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October 21, 2013 / ljbradburn-Smith

Mum’s Bookerview

Here’s my mummy….mum

She is half to blame for making me so have a read and you might find out why I am a bit crazy and more than a bit obsessed with books, books, books.

What is the strangest place you have read a book?
Probably whilst walking along the road. I was walking home from work and I just couldn’t wait to get home to carry on reading so I read my book as I was walking along. I walked into a lamppost and it really hurt. I stopped doing that.

How many books do you take on holiday?
I expect to read about 3 to 4 books a week on holiday. You can see what amazing company I must be. Luckily my fiancé and family seem to understand. They are all readers themselves. It’s a strange thing when you think about two people sitting next to each close in physical proximity but worlds apart in their minds. I love that juxtaposition between the place you are and the world of the book you are reading. On some level you will always associate the real place with the imaginary one. Whenever I think of lying next to a serene lagoon in Northern Spain I think of the book I was reading – an intriguing science fiction novel about a Jesuit mission into outer space to a planet in another galaxy which has been broadcasting spellbindingly beautiful music. It is a startlingly original and thought provoking philosophical meditation on the nature of colonisation and the lethal effect of good intentions. The book is The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russel and it won a whole raft of awards. The title recalls Matthew’s gospel where he states “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father”. This same idea is recast by Shakespeare when Hamlet reflects to Horatio that ‘There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow’.
Another thing I love is reading cold books in hot places. I remember reading Miss Smillias’s feeling for snow in the drowsy heat of the Dordogne and I read the Siberia set thriller Kolomsky Heights with its ice caves and ice roads and secret installations buried deep in the permafrost, tucked up in my cosy bedroom reclining on pillows, while recovering from an operation.

If you had to be a book what would you be?
A nineteenth century melodrama.

What is the quickest you have ever read a book?
I sometimes read a novel of 300-400 pages in day but I prefer to take my time to fully engage and enjoy the created world.

What is the perfect amount of pages?
Depends. The Great Gatsby is only about 120 pages and is practically perfect but sometimes you want it all to go on a bit longer don’t you?

If you had to hop everywhere or never read a book again what would you pick?
I am afraid it would have to be hopalong.

What is your favourite book and why?
This is a question that my students often ask me and like the answer to a lot of the questions they ask me is it depends The Great Gatsby, Emma, Vanity Fair, The Handmaid’s Tale, Oryx and Crake, Never Let Me Go, Great Expectations, I Capture the Castle, Wuthering Heights, Middlemarch, Cold Comfort Farm, Dubliners.

Why? I can’t imagine a world without books like these.

If your life was a book what would the title be?
Ouch or Oops!

If you were in battle with a book as your only weapon which book would you choose?
I think the new testament of the Bible could diffuse a few situations, but then the battle would most likely have been sparked by disagreements about religion in the first place. Karl Marx comes to mind but then I think I would have to opt for something entirely sensible by Jane Austen or even ‘Cold Comfort Farm’ by Stella Gibbons. Where everybody could just calm down and get on with it.

If you had to recommend one book to a book hater to change their mind what would you pick?
Probably something funny. Perhaps an autobiography of their favourite celebrity or start off with a graphic novel. Or The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon or The Hunger Games. A trilogy like that would be good as it something you have to keep on reading to find out what happens.

Where is your favourite place to read?
The world. Any time, any place, any where (sounds like that Martini ad). Inside, outside, in bed, in the bath, floating in the pool.

Me or books?
I’m your mother so I have to say you. I did think about it though. No seriously I am just saying that. I didn’t think about it for a second. Or did I?

Why do you love books?
I can remember trying to teach myself to read when I was little, I was about three and the only book I had was the Oxford mini dictionary. It had great tissue thin pages though. I can remember learning to read at school when I was four and thinking ‘this is it, this is what I have been waiting for.’ Honestly. I can remember that first book so vividly. I have experienced so many places I will never go to, had so many insights into the minds of people so different from me, learnt so many crazy facts and felt so many emotions…

How many books do you think you own?
2 or 3 thousand not sure could be more. I am really quite old.

Have you got a book question for me?
Yes. I always read lots of books to you when you were little. What was your favourite?
There are so many to choose from and I can honestly say I loved them all! I always enjoyed doing the swishy swashy noises from “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” so that would definitely be in my top three. I also loved the one from one of the Story of the Year books about the teacher but I can’t remember what that was called! My favourite thing about it was that it was only the teacher narrating the whole way through and her reactions to what the children were getting up to was funny every time.



Leave a Comment
  1. Sherri / Oct 21 2013 4:26 pm

    Lydia, your mummy sounds like a very interesting lady 🙂

    • ljbradburn / Oct 24 2013 12:11 pm

      She is Sherri 🙂 I hope to be as interesting one day! x

      • Sherri / Oct 25 2013 5:20 pm

        You are your mother’s daughter…I’ll say no more 😉
        Have a super weekend x

  2. calmgrove / Oct 23 2013 11:47 pm

    Great fun: obviously ‘like mother, like daughter’ applies here…

    • ljbradburn / Oct 24 2013 12:10 pm

      Arrr thank you, people do say that I take after my mum, although she is much more intelligent than I am! 🙂

      • calmgrove / Oct 24 2013 12:16 pm

        All credit to you both then! I’m sure you’ll be as intelligent when you get to the age she is now…

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