Alexander Averin

Monday, 16 January 2012

Stop What You Are Doing And Read This

This is a must-read book recommendation.

In the ten essays in this book some of our finest authors and passionate advocates from the worlds of science, publishing, technology and social enterprise tell us about the experience of reading, why access to books should never be taken forgranted, how reading transforms our brains, and how literature can save lives. In any 24 hours there are so many demands on your time and attention - make books one of them.


Carmen Callil

Tim Parks

Nicholas Carr

Michael Rosen

Jane Davis

Zadie Smith

Mark Haddon

Jeanette Winterson

Blake Morrison

Dr Maryanne Wolf

Dr Mirit Barzillai

Did anyone else catch this book? It was Book of the Week recently on Radio 4 and was brilliant, especially Jeanette Winterson's essay, that was my favourite... but then I love all her writings. I have been musing and trying to write my own essay in my mind but I felt I was just repeating what everyone else had already said. And I have blogged so much in the past about the joy of books and reading, it is my passion after all. Anyway I took a wee walk this morning and from this came a wee poem.

The cottage sits softly on a January noon

The cottage sits softly on a January noon,

soaking up the Winter sun, secure and cosy

in her wrap-around garden ,she still appears

warm amongst the hardness of white frost.

All lies in wait for spring, though daffodils in

January are really not usual,

nothing confuses, nothing will waver,

Nature will cope, only humans falter.

Logs lie about, they too are waiting,

only the dogs are desperate to run.

As usual I am musing, today on

a lifelong passion for the written word,

squiggles on paper, symbols of language,

a love affair that has lasted, can you

think of another the same?

Ah, the smell of books, the look, the feel,

soul linking soul to soul, writers

reaching to me from the heart with prose to

wallow in, dream of, escape to, become lost in

(with no need for rescue)

and the crown that is poetry, which can

be pure magic, living on forever

in one’s memory.

Cait O’Connor


Vee said...

That is lovely, Cait; your poem rings true.

ds said...

Soul to soul, our longest love affair. True, Cait. Thank you.

e said...

Thanks for the heads up about this book and your words inspire. Happy 2012 to you.

Dave King said...

The poem sings, and it is a most beautiful song.

Frances said...

Cait, I am so glad to have been able to read your poem, with its early observation of nature deepening into heartfelt truthful offerings.

Many thanks!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Beautiful. Books are like that to me as well. I have brought home an armful every week since I was five - sixty years of journeying between their covers.

Fennie said...

I'll look out for the book. Yes, make time for reading.

bright star said...

I like the pem,especially the imagery.Will look out for the book,maybe we have it in the library! lol Angela

Friko said...

Yes, that's how it is with books.
Thanks for pointing out this book of essays. I shall look out for it.

Pondside said...

'Nature will cope' - it does and always has, but the line was lovely and appropriate for the winter we're having.
You asked if the house in the photo I posted was mine - no, I don't live on the shore, but I wish I did!

The bike shed said...

That's a great recommendation, thanks Cait.

Books, essays, magazines, libraries, blogs - the printed word is so important, whatever its form