Today I’m delighted to welcome romance novelist Carol Cooper. Her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read is Please Don’t Eat the Daisies by Jean Kerr.
“My ‘Porridge and Cream’ book is Please Don’t Eat the Daisies by American writer Jean Kerr. First published in 1957, it is now out of print but a few copies are still available. I first read it in the 1960s, when I was perhaps about twelve. While I don’t remember the exact circumstances, it was my mother’s paperback copy, costing a princely 35 cents.
I do recall that my mother and I had recently arrived in the United States and were living in a studio apartment in Washington, DC, while she struggled to make ends meet. The book is a series of articles on Jean Kerr’s life as a playwright and parent, and each of the pieces made me roar with laughter at a time when real life wasn’t that funny. When I first read the book, I found it hugely entertaining on such subjects as diets, doctors, family, fashion, moving house, and the rest of everyday suburban life. It was only decades later that I could identify with Kerr’s situation as a writer working from home, and as the harassed mother of irrepressible boys.
It’s the humour that draws me back to the book again and again. It’s still witty, and it’s amazing how little it has dated in the sixty years since it first appeared. A word of warning, though: the film and the TV series weren’t nearly as good.
I tend to pick up Please Don’t Eat the Daisies when I’m tired and want to shut out the world, but don’t feel up to a challenging read. As it’s a loose collection of essays, I can dip in anywhere in the book. Many passages I don’t even need to read. I can recite them verbatim.”
Carol Cooper’s Bio
Carol Cooper is a doctor, journalist, and author. She contributes to The Sun newspaper, broadcasts on TV and radio, and has a dozen non-fiction books to her name. Her debut novel One Night at the Jacaranda got her hooked on writing contemporary fiction. This year, Hampstead Fever was picked for a prestigious promotion in WH Smith travel bookshops around the UK. More fiction is on the way.
Carol Cooper’s books
It’s the sweltering summer of 2013 and the lives of six Londoners get complicated. As the temperature soars, they’re grappling with money worries, whining children, ailing parents, panic attacks, relationship woes, and temptations along the way. Emotions rise to boiling point, forcing decisions they could regret.
Hampstead Fever is a slice of multicultural London life to make you laugh, cry, and nod in recognition.
‘Hampstead Fever’ by Carol Cooper [UK: Hardwick Press]
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.
‘Please Don’t Eat the Daisies’ by Jean Kerr [UK: Fawcett]
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why does @DrCarolCooper love PLEASE DON’T EAT THE DAISIES by Jean Kerr? http://wp.me/p5gEM4-2Oc via @SandraDanby #reading