At the Spindyeweaver's meeting on Saturday conversation got round to what books do your read. It got me considering, especially when most of the authors I trotted out were unknown to some. Books and reading them have played an important part in my life - I learnt to read before I went to school, my grandfather would read to me (Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Coral Island, Phoenix and the Carpet - the Victorian novels he had read as a boy) and before long I was reading along with him and then without him, jumping forward to find out what happen next. My early reading was influence by my Victorian grandparents, and an English teacher through whom I explored genre of ripping tales for boys - the names of the authors are long gone from my memory but the heroic escapades live on - flying over the Amazonian Forests to find lost tribes of cannibals - beating a path through tropical undergrowth to find the source of a river - all were exciting and not supposed to read by little girls who should have playing with their dolls.
I got my love of history from the Jean Plaidy books centred around the Queens of England, I experienced the Regency period through Goergette Heyer and the Industrial Revolution through Alexander Cordell's "Mortymer Trilogy" especially Rape of the Fair Country, and the horrors of working class survival by Catherine Cookson. The wars with the French I experienced with Hornblower (another of Gramps favourites) and Jack Aubry - I have the complete series... I discovered the universe and for several months read nothing but books on astronomy, and my knowledge of the solar system saved the day when school inspectors arrived unannounced, and I gave a lecture quoting verbatim large chunks gleaned from my recent obsession. I have even read Lord of the Rings - didn't like it but I stuck with it to the bitter end - and that is one of the few books I have gladly given away........
As you can see I read voraciously, Mr S says that I devour books, and I have eclectic tastes. Our many bookcases (we have ten at the moment all full to overflowing) stand testament to the reading habit, which I am happy to say he shares. There have been men in my life that haven't been readers - they didn't last long!!
Obviously for my degree and research I read academic historical tomes, but for leisure? Books on spinning, dyeing, weaving, knitting, jewellery making, polymer clay, beading, wood turning, cooking - the list goes on - if I've tried it I have a book on the subject. Current authors on the must read list are:
Sussana Gregory - her Matthew Bartholomew series set in post plaque England, Robert Goddard (intrique and murder always with a twist), Ann Granger (murder in the Cotswolds), Rebecca Shaw, sometimes too good to be true, but easy when the brain needs a rest, Anne Perry(Victorian murder mystery), Kate Sedley (murder solving chapman from Medieval Bristol), Jean Auel (the life of a Cro-Magnon women). PD James, Ruth Rendell, Candice Robb (Medieval York), Michael Jecks (Medieval Devon) , Michael Tremayne (800th century Ireland), Sarah Dunnant (Renaissance Italy) to just name a few - the latest find Kate Ellis and her crime stories with an archaeological twist in Tradmouth (Dartmouth)
Why, well I have to pack and move my extensive library because next Monday we are putting down a new bamboo floor in the big sitting room, the room has to empty.......... this means that I am currently sat, just, at my computer in a room stuffed to the ceiling with boxes of fibre, yarn, fabric and books. My sewing machine, spinning wheels, looms and all the paraphernalia connected with my many and diverse hobbies have to be packed away
Self preservation being high on my list of priorities I am going to stay on a friend's farm in the caravan for a week - this means that I get to spin, knit and read while chaos reigns in 'chez sassy'............... Well I'd get in the way spread dust with my wheels and generally get in the way wouldn't I? That's my story and I am sticking to it..................