Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Snippet

I haven't made much progress with 'Slipstream' by Elizabeth Jane Howard. I'm enjoying this book, but I haven't found time to reading this week, hence the slow progress. Here's a snippet:

Page 183- 'We sailed in the 'Aquitania', with four hundred GI brides.'

'Slipstream'- Elizabeth Jane Howard.

Whatever you're doing, enjoy the weekend, particularly if you're lucky enough to have a Bank Holiday.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Word Of The Week


From time to time, I'm going to share with you words that have been removed from many dictionaries. Maybe we should start a campaign to bring them back into the English Language! This week's disused words is:

Frigorific- causing or producing cold.



Do you have a suggestion for a 'Word of the Week? If you would like it be featured here, then send me an e-mail with the word and its definition to: theolivareader@gmail.com (Keep them clean please!)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

'The Book of Ebenezer Le Page' by G.B Edwards



Publisher: Penguin books

ISBN: 0-14-005898-2

Length:482 pages

What the 'blurb' says:

'Stubborn, reactionary and oddly vulnerable, Ebenezer is a Guerseyman through and through. For him the smell of the sea, the tomatoes and his hatred of Jersey make up the stuff of existence. His long life, bounded by rocks and water and rooted in tradition, sees the destruction of the ways.

Ebenezer does not give up easily: and across the jostling characters, the crowded births and deaths and the fierce island feuds, he speaks to us with a seductive and universal voice.'


Opening Line:
'Guernsey, Guernesey, Garnsai, Sarnia: so they say.'

What's good about this novel?


Upon beginning 'The Book of Ebenezer Le Page', I was convinced that this was an autobiographic novel. However when I read the back cover, I was shocked to see that this is a word of fiction. There are many authors who are able to create believeable characters, Barbara Comyns springs to mind, but I have never come across a character as convincing as Ebenezer. His turns of phrases and humour draw you in and I believed that he was an old man, telling the story of his life on the island of Guernsey.

The plot was generally well paced and the sensitivity of the writing in some parts of the novel, was excellent. I particularly liked Ebenezer's relationships with Raymond and his friend Jim. For me these were the best parts of the novel, as well as the final portion, which focused more on Ebenezer in the present, rather than in the past.

What's wrong with this novel?

I found this novel difficult to read, because I constantly flitted between liking it and then not. I found that some of the stories Ebenezer told, about his relatives to be slightly laborious and detracted from Ebenezer himself. The continual focus on the plethora of distant relatives in his family, made me feel not only confused in places, about who was who, but also it felt as if Ebenezer was the sort of lonely person, or bores anyone who will listen, about people that have no consequence to the listener.

This frustrated me because I know that Ebenezer was an interesting character and I just wanted to know more about him. Also I found the ending to be a little disappointing, because really, there is no end to this novel at all.'The Book of Ebenezer Le Page' could have been a fantastic book, but I'm frustrated that this book doesn't quite achieve that.

Is this worth a read?

If you have any interest in Guernsey, this could be interesting read. Also, as I am unable to completely make my mind up about 'The Book of Ebenezer Le Page', this may be worth a read, if only to make your own mind up about it.

Have you read this novel? What are your thoughts on it?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My First Guest Post!

In the year or so that I have been blogging, I have never ventured into the realms of guest posting before. However, when Melissa from 'So about what I said....', asked me if I would like to guest post about my favourite things in summer, I jumped at the chance!

To read about my favourite summer soundtrack, go here. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to guest post and would love to do more in the future. In fact, I have been busy organizing a series of guest posts for this blog, which is coming very soon....

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Snippet

So Sunday has come around again, I don't know where the time is going! I had meant to post a review of 'The Book of Ebenezer Le Page' by G.B Edwards, but have so far not found the time to do it. A review of it will appear next week.

Now, I've started to read the writer Elizabeth Jane Howard's autobiography 'Slipstream'. I haven't read many autobiographies, but I'm really enjoying this, particularly because she is a writer.

Have you read many autobiographies? Which ones have you enjoyed?

Here's a snippet:

Page 122: 'This was the emotional shadow cast over those few, otherwise carefree days; the domestic shadow others lived under was unknown to us both.'

Whatever you're doing, enjoy the rest of the weekend. I'm going to spend the afternoon at a friend's house eating tapas. I would have had a swim in their pool, but unfortunately my ears are still giving me trouble. I'm still going to have a great afternoon despite that.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Word Of The Week

Scrabble -to scratch or scrape, as with the claws or hands , to scrawl; scribble.

....and it's also a board game that I love to play!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Snippet

It's funny how some books make you change your opinions of it, every few pages. One minute you are enjoying a book, the next you are contemplating abandoning it, then you find something on the page that takes your interest and you continue reading. For me, 'The Book of Ebenezer Le Page' by G.B Edwards has been that kind of book. Have you ever read a book like this?

At the moment, 'The Book of Ebenezer Le Page' is remaining interesting enough that I think I might finish it this week.

Here's a snippet:

Page 341: 'Little did I think when Monsieur Le Boutiller and me was joking over the pig what was going to happen to poor Jean Le Boutillier.'

Whatever you're doing, enjoy the rest of your weekend. Today, I'm off for Sunday lunch and then I have to start writing my very first guest post! More details of that shortly....

Happy Sunday!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Snippet

Thanks to everyone who commented on my post about the medicinal benefits of reading yesterday. If you have any thoughts on this subject, or any book recommendations to help keep the mind off of illness and discomfort, I'd love to hear them. The good news is, it seems like my ear infection is on it's way out.

Anyway back to this week's snippet. It's not often that I'm not sure what to make of a book; I either like it or I don't. However I just don't know what to make of 'The Book of Ebenezer Le Page' by G.B Edwards. Whilst my indecision makes the experience of reading this novel interesting, I'm not looking forward to trying to review this novel, when I have finished it!

Here's a snippet:

Page 240' 'I have never known for sure who it was kicked up a shindy over Raymond's sermon.'


Whatever you are doing, enjoy the rest of the weekend. The temperature has been in the late 30's this weekend (and maybe hotter), so I have been trying to keep cool. I like the hot weather, but sometimes it's so hot it is impossible to do anything without feeling exhausted!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Medicinal Benefits of a Good Book

As I mentioned on the last 'Sunday Snippet', for the last week I have been having trouble with a stubborn ear infection. Even though I'm not the sort of person to dwell on pain too much, there have been times when I have felt a bit sorry for myself. I have not wanted to do much, but pick up a book and read. Although the symptoms haven't gone away, the act of reading has helped my mind focus on something else, meaning that the discomfort has been easier to bear.

It is not the first time that books have helped me to overcome pain and discomfort. In the past whilst recovering from operations, I would read books and listen to audiobooks in hospital. I found that the act of reading not only relieved my boredom, but some of the pain as well.

Recently my friend Aguja (who writes the 'Wordstitcher' blog) read 'The Pillars of the Earth' by Ken Follett in just 2 weeks, because she had a toothache and said that reading helped to keep her mind off the pain.

So instead of antibiotics, maybe the health service could prescribe patients a dose of reading to aid recovery? Perhaps doctors could prescribe a certain length of novel, depending on how long the patient needs to recover for? For example, a patient with a wound or illness that will take a long time to heal, could be prescribed a lengthy novel such as 'The Pillars Of The Earth' . Or a child with chickenpox could be given the 'Harry Potter' books, to stop them from scratching?

These are probably silly examples, but I do believe that the act of reading and a positive mental attitude, have a real effect on pain management and aid a swift recovery.

Do you think there are health benefits to reading whilst recovering from illness or do you think that this is nonsense? Have books helped you in times of discomfort or pain?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Word of The Week

Smurf- someone who “cleans” ill-gotten money by buying cashier's checks at banks and shifting funds from place to place, often in small transactions.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011