Guardian bookish links

It’s ages since I did a post on Guardian Review links, that’s not because there were no interesting links, I just didn’t get around to them, anyway here goes:

In last Saturday’s Review I enjoyed reading Acquired tastes – an article about food which was inspired by the writer discovering that Dorothy Wordsworth had eaten black pudding.

There’s a new book out about Mary Shelley by Fiona Sampson, you can read a review of it here.

You might be interested in A Lab of One’s Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War by Patricia Fara.

From The Independent – As a tribute to his father David Bowie Duncan Jones has launched an online book club featuring his father’s favourite books David Bowie Book Club The first book to be read is Peter Ackroyd’s Hawksmoor. If you’re interested you can see Bowie’s 100 favourite books here.

Groningen, the Netherlands

The city of Groningen in the north east of the Netherlands is very old, it’s first mentioned in documents dating back to 1040. Nowadays it’s famous for its two universities and there are over 50,000 students living in the city. That means there are a lot of bikes around as you can see.

Bikes in Groningen

Bikes outside Groningen University

The last time we were in Groningen we went on a boat trip on the canal, it’s a good way to see the city, without being knocked down by bikes! But this time we wandered around – bike dodging and we visited the museum which is interesting.

Groningen Museum 2

It’s a pity we missed the exhibition they had on of David Bowie’s art although apparently the queues for it were enormous. You can see some images of the exhibition here.

I must admit though that I find it sad that many museums and art galleries are now charging for admission. It cost us 13 euros each to get in. I think it must come as a nice surprise to tourists visiting Britain when they discover that most of the museums/galleries have no entry charges.

If you want to see more images of Groningen have a look here.

Guardian Review links

This week’s Guardian Review section has a few articles that you might find interesting.

The books interview features Liz Lochhead, she’s a Scottish poet, just in case you didn’t know. She says: ‘You’re stuck writing something until the point where you go. To hell with it, I’ll tell the truth’ You can read the article here.

If you’re interested in Oscar Wilde you might enjoy this article about a new book on Wilde’s Women: How Oscar Wilde Was Shaped by the Women He Knew.

If you’re into gardens and art you might like to read The green rooms.

And last but definitely not least from the Review The man who read the world is an article about David Bowie, the now late great, but I still can’t quite get my head around that. You can read the article here.

Obviously there has been a lot of stuff about Bowie in the Guardian this week, you can read some of it here.

Kelvingrove organist’s Bowie tribute

The organist at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow played Life on Mars today as a tribute to David Bowie and a chap called Gordon Wilson was smart enough to film it on his phone. The organ obviously isn’t the best instrument to play it on, but he makes a good job of it I think. The organ is played every day at the same time, but the last time we were there, when we had Peggy from the US with us, we weren’t lucky enough to hear it.

David Bowie 1947 – 2016

I blogged about David Bowie once before, early on in ‘Pining’s’ career, but I can hardly believe that I woke up to the news of his death this morning. So sad, for me he was much more important than John Lennon and streets ahead of Elvis Presley. Bowie was an all round genius as well as a being a good guy, those two things aren’t often found wrapped up inside the one body.

It was T.Rex and Marc Bolan who first got me interested in music as a real fan. As an eleven year old my bedroom wall was plastered with posters of them, mainly pulled out from the middle pages of Jackie magazine. But I grew out of T.Rex fairly quickly and moved on to Bowie. It helped that my older brother is a Bowie fan so he was playing his music full blast a lot of the time. It would have been murder if I hadn’t liked the music.

So I’ve been a fan since the early days, and I’m so glad that I was there to witness Bowie’s early years. It would have been awful if I had not been able to witness the development of his career first hand, mainly through his performances on TV. In fact I never did get to see him live, my mother wouldn’t let me go to his Ziggy Stardust gig in Glasgow when I was 13. I was desperate to see him then and in later years we didn’t live close enough to any venues, and probably couldn’t afford it then, way back in the days when people paid for everything with cash, and did without if they didn’t have the cash.

Suffice to say that in the grey days of early 1970s Britain, when we had political strife and umpteen strikes leading to regular power cuts, Bowie and the Spiders from Mars were something to behold when they exploded onto our TV screens.

Unlike T.Rex, there was no danger of growing out of Bowie as he was ever changing, constantly developing and maturing, like all the best things.

I still can’t believe that he has gone.

Starman is an early favourite.

When I came out of hospital with my first son in 1986 it was Absolute Beginners which was in the charts, which is exactly what we were, new parents and clueless, but we managed to muddle through!

Another of my early favourites is what I call Tactful Cactus from the Hunky Dory album, but it’s called Eight Line Poem.

And from 1974, Lulu Singing The Man Who Sold the World which was written and produced by David Bowie, who also sang the backing track with Mick Ronson.

David Bowie’s Books – from the Guardian

If you fancy having a look at David Bowie’s list of 100 must read books, you can see it here.

I’ve only read two from the entire list: Muriel Spark’s Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four – and those were both read for school work, many moons ago. I bet everyone else has done better – do tell.