Friday, August 19, 2011

I read a book (or two!)

I have been slowly and steadily reading these past few months. Every train trip (which are rare) allows me the opportunity for audiobook listening, and after my marathon Tour de France knitting, I felt the need to knit a bit less each day and spend some time reading an actual book!

And I managed to finish two books in quick succession, one on audio and the other on paper. It helped that the latter was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - anyone who's read a Harry Potter book knows they are a fairly quick read! I have read it before, but with the last movie coming out, and all the advertising for it, I felt the need to revisit it. And enjoyed it just as much as the first time, perhaps more, because I wasn't reading it in such a hurry to find out what happened!

The audiobook was most enjoyable! Nella Last's War, a wonderful collection of the wartime diaries of Nella Last, an "ordinary" British woman who participated in the UK's Mass Observation Project (where the diaries are held). It was recently adapted for TV, called "Housewife, 49", which is how she headed up her first entry. The book gives an amazing insight into the experiences of women in the UK during WWII, the impact of rationing, and of course the impact of deaths and injuries to so many, not just those in the field of war, but also at home. Nella also displays amazing insights into the impact of war on women (not always approvingly) and has a real eye for detail and a way with words. The audiobook was read wonderfully by Carole Boyd. I found this book a real delight, and enjoyed it very much. I highly recommend it!

16 comments:

2paw said...

Housewife 49 was such a wonderful show, I love Victoria Wood. Glad you have your reading mojo back!! I know exactly what you mean about the last Potter, it was a racing read to get to the end!!

MadMad said...

Sounds like a good one (Nella Last), and I'll see if Netflix can get me the show, too. I've been reading non-fiction this summer, for whatever reason, and just finished The Happiness Project, about a woman's yearlong quest to be happier with small steps. (Like cleaning out your closet.) Kind of interesting, actually.

Donna Lee said...

We listened to the last Harry Potter after we saw the movie. I didn't want to be disappointed by fresh remembrances of what they inevitably had to leave out (not as much as you'd think).

If you haven't read/listened to the Help, get it. It's also a book about life for (mostly) women in southern Mississippi in the late 50's early 60's. The audio book is a marvel and just wonderful (and sad and upsetting) to listen to. My favorite pasttime is a good listening book and a good knitting project.

mooncalf said...

Oh excellent. I have the audiobook of Nella's Last War un-listened-to. I will bump it up the queue based on your recommendation. Thank you!

amy said...

My local (statewide) library system doesn't have Nella Last's War--just checked. @#!$

Roxie said...

I've been stripping walpaper and listening to Charlaine Harris "Good and Dead" Hot vampire sex and quirky humor really makes the time fly.

Mereknits said...

Oh I love all the Harry Potter books and the last movie was amazing. Loved The Help, can't wait to see that too.

1funkyknitwit said...

Wonderful that your getting through some books but don't forget to knit cause you have that little project to finish which contain a few hexapuffs ;D

knitabulous said...

I used to live in an upstairs flat upstairs in an old mansion house - the owner was an old lady downstairs who used to tell all sorts of racy tales of how much 'fun' they had during the war when the men went away and the American soldiers visited the city on rnr!

Lynne said...

"Nella's Last War" sounds very interesting. After reading an article in the paper last week about people reading less (printed media) I thought about the last time I read a 'paper' book from cover to cover - it was quite a while ago; I think I'll have to rectifiy that!

I read blogs every day so I am still reading! LOL

Ann said...

I find audio books hard to concentrate on as my mind keeps wandering & I can pay attention. I read every night before bed on my kindle.

DrK said...

I am going to have to read all the Potters again I think, just can't get enough. And nellas sounds really interesting...although I'm yet to be converted to the audiobook idea!

bells said...

we should talk about audiobooks more often - it's great to hear recommendations and I'm utterly addicted to them.

Housewife 49 was a wonderful show and youve reminded me I meant to investigate getting a copy and finding the book so that's great - thanks!

Virginia said...

The Nella Last thing sounds amazing. I'll definitely be looking for that.

Recently I read a series of children's books called "The Mysterious Benedict Society" which were totally gripping and really got me hooked, to the point where I wasn't knitting.

LynS said...

I've had a number of people recommend 'Nella's Last war' but somehow haven't managed to read it yet. Thanks for reminding me. I love the way the detail of people's daily life can link you to the past in the way no commentary succeeds in doing.

Sweetp said...

I must keep an eye out for that book, sounds interesting!