Monday, 5 November 2007

Libraries, books and dramas

I really enjoy visiting libraries in other towns. Our county, Devon, allows you to borrow books from any library in the county (I'm assuming it's the same all over the country) so if we're heading out for the day I often pop into the local library to see if I can pick up a gem or two. Today we headed down to Topsham which is a village on the river Exe only a couple of miles from Exeter. It has a beautiful situation on the river and is lovely for a stroll, either along the river or along the high street with its small independent shops. I was really good... I looked in several charity shops but managed somehow not to buy any books. I did however pop along to their library. After checking the Devon Library Online catalogue I found that Topsham had a copy of Still Life by Louise Penny, so that was the first thing I nabbed. It's the first in a series of detective novels set in Quebec and recommended by Kay at My Random Acts of Reading; for some reason I just like the sound of them. Really pleased to get that anyway *and* what else did I spot on the shelves but The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Thrilled about that. Hubby picked up a stack of sci fi books he'd never seen before too. So, a good book day despite the fact I didn't actually buy any.

I thought last night's adaptation of E.M. Forster's A Room With a View was absolutely charming. Good performances from all the cast but especially from father and son, Timothy and Rafe Spall. Some people didn't like the ending which had been altered. Well, not altered exactly but added to. Personally I thought it was appropriate and have no complaints.

Other dramas eagerly anticipated by me - My Boy Jack on Sunday night which tells the story of Rudyard Kipling and his son, Jack, and how he came to be fighting in WWI despite terrible eyesight. Jack will be played by Daniel Radcliffe and the trailers look excellent. The trailers for Cranford are also being shown and that too looks like it might be a winner. That will be completely new to me as I've never read the book. And I've also just discovered that ITV have made The Old Curiosity Shop, which I read many years ago but have wanted to read again for a while now. Perhaps I'll make 2008 the year when I reread some Dickens and maybe read a few that I've not read such as Our Mutual Friend and Bleak House. The BBC adaptation of the latter, from a couple of years ago, was so wonderful that I really feel I *should* read the book sometime. I fancy 2008 is going to be a packed book year...

8 comments:

Kay said...

Cath, so glad you found Still Life. I do hope you enjoy it. I keep meaning to read The Thirteenth Tale. I've heard so many good things about it. I will get to it at some point.

Cath said...

I'm thrilled to have found Still Life relatively easily and am looking forward to reading it after I've read a couple of other things on the pile. I too have read so much about The Thirteenth Tale that I really must see what all the fuss is about.

Elaine said...

I very much enjoyed Room with a View despite some reservations about the ending. I thought it was beautifully acted.

the Thirteenth tale is tremendous fun but it seems to have divided opinion - you either love it or hate it. I was one of those that loved it

DesLily said...

I'm one that loved 13th tale!

gosh, I don't think I could live in England and not go to plays there!! How I'd love to see many british stars that I love like Maggie Smith and alan rickman!!

Cath said...

Hi Elaine. I understand your reservations about the ending of A Room With a View. I was very shocked I have to admit. And so sad. But given the time in which the book is set it was a possibility that that could happen and I understand why they did it. I read that Forster hinted at such an outcome but have no idea where they came by that information.

It seems to be the same with The Historian as with The Thirteenth Tale then. People either can't get past the first 50 pages of The Historian or they absolutely love it. I'm one that loved it.

Deslilly: We have such similar tastes in books that I'm expecting to love The Thirteenth Tale too. It certainly sounds like my kind of thing.

And yes, Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman are wonderful aren't they? I too would love to see them on the stage but I live a fair way from London where most of the bigger stars tend to appear.

Tara said...

Sounds like you had a lovely day out. I look forward to your thoughts on The Thirteenth Tale - count me in as someone who enjoyed it. I look forward to A Room With a View being shown here...the original began my love with period films.

Nan - said...

Oh, you are so lucky to have the television you have. I'm hoping both shows come over here sometime. Lesley at the Cor Blimey blog had said there was a new Poliakoff (did I spell that right?) coming on, and I presume that was it. I just presume that because Timothy Spall is in a lot of his works. The Kipling story is so sad. Both he and Theodore Roosevelt lost sons in that war, and the fathers were friends.

Cath said...

Tara: I hope you get to see A Room With a View, it was so good, beautifully acted with wonderful settings. I enjoyed seeing Italy as I've never been there.

Nan: Yes, I think we're quite lucky in our TV. There is plenty of dross I can assure you but every now and then we have some real gems crop up. Oh, I forgot the Poliakoff (I can't spell it either). I *think* that's next weekend and stars Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon. Not sure what the title is. Yes, the Kipling story *is* very sad. What a tragic loss of life The Great War was. We always have a lot about it on TV this time of year. Next Sunday we have a documentary coming on about the poet, Wilfred Owen and the drama, My Boy Jack, of course.