Sunday, July 03, 2011

june/july books

Sorry, these are my latest batch of books from the last few weeks:
Things Can Only Get Better (John O’Farrell): I first started reading this at a time when I didn’t do very much reading (if that makes sense) and ended up abandoning it – not because it wasn’t a good book, but simply because I seemed to have abandoned reading! I’ve just read it in a matter of a few days and this is a lovely, very funny book (especially if you’re not a supporter of the Conservative Party!). It tells of the “eighteen miserable years in the life of a Labour supporter” and I found it to be both hilariously funny and movingly sad. The final chapter (victory in the General Election of 1997) immediately took me back to that wonderful all-night election-watching time and the glorious, sunny dawn of a new (New?) Labour government on 2 May. How times change!
Silas Marner (George Eliot): This is one of those “classics” that I’d never previously got round to reading. Written in 1861, it’s a tale of morality, community, ethics, love and hope…. and perhaps also a critical response to the industrial revolution, class and the church. Somewhat ironic perhaps, given the book’s connection to fatherhood, that I finished it on Father’s Day!
The Pilgrimage (Paulo Coelho): I first began reading this about 7 years ago, but found it rather tedious and gave up. I decided to give it another try after recently seeing the film “The Way” (with Martin Sheen). It tells of Coelho’s journey along the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela with his spiritual guide. I was hugely disappointed in the book – a strange combination of magic, occult, mystical exercises and hocus-pocus.
Peter Cook+Dudley Moore: Goodbye Again (edited by William Cook): Essentially, this is a collection of scripts from their sketches dating back to the mid-1960s and includes some absolutely wonderful stuff. Reading the scripts immediately transported me back in time (I felt as if I could actually hear them). My favourite all-time sketch is “One Leg Too Few”: about a one-legged man auditioning for the role of Tarzan! You can see the actual clip here (it’s brilliant).
South (Chris Orsman): This is a powerful sequence of poems telling the story of Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole. It provides a wonderful, fresh perspective to a well-known story. I found it compellingly beautiful - particularly the final days.


Tracey Wheeler said...

OK Broadway you're seriously beginning to freak me out. TCOGB is one of my favourite funny books, I've recently re-read it; haven't read the rest, but love stuff on the Antarctic expeditions of the last century ("South' by Ernest Shackleton being my favourite account); and I have the other Pete and Dud sketches book, but 'Tarzan' remains my favourite sketch of theirs (closely followed by 'the National Gallery'. Separated at birth? Perhaps not...but definitely enough similarities to explain why we get on!

bigdaddystevieB said...

Nah! Think it's something to do with our West Midlands upbringing - Walsall(?) and Handsworth, Brum!