just lack the time and moral fibre to get them all scheduled. Hopefully the Christmas period will give me some time to get caught up as I really love these posts.
Today we’re hearing from a good friend of mine Danielle who blogs at Someones Mum. Danielle is an ex-teacher and mum to two remarkable children. She writes about general parenting with a strong focus on issues facing parents of children on the autistic spectrum. Danielle is a skilled wordsmith, if you want to know more about her story I recommend the following posts:
She writes about general parenting with a strong focus on issues facing parents of children on the autistic spectrum. Danielle is a skilled wordsmith, if you want to know more about her story I recommend the following posts: Teaching: a ‘family unfriendly’ profession and No apologies – You don’t have to say sorry for autism.
What kinds of books are your favourite? Trashy? Mystery? Classics?
As an English teacher I have a really eclectic taste in fiction. Obviously, there are several canon authors that I love – Austen, Dickens and Hardy. However, I actually read a lot of Science-fiction and Fantasy for pleasure. My absolute favourites are J.R.R Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, Anne McCaffrey and George RR Martin. This is something I don’t freely admit to other English teachers sometimes as I think there is a bit of a stigma about Sci-fi not being worthy literature. I disagree with this as Science-fiction often deals with the most challenging and thoughtful-provoking ideas.
What is the last book you read?
It’s so difficult to find the time to read much these days but I *think* it was actually a Sookie Stackhouse novel by Charlaine Harris (better known as the True Blood TV series) *hides in shame* I do like a bit of sexy vampire escapism in the summer. I did tell you that my tastes were *eh hem* eclectic. *Gets out Ulysses to prove she reads proper literature*
If you could make it compulsory for everyone to read one book what would it be and why?
Goodness – that’s almost impossible. I am not sure I can pick actually. There are several books that have fundamentally changed my perspective on life and art. However, I think part of that amazing connection was down to me – where I was in my life and how the book related to me at that time. Some examples of books that have really changed my perspective are: Midnight’s Children, by Salman Rushdie, Regeneration, by Pat Barker, 1984 by George Orwell and A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. However, I don’t think they would have the effect they had on me for everyone. I guess I would say the most important thing is to keep reading and challenging yourself to try something that offers a new insight or perspective on something. I would just make it compulsory to read one new book, any book, every year. Keep reading and you will find something that speaks to you.
Do you prefer to have a physical copy of a book or do you like using a kindle etc. too?
I genuinely love both. There’s nothing like the feel and smell of a book – new ones that resist a bit as you bend the covers back, others that feel as familiar as old friends. But I love e-books. My kindle means I can take a library of literally thousands of books with me wherever I go. How can that not be a good thing? If I really love a book I tend to have three copies – digital, best hardback and well-read paperback with folded down pages and notes!
What’s the first book you can remember not being able to put down?
The Lord of the Rings – though technically that’s The Fellowship of the Ring as it’s the first in the trilogy. I had all in one volume and in my childhood I read the whole trilogy every summer holidays. I would even pretend I was on the journey with them – I would roam around the garden and pretend I was travelling, eating when they ate and stopping when they did. I even pretended my Garibaldi biscuits were Lembas and my apple juice was Miruvor (an elvish cordial that gives renewed strength). I had quite a sheltered and bookish childhood.
Is the book always better than the movie?
Tough. I think that films and novels often set out to achieve different things. I imagine that a lot of people feel that if they have read a book first, the film is never going to live up to their expectations, as they will have a set idea of what it would be like in their mind. Having said this, I love the Harry Potter films, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the adaptation of Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) and those novels are all huge favourites of mine. I think that if a director really loves the source material, and they seek to capture the spirit that made the text so popular in their dedication and attention to detail, then a film can be every bit as good as a book.
What were your favourite stories growing up?
I loved the Sweet Valley High and Babysitters’ Club books and a series about a girl called Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry, if anyone remembers those! I read a lot of Judy Blume like most girls my age and had whispered conversations about the rude bits in the library during silent reading time. I started on Terry Pratchett pretty early and in fact remember being quite severely chastised by some older children when I laughed out loud while reading Mort on the bus home – “You can’t laugh at books! Books aren’t funny!” When I was a child, books were my closest friends.
Do you kids like reading with you or is it a struggle to get them away from the TV?
Both mine love books and poems. Biggest was shouting lines from The Snail and The Whale back at me before he was two and littlest is always picking things from the bookshelf and bringing them over to either me or Matt to read to her. I love reading aloud (always great to do in lessons and to do voices for characters as the pupils always appreciate a teacher doing something a bit unusual!) and so it’s something I hope we can enjoy together for years to come.
Thank you so much to Danielle of Someones Mum for agreeing to be my Bookish Blogger this week. You can totally tell that she’s a clever cookie can’t you? All the best people were/are book worms – at least I think so anyway.