Chalcot Crescent and seductive books
I wish library books had blank pages in the back to leave little messages to each other. Reviews, notes, secrets, it would be great!
I am hitting up my local library more these days, as I’ve found there’s quite a few books I’ve read recently that I have no desire to own, such as Ian McEwan. I like the look of Nutshell but that will also be a library visit. It’s also good for things I didn’t know existed, risk-free browsing. I have read very little Fay Weldon, literally I think I borrowed something of my mum’s years 20 ago, but that’s it. There are hardly any stamps in the front (and judging by their poor alignment I’m wondering if library cuts are sending some of the staff to the bottle) but each one is person. Hello, I’m 25th October, pleased to meet you, 25th of March, 2010. There’s a gap in the market for a very slow dating service to be run out of the back of library books.
Chalcot Crescent is a fascinating read, written from the perspective of Fay’s younger sister Frances (a what if child, based on her mother’s miscarriage). Like Fay, she is a writer, and inhabits a strange and uncomfortable future of rations, power cuts, a national meatloaf that is suitable for vegetarians, and fallen governments. Frances writes the book while she is sat on the stairs, eighty years old and hiding from bailiffs, and telling us what she really thought of Fay and how she stole her man.
I want an L-Shaped desk! Nothing would make me feel more efficient that swooshing from side to side like it’s some kind of reception/Star trek flight desk.
The other book in the picture was a surprise. Just as some people go on eBay after a few drinks and win auctions for Fraggle Rock memorabilia and cardboard cut-outs of Steven Segal, I had ordered this book whilst very tired, and as it came from America and took ages, I had completely forgotten about it. I can’t even remember what I had been reading (but like Alan Bennett says in ‘The Uncommon reader, one book leads to another) Marc Bloch had been mentioned. He was a French historian who wrote a very academic book about history writing itself, but as he fought through the First World War and was a resistance fighter in the second, he was there when history was being made. He was caught by the Germans in 1944 and executed by firing squad with other prisoners, handcuffed together in pairs. What prompted me to look was for his work in my half-asleep state was reports that the teenagers he was handcuffed to asked him if dying would hurt, and he comforted him and said it wouldn’t. Taking the time to help someone in the face of your own imminent certain death shows such strength of character and a very good heart, and if I’m going to start ordering books in my sleep, I could certainly do worse.
And finally, I came across this poem the other day by Brian Bilston. His blog is wonderful, stop reading this rubbish and get over there!