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 as it came out in paperback and slowly built up a collection. Several of the books have been signed by the man himself. I re-read them from time to time, picking a book off the shelf at random. Most memorably, I read them all from one end of the shelf to the other while breastfeeding my children. I had the book propped up on a cookbook stand, leaving my hands free for cuddling small baby. I could fall straight into the familiar world with minimal effort, as though the words were pouring straight into images without any processing (at 3am after weeks of sleep deprivation, they probably were!).
I read them now and I can feel echoes of all those other times. I like that. If you forced me to choose one, I’d go for The Nightwatch, which is a wonderful time slip novel. If you’ve never read any of the series before, I’d suggest that one. If you consider yourself a person who doesn’t really read fantasy, try Nation. It’s not set in the Discworld, there aren’t any silly jokes, and it’s an incredible exploration of why people find strength in religion. It’s also a story about a boy on a tropical island. It will make you cry – but in a good way.’
Rhoda Baxter’s Bio
Rhoda Baxter likes to write about people who make her laugh. In real life she studied molecular biology at Oxford, which is why her pen name takes after her favourite bacterium. She has a day job working in intellectual property and writes contemporary romantic comedies in whatever spare time she can grab between day job, kids and thinking about food.
Sally Cummings has had it tougher than most but, if nothing else, it’s taught her to grab opportunity with both hands. And, when she stands looking into the eyes of her new husband Peter on her perfect wedding day, it seems her life is finally on the up.
That is until the car crash that puts her in a coma and throws her entire future into question.
In the following months, a small part of Sally’s consciousness begins to return, allowing her to listen in on the world around her – although she has no way to communicate.
But Sally was never going to let a little thing like a coma get in the way of her happily ever after …
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. Do you have a favourite read which you return to again and again? If so, please send me a message via the contact form here.
‘Nation’ by Terry Pratchett [UK: Corgi]
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Why does @RhodaBaxter love the complete works of Terry Pratchett? via @SandraDanby #reading http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1QF