Saturday, February 16, 2008

More books and cats

Actually, I got these books for Christmas too, now I come to think about it – except “The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl”, the one on the top, which I bought myself. I’ve mentioned it before – it’s a touching and inspiring account written by a fellow blogger about how she got her life back from depression and overweight to happiness and fitness. What a girl. Her story is riveting and she also writes very well indeed. Including apostrophes. I do recommend it.

It’s sitting crookedly on the pile because it’s on top of Janet Street Porter’s horridly fascinating autobiography (part 2) which I dropped in the bath. This is not good for books but it doesn’t matter in this case. JSP is a journalist with a very good opinion of herself and if I saw her standing on a river bank with her back to me, I might well be tempted to give her a little shove. Only into a shallow river, you understand. Or a bath.

Of this second pile, I’ve so far read the Don Paterson, the Janet Street Porter and the Dietgirl. Now, however, I’ve abandoned the Mitfords temporarily for Sebastian Faulks’s “Engleby” (very good so far), which is our book group choice, and “Tess of the D’Urbervilles”, which I’m rereading so that I can pretend I know it awfully well for my (very intelligent) Advanced Higher students. A week or two ago, two of their essays on “The Return of the Native” made me doubt whether I could actually do any better myself. I didn’t tell them that, though. One has to maintain the illusion.

Girl in pyjamas with happy cat last night.

Boy in pyjamas with happy cat this morning.

Boy in pyjamas with other happy cat.

Boy in pyjamas with relaxed and happy cat.


  1. My mountain of Books To Be Read is threatening to topple over, and still I come to the library, that garden of temptation. What I need is some self control. love you understatement "that is not good for books" !

  2. I think the best thing one can say about JSP is that, despite being far from classically beautiful, she clearly has a good opinion of herself and does not believe that just because she is not a blonde airbrushed Barbie, she can't do TV, journalism or anything else she darn well pleases. You have to admire that sort of thrawn oomph! Irritating as hell, mind.
    Cool spotty PJs by the way.

  3. I am absolutely in agreement re JSP and the river thing. Deep is fine too. Better in fact. And my bookcase is stacked with books which open like fans after a dunking in the bath. In fact, bookclub girls look at the books I take out to check if they are theirs and then remind me NOT to read them in the bath.
    I have 3 in my case for my trip. Books. I can't wait to get there!

  4. Your TBR piles are really very interesting! I've had several close calls with the bath, but have never actually dropped one in. Looks like it is not to be recommended!

  5. Doesn't the bath water get cold while you're reading?

    Cute catlets.

    Cute, spotty pyjamas.

    Cute sun shining on the Life household.

  6. Isabelle. You always, always make me laugh. I don't know this JSP all you ladies want to push in the drink, perhaps it's better that way. How I wish I could come and be in your class -- I LOVE Tess -- one of the highlights of our last trip to England was a visit to the Hardy cottage. Whatever will the catlets do while dear son is away?

  7. yes. I second that sentiment: who could wish for anything more than to be a student in the class of Isabelle, hearing all about literature. Bliss.
    Have ordered my dietgirl.

    (Bless Shauna, she put me in her "obsession spot, sweet girl.)

    Ha, as a fantasy I just looked up "jobs for teachers in Scotland". dream on....

  8. Goodness, your kitties have grown!

    I think I saw JSP on Parkinson once and found her fearfully impressive. Is she the war correspondent one?

  9. Goodness me I chuckled about the book dropped in the bath. This is the reason that I only ever read magazines in there!

  10. What would we do without good books and happy cats on our laps? It does sound as if JSP could use a good dunking. Sometimes it takes that kind of personality to get ahead in her profession. We have a very prominant politician with a similar nature (only much, much worse) ;)
    Those spotty PJs are very cute, as are the happy cats!

  11. Those catlets appear to be fully fledged Cats now! They are very beautiful, & I wonder how you tell them apart?

    I don't take baths any more. Have been guilty of dropping books in the bath in the past. Hardbacks, particularly don't travel well in water!

    What beautiful hands Daughter has!

  12. No, no, JSP isn't a war correspondent. She's a ... what is she...? features writer and telly person, in touch with all that's hip. Or something. She also hillwalks. And she thinks she's fantastic.

  13. Unfortunately for me, the only books I ever drop in my bath happen to be library books, which can cost me an arm and a leg to pay for when I return unreadable book to hostile librarian >:o(
    Yes, I was wondering the same thing as your other readers - how do you know which black cat is which? Pink and blue collars? Different sounding bells on said collars?
    Glad you enjoyed the Butcher Shop - thought you might!

  14. I'm taking careful notes for my Amazon order, to sustain me between French discoveries. These look good - tho' JSP has to go!

    Are cats more conducive to reading than dogs? My dog interrupts my reading, demanding walks and plays and food. I recall cats just lap-arriving and departing, with only lap-kneading ceremony to disturb the reader. Or is that seeing through tabby-rimmed glasses?

  15. Happy Happy Cats indeed. I've got a growing pile of books too and I am going to be writing about them soon on my blog - when I get time! Something very comforting about having a heap of unread books to read

  16. I enjoy Sebastien Faulke's books and would like to reread "Charlotte Grey." I just finished "Atonement" (quite a good read) and am heading for "Love in the Time of Cholera" next. We read "Tess" in first year university and it's truly a classic.

  17. Still laughing at the idea of JSP as a war correspondent... if there wasn't a war when she got there, there would be before long.

    I think perhaps I'm quite glad I didn't end up teaching secondary English ( apart frm not wanting to be disembowelled by teenagers), I'm not sure I could face re-reading Tess over and over. It was OK but some I could come back to and some not. Now Middlemarch on the other hand...

  18. I used to have TBR piles of books but I solved the problem of them taking up space on the dresser by buying a couple of jute bags so they now take up space on the floor. Is that better can't decide?