Archive for November, 2008

It’s Christmas (oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is…)

Well, as December draws ever closer even I cannot deny it any more- the festive season really is

Santo joins White Room Book Group!
STOP PRESS: Santo joins White Room Book Group!

upon us! Eek! For weeks I have manfully tried to ignore the signs- the cards sneaking into M&S in early October, the mince pies and red cups in Starbucks, the illuminations being hung, Last Christmas on constant repeat- but now even I must admit defeat. And to be honest, I can’t decide whether I’m happy or sad because, no matter how much I sympathise with the Christmas curmudgeons’ whinging about the horrors of commercialisation, somewhere deep in my heart I just love it and all its gaudy horrors. So, I say hooray for the tinsel and turkey and repeats of White Christmas- I’m ready for you December!



What I am not looking forward to so much is the whole Christmas shopping experience and this weekend officially marks the beginning of my annual retail binge. And this year it’s going to have an added dimension; I’ve been reading What Was Lost and now cannot go into a shop without thinking of Catherine O’Flynn’s hilarious and, well, sad portrayal of what it is really like to work in a shop. As someone who worked until very recently in retail (and book shops are clearly no different from record shops in this respect), as with the first time I read the book, I was struck by how remarkably accurate it is; the long thankless hours, the menial and pointless tasks (stickers on/ stickers off), the stupidity of senior management, the penny-pinching, it’s all there. And how refreshing it is to read about the real world of work as it is an area of life completely missing from most modern fiction. She also captures the sheer spookiness of empty shopping centres- I worked for a very miserable month in the MetroCentre and walking its corridors morning and night was truly strange. It was impossible to ignore the pointlessness of the place when was empty, somehow.


Anyway, I hope it’s giving you all food for thought and making you spare a thought for those poor souls behind the counters this weekend. And, remember, curling up with a book is always a fantastic way to while away the festive season! Keep reading and see you soon. x




Books Beat Bonfires!

Who needs fireworks (when you can have a picture of them instead)?

Who needs fireworks (when you can have a picture of them instead)?

Well, it’s Sunday and I am pleased to announce that my new house is now internet- connected!!! Hurrah- and about flipping time! I can now officially rejoin the 21st Century AND update my much neglected blog! And this is just a quick one really- mainly to say thanks everyone for coming along on a miserable Bonfire Night (fancy missing out on the fireworks for Book Club- very impressive!) and for such an interesting, stimulating and convivial evening which went by in a flash! I’m glad everyone got so much from the book and it certainly gave me much food for thought. Oh and “Looking for JJ” (Anne Cassidy) is the other book about child-killers which was mentioned at the club- I’ve read it now (what a swot I am!) and it is indeed excellent.

And so onto the next book- “What was Lost” by Catherine O’Flynn- another multi-award winning first novel. You shouldn’t have much trouble finding it (remember the Blackwells discount) and I’ll get a preview up in the next few days. Over to you….get reading!