Thursday, August 16, 2007


A friend called in an hour or so ago, bearing these offerings from her garden. Thoughtfulness like this can simply make your day.

And it gets better, for a parcel of goodies from Amazon has just arrived, right on time. Want to know what I've got? I'm going to tell you anyway:

Hot Mettle by Brenda Dean: For those of you who do not know of her, Brenda Dean was the first woman leader of a major British Trade Union, the printers' union SOGAT, and, as such, she had many battles with Rupert Murdoch in the 1980s. I've always respected Brenda Dean for being a tough, intelligent and very feminine woman and I am interested in the inside story . She is now a Labour working peer.

The Islamist by Ed Husain: Ed Husain was involved in radical Islam in Britain and this is the true story of why he joined the movement and later became disillusioned. I saw him being interviewed on Sky and thought he talked a lot of sense.

Delizia! The Epic History of the Italians and their Food by John Dickie: Simply because the reviews of this intrigued me.

44 Scotland Street, Espresso Tales and The World According to Bertie by Alexander McCall Smith: I have come to like AMS, having resisted his novels for a long time. They are heart-warming and well crafted and I think the character of Bertie is a wonderful creation. These books help me in that I need to read good prose in order to be able to write what I hope is good prose.

And finally a new Collins monolingual English dictionary, as my old one had decided to self-destruct. It was probably time for an updated one anyway and here's a point about dictionaries that non-linguists may not have thought about: All dictionaries have to be updated via new editions but this is happening much more frequently than it used to. When I was a modern languages student, Harrap would update their French dictionary every 8 - 10 years by bringing out supplements. Now full new editons appear from most publishers every 2 years. This is because language is changing much faster than it ever has before; whilst slang and jargon have always changed fairly quickly and there have always been new words for new inventions, dictionary compilers just can't keep up with new technological terms that appear every day!

Oh, I almost forgot: slipped into the parcel with the above was Patrizio Buanne's CD Forever Begins Tonight. I had asked the man in the nearby video / CD shop if he could get it but he was adamant that it didn't exist, though I knew that it was available in Italy, so I thought, "Bugger you - I'll get it from Amazon."

All awfully naughty, I know, but I haven't treated myself to anything from Amazon since Xmas and if you're going to order from abroad you might as well have several items to make the postage costs worthwhile. That's my excuse, anyway... Besides, this little lot should just about keep me going through the rest of the silly August shut-down of everything. Yes, I do read in Italian as well but all the bookshops are closed so what's a girl to do?!


jmb said...

Roses too, I'm amazed they are doing so well since it's so hot.

That's sounds like an interesting mix of books to while away the closures. I have never tried the Scottish series of AMS, since I hated the one and only African one I read.

I love buying books online, one of my favourite pastimes. I like buying them in the store too!

Chris said...

Oh, I wish I had a friend who had a grape vine. Or... I wish I had a grape vine (together, of course, with grape ripening weather).

The lunch looks, as always, scrummy and I bet it tasted as good as it looks.

I quite liked all of the McCall Smith books and have one of the latest saved for some time soon.

Chris said...

Oops - should have said 'the lunch from yesterday's post'. (But it's still delicious!)

Clare said...

I love the AMS books - I've read them all except the newest Scotland St one (The World According to Bertie) as I am stubborn and waiting for it to come out in paperback so it matches my other ones (sad I know!). I love the way he writes, it feels very honest.
A great haul from Amazon anyway, I hope you get through the August shhutdown period!

Crushed said...

How do you get the time to do all this reading AND blog?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, jmb. The roses are nice, aren't they? A lot are dying from neglect downtown, though. Re AMS, I like the Edinburgh novels best, but I didn't mind the Botswana ones either, stylistically speaking. Like you, I love buying books any way I can! Ciao, Chris. Wish you could have been here to share the lunch! Another AMS fan... ! Ciao, Clare. I think I might just about get through it with my Amazon haul! Auguri a tutti

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Easy, Crushed - stay up till 2 am!

Liz Hinds said...

What a lovely friend!

Do you like the Scottish books of AMS? I haven't tried them but adored the Ladies Detective Agency (although the last one was a little disappointing).

lady macleod said...

joy and rapture! my sort of day. Gorgeous fruit (i love fruit), and what a lovely kindness. goody, goody! a package from Amazon, i am right there with you.

All those reads sound excellent. I am putting in a request for book reviews as you finish each one.

Enjoy! I should think Simi will enjoy a nice read aloud..

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Liz. I've only read 2 of the AMS Botswana novels and I thought they were good but not wonderful. I think the Scottish ones are much better - or just more to my taste. Ciao, Lady M. I love all fruit, too. OK, will do the book reviews - thanks for the idea. I do read to Simi and I retell her news stories involving doggies [ones with happy endings of course!]

Crushed said...

I go to bed at 12.30 and get up at six.
Since I started blogging, my reading has slowed considerably.
I was in waterstones the other day and realised thee was not much point me buying anything.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I know what you mean, Crushed - there are days when I am so involved in blogging that I don't read anything [apart from other blogs, that is!]

Lee said...

Amazon is great! I bet you did feel terrific receiving all those goodies, not to mention the delicious Patrizio, of course! ;)

Those grapes look wonderful. I bet they tasted just as wonderful as they look, too!

I'm in the middle of downloading CDs which in turn I'm going to burn. It's a friends birthday tomorrow (Sunday) and I'm giving them to her as a little surprise. Seven in all, so she will be happy with them, I think. Mainly all classical but with one Julio Iglesias thrown in for good measure. His "Crazy" album.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Lee. The grapes are, indeed, delicious - so sweet! That sounds like a nice present you are giving your friend.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Lee, meabt to say I'm delighted with my haul from Amazon and I'm listening to Patrizio now.


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