Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
blurb
Bookwomble
Broadhurst's Booksellers | Southport, Lancashire, United Kingdom (Bookstore)
post image

I was very saddened to learn today that Laurie Hardman, owner of my favourite bookstore, passed away a few days ago. Hugely knowledgeable and had a wry sense of humour. A great percentage of the books on my shelves passed through his hands.
When I ordered a Dave Brubeck biography from him, he recommended I listen to another great jazz pianist, so I'll put on a Bill Evans record this evening and raise a glass to Laurie 📚🎹🥃📚❤️

RaeLovesToRead Sorry to hear this. I believe I've visited this bookshop 💙 12h
LeahBergen Oh, that‘s sad. 10h
quietlycuriouskate Oh, how sad. 10h
TheBookgeekFrau How sad 💔 But it's cool that so many of your books will keep his memory close. What a great legacy! 💕 8h
Bookwomble @RaeLovesToRead @LeahBergen @quietlycuriouskate @TheBookgeekFrau It is sad, and rather a shock as his illness apparently progressed rapidly and he'd not even shared with his staff until a couple of months ago. They've set up a book of condolence in the shop, which I've written in, in order to give his family an indication of the fondness and respect in which he was held by local bibliophiles ❤️‍🩹 7h
33 likes5 comments
review
Bookwomble
post image
Pickpick

This was a less proficient novelisation than Thomas Disch's, but not entirely unsuccessful.
The dialogue was not quite as crisply sparring, but was close enough. The main supporting character this time was Number Six's Lotus Seven kit car, driven by him in the iconic opening titles of the TV show.
Another of Mrs. B's indulgences of my Prisoner fandom was the gift of a track day at Silverstone where I got to drive the successor vehicle, a ⬇️

Bookwomble ... Caterham Super 7 (souvenir model pictured). At the time, I hadn't driven any car for two years, never mind a powerful sports car, and the bemused professional driver who escorted me around the track pityingly commented it was the first time the Super 7 had done the course without getting out of second gear! 🏎️🏁
But, I digress... Number Six's escape attempts are simultaneously ingenious and rather tediously detailed, apart from Number Two, ⬇️
17h
Bookwomble ... the other characters are rather cardboard, but the introduction of a cat is interesting, both in the Village's reasons for doing so and Number Six's reaction to it.
The end is a bit of a belly flop, and while it has to return to the story to its status quo, it could have benefitted from a little more panache. 3½⭐
17h
The_Book_Ninja This is a wholesome thread☺️ 14h
bibliothecarivs I just watched the opening sequence of The Prisoner on YouTube. So cool that you got to drive the successor car. As a Xennial American, I only knew McGoohan from Braveheart 😆 14h
27 likes4 comments
blurb
Bookwomble
BBC Radio 3 | Frederic P Miller, Agnes F Vandome, John McBrewster
post image

#TuesdayTunes @TieDyeDude

Favourite radio station? Hmmm 🤔 It's a toss up for me between BBC Radio 3 and 4, but as I'm currently listening to the Night Tracks programme, I'll feature 3. I love discovering classical and avant garde music here.
Radio 4 has excellent drama, science, comedy and culture shows, of which my favourite is probably In Our Time, with national treasure Melvyn Bragg. 🎙️📡📻

TieDyeDude Excellent! My vehicle hasn't been able to get a radio signal since I bought it. I miss tuning in at different times for different offerings. I had Sirius XM, which was okay, but the signal doesn't work in Alaska. The Spotify algorithm just doesn't compare to a human curated programming. 1d
31 likes1 comment
blurb
Bookwomble
post image

Onto the 2nd of The Prisoner novelisations, & an inauspicious start as the first word, "Drake," has me grinding my teeth ?

John Drake was the name of actor Patrick McGooghan's character in his earlier TV series, Danger Man, & as well-loved as that series & character were, McGooghan made it clear in press releases prior to the airing of The Prisoner that the new protagonist Number Six was NOT Drake!

I'll calm my inner nerd & see what develops!

review
Bookwomble
The Prisoner | Thomas M. Disch
post image
Pickpick

This wasn't as good as I'd remembered it - it was better!

Disch captured the smart, jousting dialogue just right, and created the layers of suspicion, second-guessing, cautious trust and resigned betrayals of the TV series.

His story is littered with the Shakespearean and classical references of the original, and the Bard's "Measure for Measure" forms both a plot element and a subversive meta-narrative on the role of the characters within ⬇️

Bookwomble ... the book, and of the writer and reader of the book. Whether the follow-up novels by two different authors will measure up to Disch's high standards remains for me to see.

Oh, and did Disch conceptualise motion-capture CGI in this 1969 novel? I think he did!
(edited) 3d
32 likes1 comment
blurb
Bookwomble
post image
Ruthiella 👍👍👍Thanks! 3d
29 likes1 comment
blurb
Bookwomble
The Prisoner | Thomas M. Disch
post image

Having just bailed on a much-loved literary classic, I thought I'd dive into a cult classic instead 😁
I've been fascinated by the adventure/sci-fi/espionage/cultural-philosophy/dystopian TV series since I first saw it as a kid in the '60s, and Mrs. B was indulgent enough that our honeymoon was in Portmeirion, the Italianate Welsh folly-village of eccentric architect Clough Williams-Ellis, which was the principle location of the show. ⬇️

Bookwomble It's the three paperbacks at the front I'll be focusing on, a re-read of the Disch novel and, despite my obsession with the show, a first read of the other two.
"Be seeing you!"?
4d
Ruthiella I remember watching this TV show with my dad when I was little. 3d
Bookwomble @Ruthiella Your dad has impeccable taste, and demonstrates admirable TV parenting skills 🫣 📺😊 3d
See All 6 Comments
RamsFan1963 @Bookwomble I'm sure someone watching The Prisoner now would find the giant white balloons laughable as a threat, but at the time they were damn scary!! 3d
Bookwomble @RamsFan1963 Perhaps, certainly as a special effect, as it was used because of its lack of expense compared to the original more mechanical/robotic "Guardian" design, but I think the amorphous, smothering quality of it is rather nightmarish and intimidating, especially when it quivers inches away from a face ⚪?⚪ 3d
The_Book_Ninja I, too, get themed hyperfixations about things. I see you‘ve read two of the books already since I was last on here. Hope you have fun with the rest, Wombie! 2d
33 likes6 comments
review
Bookwomble
Rebecca | Daphne Du Maurier
post image
Bailedbailed

I thought I should return to my reading of Rebecca, begun 5 months ago & paused 1 month ago at 38%, noticing my heavy feeling as I reached for it.

Du Maurier's writing is wonderful & atmospheric, & if it was all descriptive of the gothic Cornish environs in which she set her story, I'd be happy with that, but I don't give a fig* about any of the characters & really don't care how it ends (which I know, anyway, from film adaptations). So, 👋📔🚮

Bookwomble * I changed my original word choice to “fig“, then realised that this is probably a euphemism for that original word, looked it up to see that this is a misapprehension as it comes from “to give the fig“, an insulting Spanish gesture of placing the thumb between the second and third finger, so reminiscent of the British V-sign and American “bird“ gesture that, actually, I think I was right in the first place! So,🖕 (edited) 4d
Readergrrl Wow, I‘ve learned something new this morning. Thank you!!! Can‘t wait to use and explain this! 4d
RaeLovesToRead It's so good though! 🙃 4d
See All 12 Comments
Bookwomble @Readergrrl We both learned it this morning 😁 4d
Bookwomble @RaeLovesToRead I can't (and don't want to) deny the quality of the writing, nor Du Maurier's skill at inserting subtle metaphors and comments within her text, but I really couldn't give a flying fig about the characters and didn't want to spend any more time with them. I totally get why it's a loved book (Mrs B was 😳 when I said I was bailing!), it's just not one for me 😏 4d
RaeLovesToRead Mrs Bookwomble should read the rest of it out to you while you sleep 🤣🤣 I jest. Yes. The characters were supposed to be like that. The MC doesn't even have a name. There is no one to root for. And still... vibes! 4d
Bookwomble @RaeLovesToRead She's too busy knitting! 🧶I get what you're saying - I typically do struggle to stick with characters written as unlikable or unsympathetic, and your making me reflect on that. It's when the story is fictional but realistic about abuse that I struggle with unsympathetic characters - if it's more fantastic or if it's nonfiction I'm generally ok. 4d
RaeLovesToRead Ask her to fill you in on what happens 😊 It's not a spoiler to say that no dragons appear. What I loved about Rebecca is that it's so morally grey and you can read it one of two ways or a mix of the two. 4d
Bookwomble @RaeLovesToRead Hmm 🤔 I think I'm ok with closing the door on Manderley and not looking back.🚶‍♂️🚪🏚️ 😉 3d
dabbe Sometimes you gotta just #hailthatbail and move on ... though the door on Manderley can only be closed figuratively because of 🔥. 😂 3d
Bookwomble @dabbe And I'm not calling 911! 🚨🚒🔥 3d
dabbe @Bookwomble 😂💦💦😂 3d
32 likes12 comments
review
Bookwomble
post image
Pickpick

Of the four of Shen Fu's records which have passed down to us, the first three recount his life with his adorable wife Yün, whose sweet nature was subject to anxiety & depression, sensitive to the harsh judgements of her in-laws, & prone to ill health, which we know from early on will sunder the loving couple. Shen's grief at her death is palpable & moving.
The couple live an aesthetic life, troubled by precarious employment, poverty and... 1/4⬇️

Bookwomble ... family dissensions, through which their joy in nature, art and literature is sustaining.
Several of the blurbs I read make much of Yün's search for a concubine for Shen, but this takes up only a small part of the account and is, I assume, a prurient sales-pitch as, again, it's done rather sweetly and was culturally appropriate, and not mentioned was Yün's own interest in having a same-sex relationship within the domestic home. Also not ⬇️
4d
Bookwomble ... mentioned in blurbs are Shen's visits to sex workers, which somehow seems a double-standard. His description of these experiences is honest and humanises the women he spends time with without romanticising the reality of their lives.
The last record is a travel memoir and, while interesting on its own account, lacks much of the intimate nature of the preceding sections, not least because Yün is largely absent and Shen attention is more on ⬇️
4d
Bookwomble .. the external than internal experience.
Overall, 4½⭐ (Apologies; this review ran on longer than I'd intended! ⏳😴)
4d
Anna40 Great review! 3d
Bookwomble @Anna40 Thank you 😊 3d
31 likes1 stack add5 comments
review
Bookwomble
Blossomise | Simon Armitage
post image
Pickpick

A quick read of twenty or so poems commissioned by the National Trust from Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, on the theme of spring blossoms, embellished by Angela Harding's woodcut illustrations. Nothing to not like, if not exactly transporting. Will probably reward a re-read, and despite Harding's bio at the back being only 20% the length of Armitage's, it's really her contribution that lifts this from a low pick to a solid one: 4🌸

blurb
Bookwomble
Blossomise | Simon Armitage
post image

A little #bookhaul from our visit to Lytham & Lytham-St-Anne's (technically, I'm on a book buying ban, but it seems it doesn't apply if I'm not in my immediate neighborhood!).
I'll first read Blossomise by Simon Armitage, illustrated by Angela Harding, as it's the right season.
Snow Country by Kawabata is in a pretty Penguin imprint, Little Clothbound Classics, &
Complete Ghost Stories of M.R. James in the equally pretty Macmillan Collectors 😊

LeahBergen Any sort of travel is an automatic license to buy books for me. 😆 4d
Bookwomble @LeahBergen We don't make the rules, do we? What's a person to do? 🤷‍♂️😏📚 4d
41 likes2 comments
quote
Bookwomble
post image

"She prized shabby old books and tattered paintings. She would take the partial remnants of old books and separate them into sections by topic, and then have them rebound. These she called her 'Fragments of Literature'. When she found some calligraphy or a painting that had been ruined, she felt she had to search for a piece of old paper on which to remount it. If there were portions missing, she would ask me to restore them. These she named ⬇️

Bookwomble ... the 'Collection of Discarded Delights'."

I'm getting to like Yün
5d
LeahBergen That‘s wonderful! 5d
Bookwomble @LeahBergen I'm about half through, and I think you'd like this 😊 5d
34 likes3 comments
quote
Bookwomble
post image

"I was born in the winter of the 27th year of the reign of the Emperor Chien Lung, on the second and twentieth day of the eleventh month."

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

blurb
Bookwomble
post image

Written around 1809 by a mid-level Ch'ing Dynasty civil servant, the surviving four records (nonetheless confusingly still titled "Six Records") recount Fu's marriage to his childhood sweetheart, Yün, his dalliances with courtesans and her efforts to secure him a concubine, in keeping with the social mores of the time.
In a culture of arranged marriages, the introduction says that Fu's description of his romantic love match with Yün was unusual ⬇️

Bookwomble ... for its time, and appreciated in China as a result.
I'm hoping to find this enjoyable, and an insight into a different era of Chinese culture than I've previously read about (though, honestly, I retain little of the material I absorb - I'd be a rubbish kitchen towel!).
1w
33 likes1 comment
quote
Bookwomble
Autobiography | Morrissey
post image

"I've come to wish you an Unhappy Birthday
'Cause you're evil
And you lie
And if you should die
I may feel slightly sad
But I won't cry"
- "Unhappy Birthday" by The Smiths

??

Leftcoastzen 😂 no explanation needed , wish he hadn‘t turned out this way, see , I explained a little anyway…. 1w
BarbaraBB Intriguing. I used to love Morrisey! 1w
AmyG Ha! I love The Smiths but what a miserable man. 🤣 1w
See All 14 Comments
The_Book_Ninja Not a fan 1w
Bookwomble @Leftcoastzen He's a bit of a conundrum, so some explanation, probably psychology, is required for a man who championed the marginalised in his youth, and quickly descended into reviling them 🫤 As he wrote the quoted petard, it seems appropriate to hoist him with it! 1w
Bookwomble @BarbaraBB Past tense, exactly! 1w
Bookwomble @AmyG Very much a Charmless Man these days! 1w
Bookwomble @The_Book_Ninja I'm still a fan of The Smiths, not the man. I love seeing Johnny Marr on shows, when inevitably he's asked about Moz, and he retains a dignified silence, but his expression speaks volumes ? I think the nearest I've heard him comment was in reply to a question about a Smiths reunion, and he said, "Maybe, but with Nigel Farrage on guitar!"?? 1w
The_Book_Ninja @Bookwomble I did some session work for Johnny Marr for the last Electronic album. He was a good bloke 1w
Bookwomble @The_Book_Ninja 😱 You've been hiding your light under a bushel! EXPLAIN! 🧐 1w
The_Book_Ninja In another lifetime I was a DJ and producer. Arthur Baker rang me up one day and asked me if I would do some scratching for a Johnny Marr project. I turned up at the studio, scratched some noises onto the backing track, (which got used on two songs) had a cup of tea and left. That must have been ‘98 1w
Bookwomble @The_Book_Ninja FANTASTIC! Jason Mad Doctor X?! Mate, you're on the record sleeve 😃 1w
Bookwomble @The_Book_Ninja 🙇‍♂️😉 1w
37 likes14 comments
review
Bookwomble
post image
Pickpick

It's Amos Tutuola so it's bonkers! 🤪
While all of the novels I've read by Tutuola are episodic, this one is actually a collection of short stories, folklore retellings with a bit less of the darkly macabre & horror that inhabits his other works, which isn't to say people don't get eaten, bits chopped off them or get transformed into creepy-crawlies.
Perhaps familiarity affects my perception: I found these marginally less interesting but still 3½⭐

quote
Bookwomble
post image

“If we continue to pay "bad" for "bad", bad will never finish on earth.”

I guess Tutuola's thought is a reframing of "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind." It's from a tale that channels a similar vibe to the Judgement of Solomon story, though the wisdom lies not with the king in this version.

blurb
Bookwomble
post image

And now for something completely different...

A short volume of Amos Tutuola's stories drawn from Nigerian Yoruba folklore 🇳🇬

review
Bookwomble
post image
Pickpick

#LSFBC #LitsySciFiBookClub @TheSpineView @CatLass007

I liked this from the beginning, but didn't feel connected with it until a little over halfway through. I like the ideas in it, and the narrative sweep. There aren't any particularly engaging characters in it - perhaps wily police officer Da Shi, but he's not exactly a nice guy - so it's really about the ideas and how they're linked, which I found interesting. It was also interesting to ⬇️

Bookwomble ... pick up some of the triumverates in the story, though whether they were deliberate or apophenic I'm not sure. 4⭐
I wasn't sure I'd bother to read the other books in the series, but having finished this one I think I will at some point.
1w
Kitta I‘m watching the show, it‘s great. 1w
Bookwomble @Kitta I paused watching to read the book spoiler-free, but I'll restart now I've finished. Good to hear it's a good show 😊 1w
Lesliereadsalot The show is really good. Better than the books and I liked the books. 1w
Bookwomble @Lesliereadsalot I've rewatched the first episode, and it's so different to the book that I find it annoying. However, I'm going to set that aside and watch it as it's own thing, not least because then I get to enjoy Benedict Wong as Da Shi: I've had a soft spot for him since his part as lovely but put-upon Errol in 15 Stories High, a British sitcom of the early 2000s. 5d
43 likes5 comments
blurb
Bookwomble
post image

#TuesdayTunes @TieDyeDude

The Sundays made beautiful jangly guitar pop that leaned into melancholy and wistfulness. Their first album, "Reading, Writing and Arithmetic", was, I think, their most successful, but all three are excellent. "Here's Where the Story Ends" has this wonderful lyric:

"And whoever would've thought,
the books that you bought
were all I loved you for?"

https://youtu.be/2HV5KfE4xMA?si=0hNkt27KCupF-uLI

RaeLovesToRead I never realised the Tin Tin Out version of this song was a cover! 1w
TieDyeDude I'm not sure I've heard much of their music, aside from “Here's Where,“ which is a great song! Thanks for sharing. 1w
Graywacke Tough love in the lyrics. But now I have a band to explore. 1w
See All 10 Comments
batsy Omg, I love the Sundays! This album is brilliant and this song 💜 1w
Bookwomble @RaeLovesToRead I didn't know it had been covered! I'll give that version a listen. 1w
Bookwomble @TieDyeDude @Graywacke As @batsy says, it's a brilliant album, one of those in which all the songs are worth listening to 😊 1w
Bookwomble @batsy It's hard to pick a favourite song from the album, so many good ones as well as HWTSE, but I think I Kicked a Boy and Can't Be Sure stand out 🎶🎸💖 1w
batsy HWTSE is the song that made me want to listen to every other song, so a special place in my heart. I Kicked a Boy is fab but I also have a soft spot for I Won ("it's hard to get to sleep in my house") and My Finest Hour because of the triumphant way she sings, "poetry is NOT for me" ? 1w
Bookwomble @batsy Yeah, it's actually impossible to pick outright favourites! A solid album 😊📀 1w
batsy @Bookwomble 10/10 ⭐ 1w
40 likes10 comments
review
Bookwomble
post image
Pickpick

Fucking brilliant. 🌈🧑🏻‍🎤

SpellboundReader I'm watching a YouTube video of musicians and lyricists. I didn't realize John Lennon contributed to the lyrics for '“Fame.“ 1w
Bookwomble @SpellboundReader Yes, and some vocals and guitar 😊 1w
48 likes1 stack add2 comments
quote
Bookwomble
post image

"Whether he fell to Earth or not, Bowie deeply loved people. He wasn't cold but, in his relations with others, he gave the impression that he followed a sort of code: something basic that should exist between all human beings, but that they've had a tendency to forget. On a personal level, that's what gave him a better grasp of fame. When they become stars, many artists lose their humanity, but that never happened to him!"

- Hazel O'Connor (2017)

review
Bookwomble
post image
Pickpick

A fascinating glimpse into life in 7th century CE China, translated in the 1940s from a 19th century Chinese manuscript that appears to preserve a genuine account of investigations undertaken by the magistrate of a small city.
Judge Dee is insightful, ethically scrupulous and morally strict, slightly softened by compassion. However, in the context of his culture, the use of torture, graphically described, is a legitimate judicial tool. I found ⬇️

Bookwomble ... these sections uncomfortable reading, but I guess that readers who enjoy "torture porn" movies might get a kick from these sections.
The current Netflix series excludes torture, but includes a few fight scenes, which I had thought was pandering to the modern vogue for adding martial arts to spice up the action, and was pleasantly surprised to read a few examples of Judge Dee's lieutenants exhibiting their "Chinese boxing and wrestling".
⬇️
2w
Bookwomble I really enjoyed this, and will continue with van Gulik's self-penned sequels. 4.5⭐ 2w
The_Book_Ninja Add martial arts to The Great British Bake Off and they got a whole new demographic. Prue Leith using nunchucks on Paul Hollywood?…who doesn‘t wanna see that!? 🥷 1w
Bookwomble @The_Book_Ninja Yeah, I'd like to see Prue knock Paul right on his soggy bottom! 🍰 1w
41 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
Bookwomble
post image
Pickpick

This is a nifty c. 1915 edition, bound in purple-dyed leather, with two illustrative plates glued to green backing paper with gilt borders & inscription. It's had a bit of a hard life, with some sun-bleaching and a small hole in the cover, but I guess we all start to show our wear and tear eventually: wholly in keeping with the contents ??????
"'One Moment in Annihilation's Waste,
One Moment, of the Well of Life to taste--
Oh, make Haste!"?

TheBookgeekFrau It's beautiful! 😍 2w
Leftcoastzen That‘s gorgeous, letterpress? 2w
Bookwomble @TheBookgeekFrau I want to say, "Thank you," but all I did was buy it ? 2w
See All 13 Comments
Bookwomble @Leftcoastzen I'd assume so from the age of it. There's no impress from the type on the main pages, which are nice paper stock, btw 😊, but there's a slight impress on the plate pages, so perhaps it needed a bit more pressure to print the gilt. 2w
batsy 😍😍 2w
Leftcoastzen I‘m always amazed that these little gems survive. 2w
dabbe 🤩🤩🤩 2w
Aimeesue Lovely 💜 2w
Bookwomble @Leftcoastzen Yeah - this one looks like it's been through a lot, but perhaps just well-loved 💖 2w
TheBookgeekFrau @Bookwomble 😂😂 True, but you're welcome anyway 😁 2w
bthegood Beautiful edition. This brings back memories - I had a friend who use to send me writings from this - enjoy 🙂 (edited) 2w
Bookwomble @bthegood I'm glad this sparked happy memories for you 😊 According to my GR record, I've read this poem 16 times, but it's definitely way more than that. You'd think I'd be able to quote the whole thing from memory, but no! 😄 1w
50 likes13 comments
blurb
Bookwomble
post image

This afternoon I'm sunburning my knees in the back garden with a previously unread edition of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in honour of the Persian tentmaker's birthday today, listening to Beth Gibbons's excellent new album, Lives Outgrown, with its matching themes of death and the transitory nature of life (I'm a happy bunny, really, honestly!🐰), and wishing I had another Twister ice lolly to replace the one I've just finished.
#BooksAndMusic

quote
Bookwomble
post image

“They say that reading will attract the spirit of sleep. Let me read a while, perhaps this book will help me pass the time, or else bore me to such an extent that I shall fall asleep.”

quote
Bookwomble
post image

"In the end, as a general rule, no criminal escapes the laws of the land."

If only this were true!
Judge Dee has a number of legal recourses not available to the modern judiciary. Were he presiding over the trial of D. Trump, that fellow would certainly have had 100 stokes of the heavy bamboo for lack of respect, and probably the thumb screws for lying!
#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

Ruthiella From Judge Dread to Judge Dee! 😃 2w
Bookwomble @Ruthiella Ha! Yes! 😄 I suspect each would approve of the other. 2w
The_Book_Ninja I fear the great orange demon is made of Teflon 2w
Bookwomble @The_Book_Ninja He's certainly a slippery customer! 2w
39 likes1 stack add4 comments
blurb
Bookwomble
post image

#TLT #ThreeListThursday @dabbe
Well, you put me in an awkward position, but as you insist on only 3:
1. Boat to Bolivia by Martin Stephenson & the Daintees, not least because I've just got home from seeing Martin live & I'm filled with his love, warmth & gladsome humour 💖
2. Any David Bowie album, but let's say Young Americans for tonight - a heart full of plastic soul 🧡
3. Veedon Fleece by Van Morrison, because of its Celtic emotionality 💚

dabbe My husband and I have been listening to Bowie's last album before he passed; we both really like it. Time to go back and revisit some older ones! 🤩🤩🤩 Thanks for sharing. 2w
Bookwomble @dabbe Blackstar is an incredible swan song ❤️ 2w
39 likes3 comments
blurb
Bookwomble
post image

Is one book a #BookHaul ? ?

I've been really enjoying the Netflix series "Judge Dee's Mystery" and decided to get the source material.

Judge Dee was a Tang Dynasty magistrate, three of whose historical cases are translated here, the success of which led van Gulik to write his own stories in a continuing series.

In his introduction, van Gulik comments on the centuries old Chinese tradition of detective novels, considerably predating ⬇️

Bookwomble ... Poe and Doyle in the West.

The looming plate in the foreground is my lunch of garlic mushrooms on toast, washed down with dandelion and burdock, finished off with a cappuccino 😋
2w
TieDyeDude I love the Judge Dee series by Lavie Tidhar about a vampire judge, but I always see this come up in results when I search. I've been interested in checking out his stories. I hadn't heard of the Netflix series.
Dandelion and burdock sounds good! I've never heard of it.
2w
Bookwomble @TieDyeDude The series is good - it's a Chinese production, so it feels authentic, as far as I can tell. As well as the detection aspect, it has some good fight choreography, decent SFX, and interesting supporting characters. I've only read the books introduction, but that in itself is really interesting. I don't think I'm going to keep my intention of finishing another book before starting this one! 😄 2w
See All 6 Comments
Bookwomble @TieDyeDude D&B is a traditionally Northern drink, fairly unknown in southern England (when I lived there it was like finding hens' teeth coming across a can!). The nearest I can describe it in North American terms would be similar to root beer or sarsaparilla. 2w
rwmg I've got van Gulik's Judge Dee on my wishlist. Maybe next month. I didn't know about the Netflix series. 2w
Bookwomble @rwmg I'm enjoying the book so far. The TV show is probably best described as "inspired by" the book, but I'm loving it on its own terms ? 2w
38 likes6 comments
quote
Bookwomble
post image

"I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart for the joys of the multitude. And I would not have the tears that sadness makes to flow from my every part, turn to laughter. I would that my life remain a tear and a smile.

A tear to unite me with those of broken heart; a smile to be a sign of my joy in existence."

blurb
Bookwomble
post image

#BookMail #BestMail
This is a collection of some of Gibran's earlier works from his mature period (according to the introduction: I wouldn't have known otherwise!).
A Book inscription records Nick's thoughtful gift to Roz, circa 1973 if it was given at the time of publication.
I'm gradually collecting Gibran's works in this early '70s Heinemann edition. I've eight of them so far, with about the same to find. #SlowCompletist

Leftcoastzen Nice find! 2w
Bookwomble @Leftcoastzen I ordered it off the internet (not Am*zon ?), which always feels a bit like cheating! A proper "find" is that Aha! moment in a proper bookshop ? But, yes, that said, it is a nice find. 2w
29 likes2 comments
blurb
Bookwomble
A Garland of Songs | Charles Sandford Bere
post image

#TuesdayTunes @TieDyeDude

I tracked down this 1995 album a few years ago as it features Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins on several songs, but lead singer Chris Thomson is certainly not overshadowed, his baritone voice sweeping between breathy & gravelly, & set in chamber pop arrangements of piano & strings. The Bathers have been described as "the best kept secret in Scottish music", & part of me wants to keep it that way. They're a bit special

Bookwomble I love the whole album, but I'll pick "The Dutch Venus", The Angel on Ruskin" and "Weem Rock Muse" (the latter guitar-based) as particular favourites.
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_nd9bOtubmMqk_VaL8j1_jKvC2zbHJzOjM&si=1...
2w
TieDyeDude I got the occasional Tom Waits vibe listening to this album. Thanks for sharing! 1w
Bookwomble @TieDyeDude I've seen that comparison, though I've only a vague knowledge of Tom Waits, which I've been meaning to remedy for a long time, but... ⏳ 1w
35 likes3 comments
review
Bookwomble
The Silence | Gillian Clarke
post image
Pickpick

Wonderful poems, starting with Clarke's viewing of a "Blood Moon" lunar eclipse in 2019, an ominous precursor to her reflections on the COVID pandemic, a reminder of the unnecessary deaths, the silence of those taken by the virus, the silence of those in power regarding those deaths, and the gradual quietening of the world during lockdown and the temporary resurgence of the natural world. The poems gradually turn to the changing of seasons, ⬇️

Bookwomble ...reminiscences of the poet's childhood, her mother, the Welsh name her father wanted for her, Gwenllian, connecting her with Llewellyn's daughter & her sad fate at the hands of the English. In her 87th year, Clarke's writing remains as powerful as ever. 5⭐
I always learn something of Welsh culture from Clarke's poetry, this time about penillion music, which sent me to some wonderful recordings on You Tube of Welsh harpist & singer, Ossian Ellis.
(edited) 2w
47 likes3 stack adds1 comment
quote
Bookwomble
The Silence | Gillian Clarke
post image

"Black sky of stars and a risen moon
in the sleeping arms of the beech."

- Blood Moon
691 and 21 January 2019

blurb
Bookwomble
The Silence | Gillian Clarke
post image

We've had a gloriously sunny weekend in Lancashire, but now the predicted storm is brewing, thunder is rumbling closer & lightning flashes briefly cutting through the gathering gloom - I love this weather! ⛈️
Listening to The Doors "Riders on the Storm" & ELO'S "Symphony for a Rainy Day", & about to start Gillian Clarke's latest poetry collection, "The Silence", featuring her native and beloved Wales, COVID lockdowns and WWI, amongst other topics.

Bookwomble This is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and, as I've enjoyed everything else I've read by her, I feel I'll be in safe hands again 😊🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 2w
42 likes1 comment
blurb
Bookwomble
post image

Starting this for the #LitsySciFiBookClub @TheSpineView
I watched the first episode of the Netflix series, but Mrs B wasn't taken with it, then the book was nominated for the group read, so I've paused the show to avoid spoilers.
I see this has mixed reviews, but I'm partial to some hard sci fi, so have hopes for an enjoyable read 😊📡👽

TheSpineView Enjoy!💙📖📘 3w
Lesliereadsalot Well worth your time (and these books take awhile!). Gotta read the next two when you finish this one. 2w
rwmg I have watched part of the Netflix series, but they seem to have downplayed what I thought was the most fascinating part of the book, or at any rate the part which looms most in my memory from when I read it 7 or 8 years ago
2w
Bookwomble @Lesliereadsalot I'm finding this first one reasonably good going, though I'm not that far in. I was slightly put off when I realised it's a series, as I'm not sure I want to commit, bit ill have to see how I feel at the end! 🙂 2w
Bookwomble @rwmg Oh, that's interesting 🙂 I'll finish the book, and then see if I have a continued interest in watching the series. 2w
43 likes1 stack add5 comments
review
Bookwomble
Judge Dredd: Year Two | Cavan Scott, Matt Smith, Michael Carroll
post image
Pickpick

That was surprisingly better than I expected it to be 😊
The first story is basically a Western with Dredd as sheriff in a border town run by a corrupt business family, with high explosive weapons, mutants and radioactive twisters.
The second story sees Dredd battered and bloodied, running a gauntlet of violent perps in a locked-down Mega-Block, not dissimilar to the excellent Karl Urban Dredd movie.
⬇️

Bookwomble The last story is a detective mystery, featuring a female Trump-alike trillionaire politician and Deadliner, a serial killer targeting journalists. This story was marred by a section of egregious fatphobia😕 I know that the “Fattie“ subculture is comic canon, but there's a choice of using this sensitively or abusively, and Scott went the wrong way.
Overall, a fun romp with a bit more going on than steel-chinned police brutality 4⭐
(edited) 3w
38 likes1 comment
blurb
Bookwomble
The Thinking Heart | Jenny Joseph
post image

I went out without a book! ? Panicked! ? Bought this ? so that I had something in case of a reading emergency (you can't be too careful!), and came home immediately without further incident ?
My book-monkey brain likes to play tricks! ???
So, I feel obliged to read this now: from the Old Woman in Purple, Jenny Joseph, a 1978 collection of poems which "gives a better view [than Warning] of the range and originality of her work". Sounds good.

Ruthiella If you can get used to reading e-books on your phone, that need never happen again. Of course unless your phone runs out of battery. 😱 3w
Bookwomble @Ruthiella No! 😠 Only paper books! (😉). Despite spending hours of good reading time on Litsy on my phone, I struggle to read actual books on devices. I'm a book dinosaur 📖🦖😄 3w
Suet624 I‘m with you. A story on audio or digital just doesn‘t go into my brain the same way as paper. 3w
43 likes3 comments
blurb
Bookwomble
Poetic Graffiti | Sharde O.
post image

I was running errands in town (ok, I ordered a book and bought a book!) and saw this inspirational prose poem chalked on a wall between the back yards of two pubs. ❤️

"It's never too late to grow back,
No matter how little light there is, no
Matter if it's just bricks and cement
Around you. Even when the circumstances
Feel hopeless, there is always time,
There is always a chance. You are not doomed.
It will get better.
YOU WILL GROW" ?

IndoorDame 💗💗💗 3w
41 likes1 comment
review
Bookwomble
1914 & Other Poems | Rupert Brooke
post image
Pickpick

1947 Faber edition of Brooke's culturally significant poetry collection, containing his five-sonnet cycle of war poems published within weeks of his death on active duty in WWI. That he died from an infected mosquito bite and never saw combat was less mentioned at the time, and that he died in 1915, before the worst excesses of Industrialised War, made his elegiac poems a perfect propaganda memorialisation of the millions of Patriotic Dead. ⬇️

Bookwomble Despite his frequent recourse to English Exceptionalism, there is an undoubted emotional power to his war poems, frequently carved in marble on Cenotaphs and quoted by right-wing nationalistic demagogues, ironically so as Brooke was a member of the socialist Fabian Society for much of his short adult life.
The other poems can be nostalgically evocative, bitterly misogynistic, and overblown by turns. Reading something of his life, relationships ⬇️
3w
Bookwomble ... and attitudes didn't greatly endear him to me but, at the same time, I feel a compassion for a young man raised in a stultifying atmosphere of late Victorian sexual repression and harshly proscribed class expectations.
Another of those lives lost to War about whose unrealised future contribution to culture we can only mournfully speculate.
⬇️
3w
Bookwomble Of the articles I read about Brooke, I found this one from The New Yorker most interesting: https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-true-story-of-rupert-brooke (edited) 3w
See All 7 Comments
TrishB That‘s really interesting thanks! I haven‘t really paid much attention to the ‘war poets‘ so this was really eye opening! Will be used in future feminist killjoy rants I suspect! 3w
Bookwomble @TrishB "Killjoy Feminist Rants": Title of your memoirs ?? I look forward to publication ? 3w
TrishB That‘s definitely the title 😂 3w
CarolynM Interesting article, thanks for the link. 3w
43 likes7 comments
quote
Bookwomble
1914 & Other Poems | Rupert Brooke
post image

"And after, ere the night is born,
Do hares come out about the corn?
Oh, is the water sweet and cool,
Gentle and brown, above the pool?
And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill, under the mill?
Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain?… oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?”

- The Old Vicarage, Grantchester

quote
Bookwomble
1914 & Other Poems | Rupert Brooke
post image

“I would think of a thousand things,
Lovely and durable, and taste them slowly,
One after one, like tasting sweet food.
I have need to busy my heart with quietude."

- The Busy Heart

kspenmoll 🩵 3w
33 likes1 stack add1 comment
quote
Bookwomble
1914 & Other Poems | Rupert Brooke
post image

“If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by the suns of home."

- The Soldier

A bit jingoistic for my taste, but still affecting ???????

vivastory I watched They Shall Not Grow Old by Jackson at the beginning of the year. Have you seen it? 3w
Bookwomble @vivastory I haven't seen that, but I would like to. I caught the last hour of 1917 a couple of months ago, though, and thought that was a fantastic film that I want to watch in full. 3w
vivastory 1917 is worth watching. I have an unusually strong memory of it as it was the last movie I saw before movie theatres closed due to the pandemic. I def recommend the Jackson documentary. I had heard good things about it, but was really really impressed. 3w
34 likes3 comments
quote
Bookwomble
1914 & Other Poems | Rupert Brooke
post image

"We have built a house that is not for Time's throwing,
We have gained a peace unshaken by pain for ever.
War knows no power, Safe shall be my going,
Secretly armed against all death's endeavour;
Safe though all safety's lost; safe where men fall;
And if these poor limbs die, safest of all."

- Safety

quote
Bookwomble
1914 & Other Poems | Rupert Brooke
post image

"Now, God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour,
And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping,
With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power,
To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,
Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary,
Leave the sick hearts that honour could not move,
And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
And all the little emptiness of love!"

- Peace

#FirstLineFridays #ShyBookOwl

review
Bookwomble
The Righteous Man | Michael Carroll
post image
Pickpick

The first novel in the three-book omnibus, "Judge Dredd: Year Two", was better than I'd anticipated.
Dredd is still new on the streets of Mega-City One, & having brought down his corrupt clone-brother, Judge Rico Dredd, in the previous trilogy, makes him more, not less, suspicious in the eyes of the Special Judicial Squad's Judge Gillen. Proceeding from an assumption of guilt, Gillen's investigation sees Dredd sidelined & seconded to guard duty ⬇️

Bookwomble ... in a mining town in the radioactive wastelands of The Cursed Earth. Dredd does his thing and perps get arrested or deaded. It's hardly a spoiler to say that Dredd is found not guilty of the immediate charges, but it still seems Judge Gillen has her sights firmly set on Joe...
Some good characterisations and Dredd is more than just a Law Machine (though, admittedly, not much more). 4⭐ easy entertainment. Next installment up!
3w
33 likes1 comment
blurb
Bookwomble
Judge Dredd: Year Two | Cavan Scott, Matt Smith, Michael Carroll
post image

In an America riven by factional violence, political in-fighting, gangs, and gun crime, in which human life is held cheap and social cohesion is threatened, a para-military police force rises to enforce the Law, regardless of Justice, to quell protest and protect the vested interest of a rich elite.
So, to distract myself from all that, I thought I'd read a Judge Dredd novel.

lil1inblue I see what you did there. 😏 3w
Ruthiella 😂 3w
Bookwomble @lil1inblue @The_Book_Ninja @Ruthiella The old jokes are the best 😉 3w
31 likes4 comments
review
Bookwomble
Peacock Pie: A Book of Rhymes | Walter de la Mare
post image
Pickpick

A book of poems for children? Perhaps, if written by Uncle Edgar Allen Poe for niece and nephew Wednesday and Pugsley Addams 💀
While not overtly horrific, the overall atmosphere is of melancholy, loss, death, night and febrile passion.
The opening poem, The Horseman, initially reads as a bit of nonsense nursery rhyme, but then, surely, the pale rider on his ivory horse coming over the moonlit hill can be none other than Death stalking the ⬇️

Bookwomble ... fitfully sleeping child.
Emett's illustration is of the gangling "Thief at Robin's Castle", who steals not only Robin's silverware, but his children, whose hands imploringly poke out of his swag bag. Raised as his own, the children "never really loved him" despite his stolen riches.
I initially thought this would be a slight set of childish rhymes, but they're ageless, dark, macabre and fey. I loved them ?
⬇️
3w
Bookwomble Sibelius's "Valse Triste" (Sad Waltz) from his score to the drama "Kuolema" (Death) catches something of the mood:
https://youtu.be/5Ls8-pk4IS4?si=isJZxdiecsifeir_
3w
36 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
Bookwomble
Peacock Pie: A Book of Rhymes | Walter de la Mare
post image

I picked this up in Keswick Oxfam last week: a 1942 illustrated edition of a Walter de la Mare collection of poems for children. It's in reasonable shape, except that Oxfam vandalised it with non-removable stickers on the rear of the dust jacket! I mean, why would you? 🤷‍♂️ Anyway, de la Mare is one of those authors I've always known of, but never read other than the odd short story here and there, so worth reading a book just to have done so.

Ruthiella At least it‘s on the back? Have you tried using a hairdryer to loosen the glue? It‘s worked for me in the past. 🤞 3w
Bookwomble @Ruthiella The jacket isn't glossy, so I'm not sure if that technique will work. 3w
IndoorDame What a great find! 🤩 …sometime the stickers on old matte paper are truly impossible, which is just evil 😠 but overall Ive had the best luck with goo-gone 3w
See All 9 Comments
Bookwomble @IndoorDame Thanks for the tip. If not heard of that product, but I'll look out for it, for other sticky situations even if not for this one! 3w
LeahBergen What a fab cover! 3w
Lesliereadsalot I love the cover! Reminds me of the old Wizard of Oz books I still collect. 3w
Aimeesue Excellent cover 💙 3w
Bookwomble @LeahBergen @Lesliereadsalot @Aimeesue It is a fab cover, isn't it? ? The illustrator is F. R. Emett, and the cover shows the 'Three Jolly Farmers" who bet on which of them can dance the longest. 3w
Aimeesue @Bookwomble That is a lot of jolly! 3w
39 likes9 comments
blurb
Bookwomble
post image

Just to connect for a moment with something lighter than my previous few posts, this dapper gentlecat is Leto, my son's pet, wearing his harness in preparation for an outside walk 🐈‍⬛
He's a former homeless cat himself (I now realise a connection to previous posts!) and has settled into his forever home very well. He came on a visit to our house at Easter and adjusted very quickly. Sweet little guy 😺
#CatsOfLitsy

Librarybelle ❤️❤️❤️ 3w
quietlycuriouskate Oh, he's gorgeous! 😻 3w
LeahBergen Handsome boy! ❤️ 3w
See All 9 Comments
dabbe #lovelyleto 🖤🐾🖤 3w
Ruthiella 😻😻😻 3w
IuliaC 😻🩷 3w
batsy A very dapper little fellow! 3w
RaeLovesToRead Hello lovely Gentlecat 💕💕 3w
49 likes9 comments