Monday, 9 December 2013

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Despite being nearly 33 I had never read or seen The Wizard of Oz -my Mum protests that this is a lie, but as my brother and sister haven't seen it either I think I'm the one who is right. Of course I know parts of the story - the Yellow Brick Road, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the red shoes (which weren't red in the book!), so much of the story was familiar but undiscovered.

I've been trying to get back into my reading and as my biggest issue is time I'm trying to utilise those empty pockets of time. In the morning I can wait between 5 to 20 minutes extra for my housemate to be ready to leave for work with me, but It by Stephen King, certainly isn't a pick it up and read a few pages kind of book so I was looking for something easy, light (weight and topic), cheap (I've been eating breakfast, cleaning my teeth etc. whilst reading this week so I need a book which I'm not too precious about) and that could be read in small chunks. I week of little dribs and drabs of The Wizard of Oz and I wasn fnished.

This book had a lot more to it than I knew so despite being a cultural reference point I was surprised to find the monkeys, the Emerald City, the Lion and many other sections which I'm sure are well known to most of the world.

I really enjoyed the story and I will be looking out for the film on Christmas TV. Now I need to go in search for my next morning read.

Century of Books: Published in 1900.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce

 I read this book a few weeks ago but wanted to wait until after I had been to my book group meeting before I posted about it.
Harold Fry is old, retired and stuck in a rut. His marriage is a strain, his relationship with his son is non existent and his life barely extends beyond the boundaries of his back garden. Everything changes when he receives a letter from an old friend who is dieing, she was the woman who once saved him from a disaster, he let her take the blame knowing she would have to move away and sacrifice her life for him.
Harold writes her a letter and pops out to post it, but when he gets to the post box he finds he wants to go a bit further,and at the next one he goes a bit further and there starts his pilgrimage from the south of England up to Scotland.
The beautiful thing about this book was the people Harold met along his journey, everyone had a story to share, their own deep secret. The book is also a love story to the British countryside, in these segments the prose - which is fairly simple - becomes almost poetic. I also really loved the journey his wife takes whilst she stays home waiting to hear from him each day.
When I went  to the book group it was the first time we had ever met, everyone was lovely and with the exception of one person everyone gave this book 8 or 9 stars out of 10.