Monday, 29 October 2012

All Booked Up


'Fashionable gardens bore me', Henry says patiently, 'with their stranglehold on growth and natural beauty. Fashionable gardens are everything about order and symmetry and nothing about plants. They are hard, measured battlegrounds against nature, as though it was the enemy. Sometimes it is even enough for whole areas to be eradicated of foliage and filled with coloured sand or gravel, and triumphal gaudy flags, and emblems set about the site, as markers of the inexorable march of civilization eating up the wilderness.' - Jane Borodale.

The to be read pile runneth away from me at the moment, not only a veritable toppling mountain of magazines but several books too. Somehow or other, it seems that the majority of novels that I reserved via the local library have conspired to be ready for collection at the same time. There is a but a three week window to read most of these, as other library users are in the queue, so it's going to be a case of some serious concentration plus a touch of speed reading. The onset of colder days and longer nights will no doubt help. As a consequence though gardening related reading material, has for the time being drifted towards the bottom of the pile but there are goodies lying in store, once I have cleared the library books. Earlier this year I wrote "I am going to resist buying any more books until I have read those already in my possession. The bookshelves are groaning and are in need of a good prune". Well I have risen well on the whole to this challenge but I must confess that temptation reared its ugly head. Himself spoilt me with some Amazon gift vouchers last Christmas so during the course of the year I have treated myself to the odd booky treat including a recent purchase of ~

Jane Borodale's recent historical novel 'The Knot',which is currently most favourably priced at £6.00 for a hardback edition through Amazon. The book's central character is the botanist Henry Lyte, of Lytes Carey Manor in Somerset. The year is 1565 and Henry is occupied with not only translating a Dutch herbal, but also in planning and planting an intricate herb garden, which will feature a knot at its heart. It is against this background that "old family troubles start to worm their way up towards the light, potentially threatening everything that Henry holds dear.

Of course I've had to have a quick peek. At some four hundred or so pages long my initial flicking through impressions are most positive so I can't wait to make inroads into this book. 'The Knot' is also available in paperback, surprisingly at a higher price as well as in Kindle format - again at a slightly higher price than the current price for the hardback. I will try to return with my thoughts on the book once I have read it but it may not be for a while. I have already made a note to purchase this as a seasonal gift for at least one friend who like me is interested in both plants and history. What are you reading at the moment or plan to read to read over the coming months? All suggestions gardening related or otherwise are welcome.

11 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good read for the coming colder days and weeks ahead. We too have a pile of magazines and books to catch up on in the following weeks, too many to mention but looking forward to going through them.

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  2. It sounds like a good book. I made a decision at the start of the year to cut out buying magazines, one reason was the cost, but I also found that magazines would pile up and then I'd end up reading them instead of picking up a book. As I really wanted to get back in to reading this year, the magazine stand in the supermarket has been a no go area. On the whole, I've resisted, but I'm going to treat myself to a Christmas edition, I don't know which one yet. As for books, I'm still plodding my way through The No.1 Ladies' Detective series, but I've got plenty of others just waiting for my attention.

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  3. Eek - get thee behind me! Having vowed to do something about the book mountain that is my house, you tempt me with a novel set in one of my favourite gardens.

    I am so week willed *clicks on Amazon link*

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  4. Oo - sounds a goody - but like you I have to read the tottering pile that has accumulated before I buy anything else. I won't be reading much in the next month as I have joined this years NaNoWriMo competition trying to write a rough draft of a novel in a month. Going to be quite a challenge.

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  5. The book looks very interesting. I have discovered that a large pile of books waiting to be read looks much smaller on a Kindle and the guilt is much less!

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  6. This sounds right up my street Anna! Must take a look at it as I'm already thinking about Christmas gifts too. I'm currently reading "Weeds" by Richard Mabey, and it's VERY interesting. When I finally finish it I will do a review on my blog! Mabey looks at what we call "weeds" from all angles - use in literature, herbal uses, origins etc. I can recommend it!

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  7. That does sound interesting and to be honest I quite agree with the main character's sentiment in the quote at the top of your post. My book mountain is reducing although I am now left with the books I have struggled to get into. As for the magazine mountain, despite having cancelled subscriptions over a year ago, it hasnt really declined and some of it goes back several years, which I suppose just shows I was only getting them from habit

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  8. Cookbooks for me! Just got the re-released 'Memories of Gascony' by the one and only Pierre Koffman.

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  9. I've just picked up Adam Nicolson's 'Sissinghurst' from the library and a book about an urban beekeeper which I can't remember the title of. I'm not much of a fiction reader and for most of this year I've been reading gardening books but I feel I need a little break from them at the moment. I can recommend A World Without Bees which is fascinating.

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  10. You've aroused my curiosity about this book. WIll have to check to see if it is currently available in the US.

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.