Thursday, 6 March 2008

World Book Day

To celebrate World Book Day, I thought I would share with you some of my favourite books.
Thanks to my lil job in a bookshop, (with its 33% discount, uncorrected proofs and free damaged books) I often come home with more paper goodness than we can safely fit in our teeny house.

There's the main bookshelf,

though its not normally this neat.

There's the floor in the lounge,

cook books in a kitchen cupboard,

kids books all around their bedroom

these are books for 9 years and up

and these are the picture books (don't worry: its a very sturdy shelf)

and at my bedside.

When I need a laugh, I go to this book:

I know he hasn't done a funny film for ages, but this book makes tears of joy and mirth cascade down my plump laughing cheeks.

When I want comfort, I go to this book, a favourite as a child:

'Meal One' by Ivor Cutler, illustrations by the completely marvellous Helen Oxenbury. It is a safe bet to buy any books with her illustrations and I heartily recommend that you do so.

This is a superb book that powerfully conveys the parallels of black American boxers and the fight for black civil rights in the late 50's / early 60's. I'm rather partial to a good boxing match and consider Muhammad Ali as a bit of a god, so come and join the Rumble in the Jungle with me.

Here are my favourite self help books:

'Round Ireland with a Fridge' reminds me that anything is possible, as long as its part of a drunken bet, 'Yes Man' reminds me to take a chance now and then (yet reminds me that a bit of caution can also be a good thing), 'Oh the Places You'll Go!' reminds me that life is an everchanging journey, full of highs and lows, and strange blue houses, and 'Liberation' does exactly what it says on the tin: 'the perfect holistic antidote to stress, depression and other unhealthy states of mind'. Plus, I have a bit of a crush on the good Doc...

This is how I want to live.

I would love to fall into this book and live beautifully with the lovely beautiful people in sepia-land. Lets go camping! (this is how I see the often-talked-about UK Etsy Craft Commune looking)

I would also love to fall into this book,

This is a fabulously evocative account of the groovy side of London during the swinging sixties. Oh to visit the Indica bookshop! I keep meaning to dig out a published copy of this book (this is an uncorrected proof, so it has none of its final illustrations.) Mind you, it is written clearly enough that the words provide very clear pictures in themselves.

My favourite book on fashion:

Despite loving Robert Elms' radio show on BBC London, this book didn't really scream at me as something I had to read: mmm, men's fashion....zzzzzzzz. But when I found a damaged copy at work going for free (there's a rip on the front cover: that's all) I gave it a go and fell quickly and deeply in love. The man's love and respect for clothes is infectious, the way he remembers tiny little details and why those details were so important.

This was my Dad's which I stole from him years ago. (you know the way teenagers do, when they believe that their parents, living only in order to look after their offspring, relinquish any property rights on their possessions: 'What's yours is mine and can I have a tenner?') I have memorised every line and shade, every nuance of pen stroke, so perhaps I can give it back... in a few years time...

and this gem is from Ronald Searle's truly dark and deranged, and utterly wonderful, St Trinians. (please erase all memory of the recent film):

'I'll just die and then you'll be sorry.'
Awww, bless!

Happy World Book Day people!

(I'm reading this, written by her)


Helen said...

Great post! I love to see people's bookshelves. I used to work in Waterstones and I loved my 33% discount! (This accounts for a lot of the books on my shelves!)

minkee said...

What a lovely post! What a lovely house! What lovely books!! :D

I'm completely jealous, of course, but I'm slowly catching up, without the benefit of a hefty discount or kids to buy them for. Hurray for you and your books

bee said...

ohhh lovely lovely books....I used to work in a bookshop too and miss my 33%......I don't miss all the strange people coming in to drop their trousers though and jump about on the bookshelves. Think the glue in the binding sends folk a bit doooolally.

Great post :)


Abi B said...

Agh! we are but literary twins i tell ye! I love woody allens prose! Have the barefoot doctor book also!.

*calms down*

Mike said...

They have a world book day now? It should be a holiday.

Love the blog hun.

birds of a feather said...

Thank you so much for such a wonderful list of books to go and look for/through. I'm inspired to share some of my faves now too!

Thank you!!!

yumptatious said...

helen: lets see your bookshelves then! My problem isn't so much the discount but the damaged books we can help ourselves too: they take up most of the room! Some have the covers upside down, some have tears. I have become more picky and stopped bringing home books where the chapters are numbered but out off sync, where the ink fades towards the bottom of the page or where the photo pages are cut in 1/2.

minkee: aww, bless you! :-) Most of the picture books I bought for my own reading pleasure: if the kids liked them too, then that was a bonus! They now send me to work with a list, which I duly bring home again (the list, not the books!)

bee: lordy! None of my customers have been that extreme! The ones that annoy me are the rude ones, the ones who don't understand the term 'out of print', the people who expect you to leap through hoops to please them. I hate to sound like an old fart but 'please' and 'thank-you' cost nowt!

abi: I knew you were a woman of exquisite taste! We should start a cyber bookclub! :-D

mike: they do indeed. Though why its called 'World' book day, I don't know, seeing as it only happens in the UK. It should be a national holiday: please write to your MP. (cheers for the blog-luv, hun: who'd have thought, 18 years ago, that this would be how we communicate!)

birds: glad you liked it! I've shown you some of mine, now show me some of yours! ;-)

Half an Acre said...

oh my lordy! a fellow booklover! You should see the books in my house!
i'm inspired to do a post on the bookshelves in your blog - love the cakes! always need cake with coffee!
if i do a feature on my bookshelves i'll link to yours!