Sunday, 14 August 2022

What's on my bookshelf - The Gifts of Reading

 I am struggling through Eden by Candice Fox for bookclub. It's sort of an ugly crime book. The characters are misogynistic but I find the whole book just feels crude and offensive. Maybe it's me. It's just a long, ugly read. It's set in Sydney though, so I guess that's why the library picked it. The author has won some awards and a couple are being turned into tv series. She's quite prolific, many of the titles are best sellers and published by Penguin so what would I know. Maybe just not my thing....



What I did read this month that was so truly delightful that I've ordered a copy for my mum, another for a gift and posted one to an author friend of mine in the US. (He is in this anthology and if you can get your hands on a copy it's well worth it!)







This book is a must for anyone who loves reading and books. It's a delightful collection of essays on what books authors like to give as gifts (I've also made a shopping list of books and authors to read next from it). Also discussing how to choose a book as a gift - because it reminds you of the person, or because you loved it so much and need to share it. How access to books changed a life, what reading meant to people both as a child and as an adult or mother. Even if I didn't know the author, every essay was enjoyable. The odd one out is Jan Morris, who felt she couldn't write a new piece at that stage but donated an unpublished speech on her Everest dispatch. It's a fascinating look at that point in time, and the herculean efforts newspapers used to go to for getting the news out in a timely fashion.

It raised many ideas for me - should I send books to authors as thanks for the books they've given me (so to speak - I've paid for them, but they created them)? Should I books while travelling for a taste of the country rather than buy them on the country before I leave? (I read fiction set in the country or city I'm visiting while travelling). Should I reconsider how I choose books to give - I am definitely in the Roddy Doyle camp, that I love it and that is all that matters (but in my head, I just can't understand anyone wouldn't love it - though given how unpopular my bookclub picks are, I should definitely reassess that!)

I adored this little gem and can't recommend it enough. And it is a charitable tome so you doubly give with it, raising funds for Room to Read.



What's on your bookshelf this month?



Linking with #Whatsonyourbookshelf
loopyloulaura

21 comments:

  1. Dear Lydia,
    The second book looks so enticing just from the cover!
    And as for your thoughts on the third book, while I've never sent a book to an author, I did write to an author once that I really liked his book and it reminded me of some experiences from my youth - he answered very nicely because he was happy about my praise. We later had a collaboration on a radio listener novel (this was in 2009), and sometimes when he has a reading or performs with his band, my husband and I come and attend the event and chat with him a bit. So it can be very pleasant contacts through such a letter.

    By the way, I'm reading David Mitchell's Utopia Avenue right now and I'm loving it. (I've loved all of David Mitchell's books so far... I like his style, the weird thoughts, his always special protagonists, the way he thinks about the world...)
    All the best from the other side of the world,
    Traude
    https://rostrose.blogspot.com/2022/08/mallorca-reisebericht-teil-4-tag-9.html

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    1. I love that story about the author. That's lovely. I've also never given a book to an author but it seems to happen a bit, according to these essays. I've not read any Mitchell but that title keeps popping up with friends. Will check out.

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  2. As a soon-to-be-publisher author, reading is a part time job. I always have an ongoing stack. My newest additions to my sofa library stack are A Man Called Ove, and The Cabin at the End of the World. My favorite reads right now are She Walks in Shadows, a creepy compilation of short horror stories written by women, and Slow Walz in Cedar Bend. Happy reading!

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    1. Oh wow! Congratulations, that's so exciting! I have a Man called Ove but not got to it yet...

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    2. Congrats on your upcoming publication!

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  3. Thank you for joining us at What's On Your Bookshelf. I will definitely give Eden a miss. The Gifts of Reading sounds like something that I would greatly enjoy. Thank you for the recommendation.

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  4. I haven't read any Candice Fox, but I think I'd give this one a miss. I have the Gift of Reading on reservation at the library and am looking forward to reading it. Thanks for linking up.

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    1. It's a gorgeous read. Let me know what you think. As for the Fox, it did actually get really exciting and there was a complex moment (motivation wis) which did grab my attention in suspense but it's 12 hours on audible and that was the last 20 minutes or so. She is clearly quite masterful at suspense when she turns it on. I have since seen a number of people reading her other books and loving them so I may've come in midway to a series and sort of missed 'a lot' of backstory that makes you more connected to the characters.

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  5. I actually struggle with giving books as gifts because I often think maybe they've read it already?! Or maybe they won't like it and then I start to second guess if I really liked it or if I just remember it fondly. That sounds like a really cute book though!

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  6. Hi Lydia I've not read Candice Fox and I understand how you feel about books that have been highly recommended but leave you feeling a bit 'is it me?' because you don't like the book. The Gift of Reading I will definitely be putting this one on the list. Thanks so much for supporting WOYBS? each month and sharing your reading list.

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  7. I read some of Candice Fox's books (not Eden) and enjoyed them. Thank you for your weekend coffee share and recommendation for The Gifts of Reading.

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    1. I keep seeing other people reading and loving them so I'm guessing its me and not the book....ha!

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  8. Lovely to read your post...I admit it's audio books beating books in the hand every time for me. Must realising that with the move back to Sydney and less long distance driving I may have to vary my audiobook habit...and then I remembered "Sydney traffic" ...which I will avoid as much as possible being retired.... Denyse

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  9. Hi Lydia - I love the cover and idea of that fairytale book - and I'm all about not reading dark, grim books - so No1 would definitely not be on my reading list. I'm not sure about the idea of giving books as gifts - everyone's tastes are so different and I don't even buy books for myself these days - just download them and off I go.

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  10. What a nice to share. I will look for it.

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  11. The Gifts of Reading sounds wonderful - onto my TBR list it goes! As for the Fox book: some books/authors are considered good, but not every book is for every reader, and that's perfectly fine.

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  12. The Gifts of Reading sounds a lovely book! I do love to give books as gifts and always give books I've loved myself, so I hope they are a safe bet. Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy the crime book. It sounds like it's just a matter of personal taste. Not everybody can enjoy every book!
    Popping over from At Home a Lot.

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  13. Always enjoy reading bookish posts! I have to admit to only reading on Kindle now and always have a couple of books going on at once (usually a fiction and a non-). I always wanted to join a bookclub but we started traveling when we retired so I never did.

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  14. I probably may not like "Eden" either. Maybe I've outgrown the crude and offensive humor...it just does not age well.

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  15. I am going to download a few of these onto my kindle#dreamteam

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