Once again I want to say thank you for the follows. They mean a lot to me.
This is a more random post today, but it is still book related.
I am from the North East of Scotland, specifically Aberdeen. I’ve lived here my entire life and have grown up speaking two dialects, so to speak. The first of these being English, the second being the regional dialect for Aberdeen and the North East; Doric!
Now Doric is an interpretation of the English language, and is a dialect which originates from the North East of Scotland. Even then certain words can mean different things depending on where in the North East you are. It is a dialect which sadly isn’t as big now, and is more common among the older generations. However I am of the view that it is important to keep this valuable aspect of my culture and tradition alive and that’s why I was so fair trickit (really pleased) when this fell into my lap.
Fit Like, Yer Majesty? A Book of Doric Poems compiled by The Reading Bus
I have had a read through of some of the poems and they are not only hilarious but just so very reflective of the area and they give me a great sense of being at home. I can imagine sitting at my Granda’s feet and listening to him reciting one of these poems to me.
As well as being written in the traditional Doric style, they also make references and relate to life in this area of Scotland. It is safe to say I love these!
I thought it might be fun to take one of these poems and almost translate it for you guys (as best as I can, as unfortunately I am no expert in Doric). Then you can really see just how cooky and unique this part of my heritage is!!
The Aul Wifie Fa Bade in A Beet
There wis an aul wifie
There was an old woman
Fa bade in a beet
Who lived in a boot
Her smarrich o bairns
Her group of children
Made the peer craitur greet.
Made the poor creature cry.
They widna tak milk
They wouldn’t take milk
They widna tak breid
They wouldn’t take bread
Sae she goes them a skelp
So she gave them a smack
On their luggies instied
On their ears instead
As you can probably see from that, this language lends itself better to the spoken word opposed to text, but for those who are familiar with the language, these poems are absolutely hilarious and are so worth the read!
Hope you guys are having a good week!
It is currently crunch time in my life just now. I have numerous uni deadlines and a lot of life things going on, making it hard to find time to read.
However, I thought I’d share with you what I’m currently reading, and my initial thoughts. Maybe you have already read this book, in which case let me know!
Imperium by Robert Harris.
When Tiro, the confidential secretary of a Roman senator, opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, he sets in motion a chain of events which will eventually propel his master into one of the most famous courtroom dramas in history.
The stranger is a Sicilian, a victim of the island’s corrupt Roman governor, Verres. The senator is Cicero, a brilliant young lawyer and spellbinding orator, determined to attain imperium – supreme power in the state.
This is the starting-point of Robert Harris’s most accomplished novel to date. Compellingly written in Tiro’s voice, it takes us inside the violent, treacherous world of Roman politics, to describe how one man – clever, compassionate, devious, vulnerable – fought to reach the top.
I am about a quarter of the way through this book so far (it I had the choice I would have raced through it already) and I think it is fantastic. It was recommended to me by a dear friend and has been thrilling, historically intriguing and has opened the door for me to a genre I am not as familiar with.
I hope to finish and review this very soon.
Hello hello hello!
I’m hoping that those of you who have followed this blog (hi, hello, how are you? thank you for the support) are enjoying the content thus far. I’m having a whale of a time!
ANYWAY. I had a really rough day yesterday, and I took to cheering myself up in the only way I am certain works. That’s right, you guessed it, I went book shopping.
I went into Waterstones (my happy place) and picked up 3 books, 2 of which are for myself and the other being for my mum.
Upon getting home I realised that the books I picked up have a common theme running throughout, and that theme happens to be dogs!
Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis.
It begins in a bar, like so many strange stories. The gods Hermes and Apollo argue about what would happen if animals had human intelligence, so they make a bet and grant consciousness to a group of dogs staying overnight at a veterinary clinic.
Suddenly capable of complex thought, the dogs escape and become a pack. They are torn between those who resist the new ways of thinking, preferring the old ‘dog’ ways, and those who embrace the change. The gods watch as the dogs venture into unfamiliar territory, as they become divided among themselves, as each struggles with new thoughts and feelings. Wily Benjy moves from home to home, Prince becomes a poet, and Majnoun forges a relationship with a kind couple that stops even the Fates in their tracks.
Engaging and full of unexpected insights into human and canine minds, this contemporary fable is an extraordinary look at the beauty and perils of consciousness.
Are you intrigued?! I am! This book was laid out on one of the feature tables in Waterstones, and I couldn’t resist it. It comes in at 159 pages and seems like a quick and rather humorous read.
The Humans by Matt Haig.
After an ‘incident’ one wet Friday night where he is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, Professor Andrew Martin is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confuse him. Even his loving wife and teenage main are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst a crazy alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and he’s a dog.
Who is he really? And what could make someone change their mind about the human race…?
I picked this up for two main reasons: 1) Matt Haig 2) Dogs. I read Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig this year and it has been my favourite book so far of 2016. His writing encapsulates everything I love about books, and so I am intrigued to see what his works of fiction are like.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger’s Sybdrome. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.
I have already read this book on my kindle and I really enjoyed it, in particular the narration and how much of a challenge it must be to write from the perspective of somebody who has a learning difficulty. I bought this for my mum as we were discussing learning difficulties and in specific Asperger’s and autism, as her job has a cross over with this area. I thought she’d appreciate the insight into Asperger’s syndrome. I hope she enjoys it as I did!
And thats it I’m afraid. I could have bought plenty more books, but unfortunately my bank account is not bottomless.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post!!!
New segment on the blog!
I own a lot of pretty books. I take pride in them. So I thought in between lengthier posts I’d do a spotlight on pretty books I have, whether I’ve read them or not.
The first one I’ve chosen is this gorgeous edition of The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides.
This paperback edition is from the 4th Estate publishing company and is quite frankly beautiful. The roots of the tree trunk are in a stunning rose gold foil, which I love.
As it happens, I have actually read this book, and I would thoroughly recommend it to anybody! Not my typical read, but I love it.
Winner of the Whitbread Prize for best first fiction, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a coming-out novel from Winterson, the acclaimed author of The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. The narrator, Jeanette, cuts her teeth on the knowledge that she is one of God’s elect, but as this budding evangelical comes of age, and comes to terms with her preference for her own sex, the peculiar balance of her God-fearing household crumbles.
I picked up this book on a whim, knowing it wasn’t overly long and that it dealt with issues I wasn’t familiar with. I had heard a few people talking about it and I’d heard good things about Jeanette Winterson’s writing style.I have mixed feelings about this novel.
In many ways I found it fascinating, captivating, and a very worthwhile read. The main themes of the novel are religion and sexuality, which to me are two things I am relatively unfamiliar with. I have never really belonged to a religion, although having been educated primarily about Christianity throughout my life. I have not read many books about religious characters, or books from the perspective of a somebody who is struggling with their sexuality. This is something I am trying to change in my reading. So for me, it was fascinating for the two themes to be combined together in this novel.
This novel was a perfect example of why I love reading. I was able to get inside the head of a character (from the introduction we learn she is an almost but not quite true to life extension of Jeanette Winterson herself) who was struggling with their sexuality in a religious surrounding. It discusses her development of these feelings, and how she is taught to believe her sexuality is a sin and how she tries to ‘fix’ herself. Jeanette convinced me from the get go of how suffocating and claustrophobic her life was under her religious upbringing, and I found it both very interesting and emotional to see her struggle with her sexuality.
Coming out as being of any sexual orientation other than straight is already a struggle, but when combined with the religious element, Jeanette stresses how difficult it was. I felt like I was in the story alongside Jeanette, watching her struggles, and it was fascinating. You spend the whole book hoping she will be accepted by her mother and community, although at the same time knowing it won’t happen.
I feel now that I better understand the struggles of the LGBT community, and the inner conflicts they experience, and the search for acceptance they have to struggle with. This book was both hard hittingly emotional and insightful for me.
What I found interesting as well as the reoccurring theme of religious people not understanding Jeanette’s sexuality, was the idea of non religious people understanding Jeanette’s highly Christian community. Jeanette highlights her struggles of trying to be understood at school. I found this fascinating as well as it really added to this idea that no matter what the subject is, whether it be religion or homosexuality, if people don’t understand they may behave badly, or be fearful or prejudiced.
The writing was absolutely stunning. There were times where I had to stop and highlight because I found the writing so beautiful. For example:
“Reading is an adventure. Adventures are about the unknown. When I started to read seriously I was excited and comforted all at the same time. Literature is a mix of unfamiliarity and recognition. The situation can take us anywhere- across time and space, the globe, through the lives of people who can never be like us- into the heart of anguish we have never felt- crimes we could not commit. Yet as we travel deeper into the strange world of the story, the feeling we get is of being understood- which is odd when you think about it, because at school learning is based on whether or not we understand what we are reading. In fact it is the story (or the poem) that is understanding us. Books read us back to ourselves.” (Taken from the introduction.)
However, I have a few issues with this book also. Although I enjoyed it for the most part and found it quite insightful, there were quite a few times I thought that certain things were not explained or were glossed over, to the point where it bothered me and I wished I knew more.
Another issue I had with this book was the use of the fairytales/mythical stories. Throughout the book there are fantasy stories that span a couple of pages at a time. I did not understand the relevance of these and felt they added to the story in no way. They bored me to the point where I wanted to skip through them back to Jeanette’s story, however I read through them to see if I could spot the relevance.
Despite these issues, I did enjoy this read and would like to pick up some more Jeanette Winterson in the future. Any recommendations would be appreciated. I would give this book a 3 out of 5 star rating, and would recommend it to anybody, especially those possibly struggling with their sexuality or religion.
I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to conduct this blog, as I want there to be consistency for any future followers (once you’re here, hi, hello, welcome, pull up a chair, do you want a cup of tea?) and also for myself.
SO, HERE IS THE PLAN.
I want to post at least one lengthy book post a week. Whether this is a review, a wish list, a haul or something similar, this will hopefully go up every Sunday.
Any bonus posts could happen at any time, if I have extra time or extra posts kicking around I’ll put those up in between the posts each Sunday. These could be book related, but could also be about other things, such as podcasts, life updates, tea or whatever I feel like.
Please feel free to give me feedback on the plan for the blog, I’m obviously still new so advice is appreciated.