Thursday, August 21, 2008

Brazil, damp floors and A Discovery

Current work: nonfic; MH duo book 2
Listening to: Del Amitri
Reading: Next on TBR pile

I don’t speak Portuguese, but my (somewhat rusty) grasp of Spanish/French/Italian means I can work out the gist of things. Anyway. I was just checking which of my books were out in Brazil. (OK, so I was procrastinating a tad.) And then I noticed that there were reader comments and ratings. As in five-star ratings. Wow. The readers say my stories are warm and realistic; one in particular loved the ending of In The Gardener’s Bed (am v pleased as that was one of my own favourite endings – that’s The Pregnancy Ultimatum, for US readers). And they seriously loved Breakfast at Giovanni’s. I especially enjoyed the ‘PS – Gio is mine’ from one of the readers. This is the kind of thing that really warms a writer’s heart. To my readers in Brazil, I would like to say obrigada.

Today, the loss assessor is due to come and take moisture readings. He did say last week that he’s 99% sure the flooring will have to come up. I have a feeling that today is the day that decision will be made. The idea of my lovely kitchen looking and feeling like a building site again, for weeks and weeks and weeks… Aggravating, upsetting, but far from the worst that has been thrown at my family this summer.

Anyway. My Discovery.

I’ve always been a bookaholic. As a child, I read the entire children’s section in our village library (and it was quite a big space). Some of the authors I really loved were Alison Uttley (especially The Country Child), Philippa Pearce (who hasn’t bawled over A Dog So Small?) and Penelope Farmer. I loved Charlotte Sometimes. As Madam is almost at the end of the Jane Blonde series (and I’m looking for books for a 7-y-o with very advanced reading skills, but which are emotionally suitable for her age – oh, and she likes a fast-paced read) I was thinking about introducing her to some of my childhood favourites. So I Googled Penelope Farmer. Which is when I discovered that she has a blog. It’s a great read, and she sounds like a thoroughly lovely woman. The sort I’d like to meet in a café for an afternoon and do what writers do – talk a lot, drink a lot of coffee and eat a lot of cake.

(Oh, all right. It’s what this one does, anyway. But I happen to know there are several people who read this blog who have done precisely that with me. Cake. Ice cream. Italian food. I am a woman of simple pleasures... which unfortunately involve lots of calories. Must Try Harder on the weight regime. After the school hols.)


Liz Fielding said...

Has madam read Matilda? I think Amy was seven when that was published and she was the first one to have it from the library.

And are you familiar with Beverly Clearly? American, but wonderful stories about Ramona Quimby.

Fingers crossed on the floor!

India said...

I love A Country Child too-- it's a tradition that we have to read the Christmas chapter every December! (I'm sure the children will appreciate it one day...)

Has she read all of the Clarice Bean books? They're SO fantastic. Other things my girls have enjoyed are Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf by Catherine Storr, The Enchanted Horse by Magdalen Nabb, and recently the Mr Gum series by Andy Stanton has had them in stitches.

Such a shame about the floor. This was us last year, and I did find that after a while I kind of stopped noticing the big hole in the floor while it dried out... (I'm not sure if that's a good thing)


Melissa Marsh said...

Oh, Ramonda Quimby! I LOVED those books when I was growing up. I devoured them.

Also, Nancy Drew. I think I read every single mystery. That might be for when she gets a bit older, though.

Hugs on the floor, but cheers on the great 5-star ratings!