Monthly Archive for February, 2011


I’m scouring my shelves for books I can take to hospital.  On Valentine’s day my youngest daughter, Eve, has to go into the RVI for a big operation on her spine and I’ll be staying with her for the two weeks she’s there.  So, what to take?  It needs to be gripping reading, but not too flimsy because as you know I like to wrestle a bit with my books, but on the other hand nothing too weighty.  Someone suggested Alice Munro’s short stories, the new Booker prize winner ‘The Finkler Question’ by Howard Jacobson (but then someone kebabbed this at yesterday’s book club), Dickens, Philip Pulman, Jane Austen and Maggie O’Farrell (but many of her books seem to be about family members plotting against eachother so maybe not a great plan).  Any suggestions gratefully received.  I’ll need a big pile of them for the fortnight’s stay.   That and strong drink.

Thanks to all of you who came yesterday to talk about Alexander McCall Smith’s book ’44 Scotland Street’.  Not a huge thumbs up was the consensus, too geared towards serialisation in the newspaper which left us feeling unsatisfied, “like eating too many marshmallows” said one member.  One of our lunchtime group said that the scene at the end when one of the characters entirely erases a canvas with a famous painting beneath with paint-stripper seemed to sum up the book…

I’m hoping next month’s book to deliver more meat.  Jonathan Coe’s ‘The Rotter’s Club is set in the Midlands in the 1970’s when, as one of the characters at the beginning of the book says it was ‘A world without mobiles or videos or Playstations or even faxes. A world that had never heard of Princess Diana or Tony Blair.”  Sounds rather enviable.