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Life, Love and The Archers - April book of the month

(79 Posts)
LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 01-Apr-15 14:02:12

For those of you who received a copy of Wendy Cope's collection of prose, do add your questions and comments for her below! More about the book itself here.

rockgran25 Tue 07-Apr-15 14:50:59

Thank you for my copy of Life Love and the Archers have just started to read it.

merlotgran Tue 07-Apr-15 14:59:53

Many thanks for my copy which arrived this morning. Looking forward to reading it.

mbody Tue 07-Apr-15 16:39:36

Thought I would dip in and out but kept on reading. Enjoyed her reminicences and as I am a similar age found plenty to think about and enjoy the memories they brought back to me. I shall look for her poetry books as I haven't read any of her work previously, what a find!!

annodomini Tue 07-Apr-15 16:41:36

I have read a few of the essays and relate to many of her memories. I'm saving it for the train journey to Scotland on Thursday.

Maggiemaybe Thu 09-Apr-15 19:26:23

I have been merrily telling my family and friends about this great book I'm reading, prose by Wendy Cope, the poet who wrote "When I am old, I shall wear purple". Apologies to Jenny Joseph blush. It just shows what an uncouth circle I move in - none of them corrected me grin.

EastEndGranny Fri 10-Apr-15 16:07:21

Thank you for my copy that was waiting for me when I got bAck from holiday. A lovely surprise. I had a quick dip in to two parts and was a bit disappointed. It sort of mirrored my own experiences ( e.g. Sudukos and killers)and I felt I could just have easily written it. However, other readers have been quite positive so I will obviously have to give it another try!

coffecup Sat 11-Apr-15 10:52:31

Thanks for this book its not one i would have bought and
i am finding it quite hard work its very much a personal
approach and not one that i find to my taste but i will
persevere and try and finish it although its not like some books which
i find hard to put down.

EllenMay Sat 11-Apr-15 15:31:40

I was really looking forward to reading this book but am finding it rather dull and repetitive - not really what I was expecting. Her poems are so much better than her prose. Very disappointing.

gillogg Sat 11-Apr-15 22:23:08

This is not the type of book that I would normally choose to read but I quite enjoyed the first few chapters,especially the 'I Remember'ones.I too loved Enid Blyton and wore long grey socks held up by garters.
I could also identify with being a primary school teacher in the 70's but began to struggle, and finally , lost patience with the television reviews of programmes I had never watched.

nonnanna Sun 12-Apr-15 10:39:00

Thank you Gransnet for my copy of Wendy Cope's 'Life, Love and The Archers' Like other Gransnetters on here growing up through the same decades as Wendy, I too can relate to many of Wendy's reminiscences. I am enjoying the book very much. I must admit to reading it in snatches as it's perfect for fitting into my bag and picking it up in waiting rooms, on journeys and when there's not a lot of time available to read an ongoing story. Wendy, do you have any more books planned or are you concentrating on your poetry and short articles?

cathisherwood Sun 12-Apr-15 13:49:35

I read this book quite quickly as I kept hoping the next bit would be more interesting but I was not bored enough to give up on it altogether
As one of those people who beg and borrow books rather than buy them I now consider myself severely told off - sorry for restricting your income Wendy!

purplehairstreak Sun 12-Apr-15 16:15:35

I've enjoyed Wendy's book and it's been like sharing a warm and intimate chat with someone I've just met, who has been telling me something about her life experiences. Like Wendy, I was a primary school teacher in the 60s/70s, and my ability to play the guitar (self taught) meant I was asked to start a guitar group in the school. Our finest hour was probably taking part in the local schools' music festival, where the keen young guitarists were able to perform on stage at the local theatre.

I'd first thought I might dip into the book, but once started I wanted to stay with the flow, so Wendy, you had me hooked! I was really interested to read about the copyright issues you & other poets face, so thank you for airing that. It's made me a lot more aware of how precious our personal intellectual property, not to mention our innate creativity, is.

Currently, I aspire to improve my own creative writing. I'm doing this just for myself, for fun, and as a challenge to take me into new areas of expression, so any helpful suggestions would be welcome. Thank you Wendy for a very honest, human sharing of your life.

matson Mon 13-Apr-15 17:48:10

Sorry Wendy, but in my opinion, these cobbled together collection of notes made for very boring and repetitive reading. If I had bought the copy I would have felt disappointed, I felt the book was assembled to make money.

Rosannie Mon 13-Apr-15 18:09:12

This is a very different book to my usual style of reading matter, I like a story that draws me in and keeps me hooked. Life, love and the Archers was the opposite of this, nevertheless I did read it all and found myself enjoying most of it.
I found Wendy to be very honest and frank in her accounts and she was very ready to voice her opinions, I was inspired to look up some of my favourite poems as I did enjoy poetry in my younger days but got out of the habit of reading it.
Which Poets would Wendy include in schools literature syllabuses to inspire and encourage young poets today ?

loopylou Mon 13-Apr-15 19:43:19

I enjoyed the book initially and could relate to a number of Wendy's reminiscences, but my interest tailed off when she was writing about television programmes.
It's a very different kind of book to my usual choice, and currently my elderly mother says she's loving it.

marblerun Tue 14-Apr-15 11:21:51

Thank you for my copy. I enjoyed it - I liked the fact it was in bite sized chunks so was easy to pick up and put down. Wendy what gave you the idea to put together this collection?

philatel Wed 15-Apr-15 11:44:39

I loved this book - especially the memories of books that Wendy read as a child. I, too, enjoyed the books she did plus Arthur Ransome was a great favourite of mine. It was such an easy read - short chapters that captured the imagination and brought back hidden memories of childhood days.

glammanana Wed 15-Apr-15 13:19:18

I loved it,it is so different to anything I have read before and couldn't help but laugh as to how you became addicted to EastEnders & Coronation Street.
I am going to take it on holiday with me and read it again as there are chapters I have just skimmed over it is bound to become a topic of conversation whilst we enjoy a bottle of vino and relax,you are more than welcome to join us Wendy.

dartmoordogsbody Thu 16-Apr-15 20:14:42

I enjoyed Life, Love and the Archers. It is a strange book, a fruit salad or scrap book, rather than the usual narrative. It makes it very easy to pick up in short bursts without spoiling the flow, though the linked sections also allow for longer reading. Perhaps this reflects the fact that it is written by a poet, more used to working with single ideas which are condensed into as few words as possible to contain their meaning. I have enjoyed Wendy Cope's poetry and I was interested in the insights into how it came to be written.

There is a curious sense of reluctance about this book; writing the long form narrative memoir clearly doesn't appeal to Wendy Cope, which is rather a shame, because there is a great story to be told, and there is no question that she could tell it! I wonder if she may yet be tempted to have a go.

Spidergran Fri 17-Apr-15 11:22:40

I found the first few chapters interesting as they reflected a lot of my own memories. I did find it a bit of a surprise that it was published as a book as it is similar to many journals I keep of my own (and know a lot of others that do the same). I must admit I am not a poetry fan so maybe those parts went a bit over my head so found the latter part of the book tedious and boring. It did highlight people's different attitudes to book sales as whilst I appreciate a writer needs to make a living, I also strongly feel that once a book is created it has a life of its own and should be read and passed on so other's may share its contents until the pages collapse. I do save some books that are precious to me but sometimes glance with sadness at the bookcase at the still, silent books gathering dust through lack of use. I am also an avid fan of libraries and use them frequently as my reading pace far outweighs my income! Whilst I would agree that e-readers have their place in this modern world so do real books. They both may offer a reading experience but poles apart. A book is not just the words but the feel, the smell, the solid touchable vessel that is transporting you to another world. Everyone has there own taste and whilst this book is not to my liking it may be better appreciated by others. I appreciate the chance to read this by winning a book as it not something I personally would have chosen off a bookshelf and if we do not try a wide style of writing how do we measure our own personal choice by? Thanks Gransnet for the opportunity.

Purpledaffodil Fri 17-Apr-15 21:05:22

I really enjoy Wendy Cope's poetry and was looking forward to reading this. The first part where she writes about her early life were great and I couldn't put the book down. There were lots of references that I could identify or which jogged the memory agreeably.
However, like other reviewers, I found the reprinted TV reviews a little tedious and would have preferred some more reminiscences or perhaps some poetry?
I was interested to read about her move to Ely and wonder if she has any hints for relocating after retirement?

merlotgran Mon 20-Apr-15 19:00:16

I also enjoyed Life, Love and the Archers apart from the TV reviews. Wendy, your memories of your childhood mirrored my own in many ways especially boarding school. I have downloaded a copy of Family Values on to my Kindle and look forward to dipping in and out.

At Christmas we have a thread on Gransnet supporting those who might be spending the time alone so I will recommend 'A Christmas Song' as it's so appropriate.

I live just six miles south of Ely so am glad you like it so much. We're very lucky - Small is beautiful!

GillT57 Mon 20-Apr-15 20:29:36

Thank you for my copy of the book an unexpected parcel with a book in it is always a delight! I did dither over what to write as I hate being negative, but this is a book review forum, so......I have to say I did not enjoy it at all. I admire Wendy Cope's work, but this came across as a cobbled together collection of articles and musings, some very out of date and a little irrelevant. A rather lazy book I thought, and the articles and chapters were often no better/worse than many I have read in a decent newspaper. Sorry, have not enjoyed, have not finished, and glad I did not pay for it. Struck me as the kind of thing a publisher suggests as a nice little earner.

Annie29 Tue 21-Apr-15 08:31:48

Thank you for my copy. I am sorry to say i did not enjoy reading it.

Marmight Tue 21-Apr-15 08:37:28

Thanks for my copy - it arrived yesterday, snail mail! I look forward to reading it.........