Hello friend, oh I’m sorry about the dust – a glass of water may help your cough. It’s been a while since I was in my book corner I’m afraid so I’ll need to do a bit of cleaning to make it homely around here again.
The bumps and cracks in the pavement of life over the last month left me feeling a little unbalanced so I have been gathering my resilience before taking on the world again.
Once I’d brushed the cobwebs away I learned that the new Richard and Judy Book Club list has been published. Gadget Man very kindly treated me to the books that made their Summer Read shortlist so I have a lot to get through!
Let me explain about my love of the Richard and Judy Book Club. My Mum was an avid bookworm and passed her love of reading on to me. I remember the scent of her perfume as I cuddled up to her for a bedtime story when I was a child. Those moments evolved in my teenage years to the two of us reading together in companionable silence broken only by a sip of coffee or pages turning.
When I moved out to live with my boyfriend our reading continued with phone calls and catch ups, which inevitably turned to the books we were enjoying. My Mum stumbled upon the Richard and Judy Book Club and we began to digest and dissect the novels together. As she was retired, Mum got through the books quicker than I did so she began to read books from their previous lists while I caught up with the current ones after work.
And then she died.
Just like that.
One day we were talking about novels, my little Bookworms, her planned visit and the next I received the call that shattered my world.
There’s never a good way to lose the closest person in your life but to have her snatched so quickly left me shocked and lost. Having the little Bookworms helped me get out of bed each day. Gradually I stopped expecting her daily phone call, learned to stay my hand to stop myself texting her when I heard something funny and more importantly, I moved to a place where I could examine the memories I had locked away in my mind and cherish rather than fear them.
Mum never got to read the whole back catalogue of the Richard and Judy Book Club so I am slowly working my way through them for her.
She is buried in a beautiful churchyard with an open book for her headstone. Wherever she is, I’m sure she’s reading still and would have been as excited as I am to start the Summer Reads.
So this post is to thank Richard and Judy for encouraging Mum and I to read books outside of our usual genres and giving us so much to talk about.
And it is dedicated to Mum. My mother, my teacher, my friend.