Apparently she's a well known classical actress but, being a bit of a moron, I didn't know that but knew her immediately as Harry Potter's Aunt Petunia! What really surprised me though was her rich Irish accent. I had no idea she was Irish. Anyway, she was on with Rick Stein, a well known celebrity chef here in the UK - he famously has several top-notch restaurants, specialising in fish, in my home county of Cornwall. It was sad to hear that both had endured difficult childhoods with autocratic fathers. Rick Stein was particularly moving as he talked about his father's manic depression and how he particularly picked on Rick when he was a child. You could see from Fiona Shaw's face that she completely understood. Very poignant. And it was because of her that I picked this up from the library this morning.
Mill on the Floss by George Eliot. She spoke so eloquantly about the story and its heroine, Maggie Tulliver, that I wanted to rush out and get the book immediately. I found it free for my Kindle, but am not really sure I want to read such a classic on Kindle; I think I want a real copy. So I nabbed it from the library this morning. If it appears that I love it as I go along, I'll buy my own.
I'm still umming and ahhing about what to read. I've just started The Morville Hours by Katherine Swift, which is a book about the creation and history of a beautiful garden in Shropshire.
I'm reading that with Susan from You Can Never Have Too Many Books. It's Nigel Slater's favourite book and already I can see why. If they ever did an audio version he should do it, imo.
Deborah Mitford continues to entrance in Home to Roost. She says:
The trouble with book thieves is that they don't see themselves as such. They borrow and forget with no criminal intent.
How true! She goes on:
I seldom read for pleasure but every now and then something takes my fancy and I mind so much when I've finished that, like my father, I can't bear the thought of beginning another. In an effort to keep my loved ones, I have got them penned, as it were, in my bedroom.
She then goes on to tell about the books she keeps penned up in her bedroom. Quite a few are of an agricultural bent as it's one of her main interests, especially chickens. There are books by her husband and books by her sisters. One book she talked about elsewhere in Home to Roost is obviously a big favourite - A Late Beginner, an autobiography by Priscilla Napier.
It charts the author's childhood in Egypt. I think Deborah Devonshire must've made it popular because if you search the book on AmazonUK up come Debo's books as well. Sadly the book is too expensive for me to consider buying and my library doesn't have it. Other books loved by Debo: The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy, Peter Rabbit and Ginger and Pickles by Beatrix Potter, Rudyard Kipling's book of verse, The Oxford Book of English Verse which belonged to her sister, Unity, as a child and which, poignantly, she says is now her constant travelling companion.
Other favourites include Bill Bryson's Notes From a Small Island:
The brilliant Bill Bryson notices so much about this country which we take for granted but are fascinated to see described as new. It beats me why he is so fond of England and its natives - it's amazing that he stayed here after arriving on a foggy midnight in Folkestone to the typical English opposite of a welcome.
And Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader:
How does he do it? I wish I knew. There are copies of this book all over the house. They won't last long.
Debo is clearly not quite the non-reader she makes herself out to be. Home to Roost is charm itself and I'm positive it'll make my top 10 at the end of the year.
Since my last post where I couldn't decide what to read I've done a reread of The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey.
I nabbed this one off my eldest daughter... the book was delightful. I didn't remember that it was really a book of short stories or episodes in the 'life' of Helva who is a human brain who's been installed into a ship because her body was so deformed at birth. I thought this was a gorgeous read, even after 40 years, and have borrowed several more in the series, that I haven't read, from my daughter.