When you’re in a Book Group you’re always on the lookout for a good book to share. As a result there are two TV programmes that I watch – The Book Programme with Mariella Frostrup and The TV Book Club which used to be Richard & Judy’s domain, I think, but is now hosted by Jo Brand (comedienne).
This year’s recommended summer read was Grace Williams Says it Loud by Emma Henderson. I’ve just finished it and found that it contained more than a few echoes to one of my favourite books of old – Skallagrigg by William Horwood. However, I don’t think it was as good but then it has been many years since I read it. It tells the story of Grace who is put into Briar Mental Institute at the age of 11 and meets Daniel, an epileptic who has no arms. The book is mostly their love story which gives a rare insight into the minds of those who are different from ‘us’. The language is lovely and almost poetic in parts and helps explain what it must be like to be unable to communicate fully. (Again there were echoes of another good read – Room by Emma Donoghue.) The ending is a mixture of sadness and hope. And I’m still not sure if I really liked it, or not. Have you read it? Would love to know what you think.
I’ve also finally finished my Christmas book The Fry Chronicles, an Autobiography. I’m a big fan of Stephen Fry and laughed out loud at his first autobiography Moab is my Washpot but I didn’t think this was nearly as funny. There are lots of nice photos and Stephen and Emma Thomson and Hugh Lawrie, among others. The book mainly focuses on his university years and the beginning of his career with Hugh. It was interesting but just not as amusing as I expected.