In my Blog earlier today, I listed the books that I had received for Xmas presents this year. Since I've got a little while before Jeopardy and we've been having a lazy day at home today, I thought I'd go through the presents that my wife, Jo, received.
From Me -
His latest seemed quite interesting. At Home is a walk around his home, a Victorian parsonage in the UK. One day he considered how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as found in his home.
He basically came up with the idea of journeying through his home, room by room, and writing a history of the world without leaving his home (personally, I think he was just too lazy to travel around the world. *wink*). In each room, he talks about aspects of history; in the bathroom, the history of hygiene; in the bedroom, the history of sex, death and sleep.
Based on how much Jo enjoyed the other Bryson books, I'm sure that he won't disappoint with this latest. I have rarely heard Jo laugh out loud while reading a book, but any of Bryson's books have had that effect upon her, so I'm hoping this will be the same.
Jo's Blog, you'll know about her interest in home design and things of that ilk. Each Christmas I try to find her a new book on the topic.
This year I saw a book that combined her interest in design with our love of books. What could be better?
Living With Books was written by Dominique Dupuis and Roland Beaufre.
The various chapters in the book provide an idea of the subject matter within:
- Collectors and their books (Obsessive and Discreet)
- Designers and their books (Functional and Architectural)
- Interior Designers and their books (Comfortable and Decorative)
- Writers and their books (Charming and Exuberant)
- Fashion Designers and their books (Stylish and Glamorous)
- Artists and their books (Unusual and Inspiring)
- Journalists and their books (International and Up-to-date)
Grand Houses and their books (Imposing and Authoritative)
There is nothing better in my mind than a home filled with books. To look at other peoples' ways of keeping their books is always interesting. (I think I might even read through this book at times.)
The books were written by Tove Jansson, a Swedish speaking Finnish writer. She is best known for her Moomin family stories.
The Moomins are a family of trolls who are white and round with big snouts and look somewhat like hippos. Jo gave me a list of the 8 stories that she had read as a child. Over the past two months I searched for the books and found them on the Indigo book website.
Comet in Moominland, which Jo says is like Armageddon, in which a comet is heading towards Earth. (Jo said the story was quite scary to her as a child.)
Finn Family Moomintroll - a shiny top hat is found which can turn anything and anyone to something else.
Moominpappa's Memoirs - Moominpappa shares stories of his youthful adventures and intrigues.
Moominsummer Madness - the Moomins are flooded from their home and live in a floating cave like house.
Tales from Moominvalley - 9 funny stories about other residents of Moominvalley.
Moominland Winter - Moomintroll wakes up early from winter hibernation.
Moominpapa at Sea - The Moomins spend the summer in a lighthouse on a tiny island for a change of scenery.
Moominvalley in November - the Moomins get a visit from Snufkin, Fillyjonk, the Hemulen, Grandpa Grumble and Toft, but where are the Moomins?
(Maybe I'll read the stories to Jo at night to help her sleep)
A Book from Sue and Rob
Born Maurice Mickelwhite, the story describes his journey from London's poverty stricken Elephant & Castle where he was born with rickets, to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.
He has had a celebrated acting career spanning over 5 decades, with roles that have earned him two Oscars and a knighthood.
In the book he tells of life in Hollywood, recalls his many films, the stars of Hollywood and many off-screen moments.
In my mind he's a great actor, but one who doesn't mind getting down and dirty with a role and also a fellow who doesn't mind the odd bit of fluff to go with his detailed resume. Consider 1987 where he starred in George Axelrod's The Fourth Protocol, The Whistle Blower and Surrender, but also found the time to act in Jaws, The Revenge ( a classic.. just kidding of course). Mind you, the money he made for that paid for a new home for his mom. :0)
At any rate, with such a long career as his, the book must be filled with great stories about his life and should be an excellent read.
From Jenn and Eric -
What I understand the book to be, from reading the blurb on the cover, talking about with Jo and also with Jenn is that it deals with that moment in business or social behaviour when an idea or trend crosses some threshold and becomes a raging inferno; as Jo said, for example, when a restaurant moves from being just a restaurant to being the place you have to be at. Why does one restaurant in an area basically just survive when another for whatever reason is a popular hangout for everyone? It's the tipping point!
As the blurb states, 'just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate.
As I talked about the book with Jo, it brought back remembrances of courses she took at university, so I'm sure she will enjoy checking it out.