Happy World Book Day, and that can only mean one thing, well two actually.
Firstly we can all read all day to our heart's content and feel no guilt. When it's World Kitchen Floor Washing Day, fine, we'll all do that all day but today it's books all the way.
Secondly, there is a title to be defended, a crown at stake, book group pride to uphold as the Endsleigh Salon head off this evening for the annual World Book Day Quiz against all the other book groups in the area at the local library.
We limped stormed to victory last year by about one point thanks to some genius thinking (not mine) on that fiendish sheet of picture questions that is sitting on the table to be completed inbetween rounds for fun.
Who said anything about fun?
Good grief no, this was deadly serious, we meant business and, though I can't remember the question, the answer was The Art of War by Sun Tzu.
February's salon a few weeks ago was on the theme of Childhood (but not a children's book) and we had a great and wide-ranging selection of books and some fine discussion as each person extolled the virtues of their choice and quite how it had spoken of childhood to them.
The Changeling - Robin Jenkins (mine)
Spies by Michael Frayn
The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank
No Talking After Lights by Angela Lambert
Oranges are Not the Only Fruit - Jeanette Winterson
The Country Child - Alison Uttley
The Children's Hours - Richard Zimmler (ed)
Lolly Willowes - Sylvia Townsend Warner
Daphne du Maurier - Margaret Forster
I think you'll agree we had plenty to talk about with this lot plus two people had chosen to re-read Spies by Michael Frayn and with differing views it all reminded me that this was a book I had long been meaning to read.
Next month's theme is the 1920s (a book either written in or about) and I'm completely spoilt for choice but have narrowed down to two,
Twilight Sleep by Edith Wharton
The Beautiful & the Damned by F.Scott Fitzgerald.
In the end and if I have time I might just read both (except now I see it's for next Tuesday, I'll have to get a wriggle on especially as it's Inner Child this weekend too) because what an interesting comparison the two would make. Edith Wharton clearly ar her most acerbic and disparaging on the louch New York rich-kids' lifestyle and Fitzgerald struggling with his own demons whilst portraying the same era, a male and female perspective on turbulent times.
That said, I'm finding the plethora of radio and TV programmes being pushed out on the subject of the Wall St Crash of 1929 all quite unnerving at the moment, heavy comparisons to the current economic situation which presumably means we must expect a Grapes of Wrath dustbowl next, it's all too terrifying to dwell on.
Meanwhile do excuse me while I head into the zone and Trimble-ize in readiness for tonight's fingers on the buzzers, your starter for ten, let's hope we're the team that get to sit upstairs, talking of which, what a debacle that all turned into.