Thursday 24 October 2013

The Transforming Power of Literature

Musing on Stoner
Howdy silent partners: I have been reading a book set in Missouri and St. Louis and now I want to go there if only verbally - more in the next paragraph. I have been absent from Blogville for a wee while, but I have an excuse note: I have been working with my husband on the paperback of "Big Men's Boots" our first imprint (gosh!) and we are also in the foundation stages of developing our own publishing business - watch this space book munchers!

How many of you belong to book clubs? All of you? Marvellous aren't they? I love mine; not only do I get to read more widely than I possibly would, I get to discuss these books with some fine ladies upon white sofas (not really) the ladies are fine, but not dandy (as in supafine, not just acceptable) as are the sofas, but they are rarely white. By far and away the best and most transporting (as previously indicated, gee!) book we have read so far is "Stoner" by John Williams: a book that I gobbled up in great, greedy chunks whenever I had an opportunity: usually while breastfeeding.

Rarely have I come across a book that points up the poignancy of the human condition with such sensitivity and intensity and in such sublimely taut, penetrating prose! William Stoner is a true hero of literature: an 'ordinary' man who is willing to sacrifice all (to protect those he loves whilst never defending himself - so Christ-like!) as he lives out the truth of his life in a powerfully humble way. I have been stunned by this deceptively 'quiet' novel and urge you to seek it out - the characters are so three dimensional too - how often do you meet those between the numbered sheets these days?

John Williams (I know he sounds like a Country and Western star) is dead, otherwise I would garland him with roses. A novel about truth, faith and love: all the good stuff. Ride the wagon folks, you won't be disappointed. Would love to hear back from you'all on books that are blowing your Barnets too - yes back to London now. I am about to start on "Spoilt Rotten," The Toxic Cult of Sentimentality, by Theodore Dalyrimple - not his real name, but isn't it spiffing!

London's Burning! Fetch the Engines! Fire! Fire! I have just burnt the pot of soya beans that have been simmering with the chickpeas (with evil intent as it turns out) on the stove. I have put them out of the window where their smoke is mingling with the fumes from the A40. My hand aches from flapping the dishcloth over the alarm system that alerts the whole building and wakes the babies and scares the mice. So much for being a health freak. I shall return to chocolate forthwith: much safer.