Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Howards End is on the Landing....

Currently reading (& loving) the newest book from one of my very favourites:

Sorry to have been posting about so many books lately but I just couldn't get out of 'book mode' without a mention of this...
Inside the cover:
'Early one autumn afternoon in pursuit of an elusive book on her shelves, Susan Hill encountered dozens of others that she had never read, or forgotten she owned, or wanted to read for a second time. The discovery inspired her to embark on a year-long voyage through her books, forsaking new purchases in order to get to know her collection again'.
She describes a book which is left lying on a shelf as a dead thing but also a chrysalis, packed with the potential to burst into new life. How often have you picked up a long ago read book which didn't hold much fascination or appeal when you read it only to have a completely different opinion on second reading due to your own maturity, life changing circumstances or emotional journey?
I really enjoyed Susan's literary blog which came to a sudden halt (after starting to read this book, I found out why) and she makes a really interesting point which I have been mulling over for the last few days. I would be interested to hear your views.
''The start of the journey also coincided with my decision to curtail my use of the internet, which can have an insidious, corrosive effect. Too much internet usage fragments the brain and dissipates concentration so that after a while, one's ability to spend long, focused hours immersed in a single subject becomes blunted. Information comes pre-digested in small pieces, one grazes on endless ready-meals and snacks of the mind, and the result is mental malnutrition. The internet can also have a pernicious influence on reading because it is full of book-related gossip and chatter on which it is fatally easy to waste time that should be spent actually paying close, careful attention to the books themselves, whether writing them or reading them."
Whether you agree with any of that or not, if you are a bookworm, (albeit the unfocused butterfly blog addicted variety like me!!) please read this - you won't be disappointed.......s


  1. Dear Susie,
    Please don't worry about posting about books. I love it when people recommend books.It's lovely to hear what others read and very helpful too. Sometimes, one can walk into a bookshop to be greeted by thousands of titles and not have a clue where to start. It's great to go in with a list of titles that have been recommended.
    I'm not so sure if I agree with Ms.Hill's observations. I don't know why there can't be room for all of it....internet AND books or whatever. I'm a great believer in a bit of everything in ones life. XXXX

  2. Here, Here, There can never be too many blog posts about books, down here in deepest France,with no English book shops. One of the things I love to read in the blogosphere are book recommendations, my Amazon wish list is huge now, I am going to have to put in a juicy order soon, so Susie, you book post away.
    Ms Hills observations does give one food for thought, the only thing I can't focus on for a long period of time, since starting blogging is housework, and before I started blogging, I always managed to found another form of housework avoidance!

  3. Found! I meant find, I thought it was only French tenses I had trouble with!

  4. It's something I often think about, the insidious and unfocussed time-consumption of the internet, but I'd be inclined to recognise and manage it rather than give it up. I think I've read all my books, bar the bedside table heap, but maybe it's time to reread them, after reading Susan Hill's.

  5. So glad you found that book Susie, I thought of you when I saw it on her site. I managed to pick up a signed copy but have not had a chance to read it yet. I smiled when I read her comment because I have to agree. I actually find I am reading books less which saddens me because it is such a natural escape. While I enjoy using the internet for all the obvious reasons, I find that combined with easy access via iphone has changed how I use my down time. I find I am up so late some nights that the only way I can get the light on without hearing complaints from Mr. H is to discreetly read from the iphone. Maybe I should be looking into a kindle....either way...post away on any type of book and as many as you like. I love it!
    Jeanne :)x

  6. I like when you tell us about different books - good to have a list of ones to read... And interesting about Ms Hill's observations re : the internet.... oh dear !! hope my concentration isn't go to disappear altogether! - think I am with Dash though - good housework avoidance (!) and I think moderation in all things - or a little of what you fancy etc...!! X

  7. Maybe it has gone (concentration!!)meant to write isn't GOING to disappear!! S x

  8. The more book posts the better.

    I tend to agree in part about the internet. I think that you can just surf it out of habit, jumping from one thing to another. That is why I actually prefer long blog posts on the blogs I read!!

    If you are not focussed it can be just as brain deadigfying as flicking through lots of rubbish magazines at the doctor's.


  9. Oh Susie, don't ever apologise for blogging about books....the more the better.

    I will have to read this if you've recommended it. Interesting point about internet usage. I have found some blogs are just as well written and nourishing as some books however. Not all books are nourishing or well-written for that matter. I guess in this season of my life, I find a well written post can be just as nourishing and uplifting as a well written chapter, only more accessible. Balance in all things, I suppose. Meredy xo.
    p.s. give your Aga a rub from me.

  10. I saw the movie Howards End. I am sure the book is nothing like the movie. I'll look into it. Just don't make the time to read like I should. I just don't want another book after the third chapter I toss it. Like Jackie
    we need guidance..

  11. Hi Susie
    I agree with all the others.. never look a book post in the mouth!! Funny I used to be an avid book reader and the last few years that has dwindled off.. more so because of tired eyes from work than blogging.. It is so true about re-reading a long forgotten book to find you love it more.. and sometimes the reverse.. I think we associate stories with what is going on in our own lives .. our thoughts and feelings and therefore a book will impact you differently at different stages of life. I have one book I have been trying to read for over 10 years. not because it is uninteresting to me.. in fact the complete opposite... I cannot read a chapter without it prompting me to analyze everything... so much so it halts the flow of the reading .. and everything else.. so I put it down again. One of these days I will make it cover to cover.. funny.. probably one of my favourite books yet I have never read it right through..

    Ms Hill's comment about the internet is interesting.. I find that blogging can sometimes cause a saturation of information or images that can make me lose interest in the original subject.. ie I rarely buy interior magazines now as I get my fix from blogging or internet. this coming from someone who had a lifetime obsession with them.. I think those above that mentioned balance have got it right... sometimes we want quick bursts of information or entertainment.. and other times we want a more in depth read and be able to get lost in a book... balance.. my 4 letter word...

    Great post... prompted interesting conversation... xxx Julie

  12. Hi Susie...just thought of you as I was driving thru Ripley. Looks like a wonderful village and I hear it is filled with antiques! Have you been?
    Sandown Park has a VW extravaganza on this weekend....I have never seem so many Beetle's and Combi's in my life, lots of aging rockers too...kinda cool! An English thing perhaps??
    Hope you are having a lovely day...

  13. Susie,
    I love to have books recommended by friends. They all sound interesting - maybe something to read during my beach trip. Rita

  14. Hi Susie...just thinking about you...I imagine you are reading all sorts of books and will update us on your great discoveries! Take care my friend :)

  15. Hi Susie,

    Just wanted to stop by and wish you and your lovely ones a very Happy Easter. I hope it is full of chocolate-y goodness. Meredy xo.

  16. Susie... a very Happy Easter to you... hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Will be in touch later on when I am back in UK.x