Cecily's book reviews

In general I've written reviews of every book I've read since I joined GoodReads (RIP) in May 08, along with one or two I read prior to that. More recent reviews tend to be longer (sometimes a tad too long?). I always carry a book, though I don't get as much time as I'd like to get engrossed - life is busy, but in a good way. Too many of my favourite authors died without writing enough! Apart from reading, and writing about reading, I enjoy Scrabble, good restaurants, woodland, and attending the theatre.
Eating for England: The Delights and Eccentricities of the British at the Table - Nigel Slater Titbits about the social and psychological significance of different English (but with brief forays to the rest of GB) food and eating habits, especially those of his childhood in the 60s and 70s (thus overlapping somewhat with the more autobiographical "Toast"). If you're a similar age to him, and grew up middle class in England, it's particularly nostalgic; if not, bits of it may be baffling.

Most topics are only a few paragraphs, and although sometimes one leads into another, it is perhaps better to dip into than read cover to cover (though I did the latter and polished it off in a pleasant Sunday afternoon). Actually, it’s very like “Toast”, but without a chronological narrative and with a little more repetition.

Some passages are very poetic, some very funny (e.g. most British puddings are really just glue (grey flour and water), and why Digestives are the dunking choice of adrenaline junkies) or acerbic (writing about new men in the kitchen). Some sections are reminiscent of Alan Bennett, though at times he is more campaigning than AB (e.g. about how little society cares about how and what the elderly are fed and the need to support local independent food shops).

The only negative was that I was a little put out by his suggestion that the few people who don't want dishwashers are women who would feel they had no purpose in life if they couldn't wash the dishes by hand! And the fact he repeats himself a little too often (did I say that already?) – get a better editor.

Currently reading

The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy
Sebastian Peake, China Miéville, Mervyn Peake
Mervyn Peake