100 untimed books: dog-eared

27. dog-eared

27. dog-eared

It’s not surprising that cookery books are the ones that come in for the most punishment. This one gets referred to mainly for the Christmas Eve meal (several courses, most of them fish, in great haste, between the carol service and Midnight Mass) and flavoured vodkas (most of them go like this: dump flavoured component in vodka; leave to steep; strain).

100 untimed books

100 untimed books: driving

17. driving

17. driving

I don’t drive. I do cycle, though. So do many other people in my life. I bought this book for one of them as a birthday present and restrained myself with great difficulty from reading the whole thing before I wrapped it up.

Active Anglicans may well know Dave Walker from his work for the Church Times. His cycling cartoons are just as funny and well-observed.

100 untimed books

100 untimed books: going home

46. coming home

46. coming home

Quite often, a book catches my eye and I know the name because it’s been mentioned in another book. Here’s a case in point. Edmund de Waal is Elisabeth de Waal’s son; he talks about The Exiles Return in The Hare with Amber Eyes:

In December 1945 Elisabeth decides that she has to return to Vienna to find out who and what remains. And to rescue the picture of her mother and bring her home.

Elisabeth wrote a novel about her journey. It is unpublished. And unpublishable, I think, as I appraise it in typescript, 261 pages with painstaking tippexed corrections. The rawness of its emotion makes for uncomfortable reading.

It did in fact get published: Persephone, who specialise in obscure and out of print titles by women, brought it out in 2013. I bought it the other week, having read, and loved, The Hare with Amber Eyes earlier in the year.

100 untimed books

100 untimed books: satellites

47. satellites

47. satellites

Is it possible to get earwormed with a fictional song? A song that exists only in a book? I think Ann Leckie may have managed this with:

My heart is a fish
Hiding in the water-grass
In the green, in the green

and particularly with:

It all goes around, the station goes around the moon, it all goes around…

… My mother said it all goes around, it all goes around, the ship goes around the station

100 untimed books