Archives for Porridge & Cream

My Porridge & Cream read: Jane Cable

My guest today at ‘Porridge & Cream’ is novelist Jane Cable. “If I say that my Porridge & Cream book is Long Summer Day very few people will recognise the title. If I say it’s the first volume of RF Delderfield’s Horseman Riding By trilogy most readers will know exactly the book I mean.   In all honesty this book has been with me so long I can’t remember the first time I read it. What I do know is it was after the BBC made the TV series in 1978, which I didn’t watch, being far more interested in punk music. At a guess it was while I was studying for my A-levels or my degree. I’m pretty sure it was a library copy, but I asked my father to buy me the whole trilogy for Christmas. The reason they don’t match in the photograph [below] is because I lost Long Summer Day in a house move and my father replaced it for Christmas in 1988. I don’t often read books twice but A Horseman Riding By comes out if ever I’m ill. The last time was Christmas a few years ago when I caught flu and was too
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Categories: Book Love and Porridge & Cream.

My Porridge & Cream read: Rhoda Baxter

Today I’m delighted to welcome romantic novelist Rhoda Baxter. “My ‘Porridge and Cream’ book is actually a series: my Terry Pratchett collection. I started reading them when I was around 16. I had moved from Sri Lanka to Yorkshire and was very lonely. I was lucky enough to make a friend who suggested I try one of the Discworld books. I think he lent me The Colour of Magic. I borrowed the rest of the series from Halifax Central Library. I loved the puns and the pseudo-science jokes. When Mort came out, my Physics teacher told me that Terry was doing a book signing. My Dad took me all the way to Leeds to queue up and get my book signed. It was the first time I met a REAL author. At uni, I bonded with people who knew that a million to one chances happened nine out of ten times and that Klatchian coffee made you knurd. We used Pratchettisms as a verbal shorthand. I still can’t read the phrase ‘per capita’ for example, without mentally adding ‘if not, decapita could be arranged’. When Sir Terry died, I felt as though I’d lost someone I’d actually known. I read each book
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Categories: Book Love and Porridge & Cream.

My ‘Porridge & Cream’ read: Shelley Weiner

Today I am pleased to welcome novelist, Shelley Weiner who will share her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read. “Tiring of a well-worn book is like outgrowing a friendship, or a fashion statement, or a taste for cheap confectionary – depressing but, sadly, a fact of life. We change, our tastes change, the priorities that seemed so immutable ten years ago can alter or become irrelevant And so, having scoured my bookshelves to find a ‘Porridge & Cream’ read, I had to conclude that the old faithfuls by the authors I chose (sorry Carol Shields, apologies Jane Smiley …) no longer moved me. I might have darted back to Dickens, to Austen, to Tolstoy, for classics of that calibre are beyond fatigue. Instead I consoled myself with a movie – the excellent screen adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn – and a large tub of popcorn. And as I sat in the darkness imbibing salty kernels and Irish angst, I recalled the spare beauty of Tóibín’s prose and resolved to return to the novel. Which I did. And – relief upon relief – it’s as I remembered it; as simple and quiet and engrossing as when I devoured it on publication eight years ago.
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Categories: Book Love and Porridge & Cream.

My Porridge & Cream read: Lisa Devaney

Today I’m delighted to welcome clifi novelist Lisa Devaney who will share her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read. “As winter pends, and the leaves are turning beautifully vibrant colours, before they die off of the trees here in London, UK, I like the idea of turning to a comfort book, that can see me through the days that turn dark early and warm me up in the cold nights. When Sandra Danby invited me to blog about my ‘Porridge & Cream’ favourite book, I had a hard time, at first, picking just one that would qualify as the way she describes it as “It’s the book you turn to when you need a familiar read, when you are tired, ill, or out-of-sorts, where you know the story and love it.” “Some on my selection list included a non-fiction title of Rachel Carson’s The Sea Around Us, and the collected stories of Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man, but ultimately, I feel I turn most often to the book, that bred the movie that I watch most often as a comfort film. Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep wins my pick for being my ‘Porridge & Cream’ novel. Published first
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Categories: Book Love and Porridge & Cream.

My ‘Porridge & Cream’ read: Judith Field

Today I am pleased to welcome short story writer, Judith Field to share her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read. “My book is Anybody can do Anything by Betty Macdonald. I’d read her books The Egg and I (which, like the Curate’s egg, is good in parts) and The Plague and I (which I love), so when I saw Anybody in a second hand bookshop in 1981 for only 25p, I grabbed it. I re-read this funny and uplifting boot, with its brilliant character descriptions. when I need picking up, but I leave it long enough between reading that I can’t remember the text word for word. When I do read it, I feel a thrill of recognition, like meeting an old friend. Published in 1945, it’s a memoir of life in Seattle during the Depression, in the early to mid nineteen thirties. Betty leaves an unhappy marriage and, with her two small daughters, goes back to live with her quirky, warm, and supportive family of four sisters and a brother headed by Mother, who “with one folding chair and a plumber’s candle, could make the North Pole homey.”  Betty says “It’s a wonderful thing to know that you can come home any
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Categories: Book Love and Porridge & Cream.

My ‘Porridge & Cream’ read: JG Harlond

Welcome to the first in a new series in which one author chooses his/her ‘Porridge & Cream’ book. What is a ‘Porridge & Cream’ book? It’s the book you turn to when you need a familiar read, when you are tired, ill, or out-of-sorts, where you know the story and love it. Where reading it is like slipping on your oldest, scruffiest slippers after walking for miles. Where does the name ‘Porridge & Cream’ come from? Cat Deerborn is a character in Susan Hill’s ‘Simon Serrailler’ detective series. Cat is a hard-worked GP, a widow with two children and she struggles from day-to-day. One night, after a particularly difficult day, she needs something familiar to read. From her bookshelf she selects Love in A Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford. Today I am pleased to welcome historical novelist, JG Harlond. “My ‘Porridge & Cream’ novels are the House of Níccolò series by the late Scots author Dorothy Dunnett. In the 1970s I became hooked on her 16th century Game of Kings series featuring the exquisite Francis Crawford of Lymond. Then in the 1980s, Dunnett began the 15th century House of Níccolò series about a flawed Flemish apprentice Claes, who becomes a Venetian banker
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Categories: Book Love and Porridge & Cream.