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Penelope Lively webchat 7 August

(78 Posts)
KatGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 07-Jul-14 16:12:36

In this powerful and compelling 'view from old age', Penelope Lively, at 80, reports back on what she finds. There are meditations on what it is like to be old as well as on how memory shapes us. There are intriguing examinations of key personal as well as historical moments she has lived through and her thoughts on her own bookishness - both as reader and writer. Lastly, she turns to six treasured possessions to speak eloquently about who she is and where she's been - fragments of memories from a life well lived.

We're giving away 50 copies of Ammonites & Leaping Fish by Penelope Lively - just fill in the form here.

'fraid all the free copies are gone, but for those who receive and read the book (and indeed anyone else!!), please do post your questions and comments for Penelope on this thread. She'll be answering your questions on 7 August 1-2pm.

GeminiJen Sat 12-Jul-14 12:58:14

Thinking back to my childhood, the books I remember most fondly are those that filled me with a sense of excitement, adventure and derring-do!
I devoured Treasure Island and Kidnapped, indeed anything by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Then there were the adventures of the Bobbsey twins by Laura Lee Hope.
And of course the Little Women books by Louisa May Alcott. I so identified with Jo!
Then there was the allure of boarding school life. Angela Brazil made it all sound so 'jolly'!!
...Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer, etc. etc...I could go on...but will end with one final mention: the Biggles stories, raided from my brother, who was 8 years older. Already a tomboy, I so wished I'd been born a boy!!!

Tegan Sat 12-Jul-14 13:22:25

I can't remember which book it was of yours but in one an accident almost happened and the person in the book couldn't stop thinking about what might have been had they not acted in the right way. It so rang true with me but I do wish I could change being that way.; at least I realised that it wasn't just me that thought in that way smile. I wondered if you now wish that something that shaped you in some way hadn't happened? Gemini; i knew someone called Wrigglesworth and she told me the family name had been used by the aothor of Biggles as he knew her father [or grandfather] but changed the name to Biggles because it sounded better.

Tegan Thu 24-Jul-14 11:41:57

I received a copy today smile. Can't wait to read it. Hoping it might help me make some sense of the ageing process [which seems to have sneaked up on me and caught me unawares confused].

annodomini Thu 24-Jul-14 11:48:07

My copy has arrived but I will be away on the day of the web chat. I am going to put it in my suitcase to read on holiday. I love all her books. Sorry I will miss the web chat.

joannapiano Thu 24-Jul-14 12:36:16

Thank you for my copy, I really look forward to starting it tonight.
I read her book The Ghost of Thomas Kempe some years ago and loved it.

Gagagran Thu 24-Jul-14 12:53:09

Postman has just been and brought a copy for me too - thank you GN. I will have a read and then contribute to the web chat.

vegasmags Thu 24-Jul-14 13:44:15

Thank you very much for my copy. I have a long train journey to make on Monday, so I'm saving it until then.

keriku Thu 24-Jul-14 13:54:21

Thank you for sending me another book, I absolutely love reading and it is a great privilege to contact the authors via gransnet

rosesarered Thu 24-Jul-14 17:15:18

Thank you for the book which arrived today, I will be reading it over the week-end.

Brummiegran Thu 24-Jul-14 18:06:49

Just got back from a break and book was here. I will start reading it right away!

Lablander Thu 24-Jul-14 18:09:07

My very welcome copy arrived in today's post - thank you so much. Stopped what I was doing to start reading; no delayed gratification here. Enjoying it as much as Oleander, Jacaranda and A House Unlocked, both of which I use in my creative writing classes and workshops - as examples of the value and power of memory in writing. And simply because they are just such wonderful books . . .

annodomini Thu 24-Jul-14 18:12:19

Tegan, are you perhaps thinking of 'How It All Began'? That was a great favourite of mine as it dealt with a aspect of ageing which concerns me. I can't help imagining what would happen if I had a damaging fall. Did you write this from personal experience, Penelope, or were you thinking through what might happen?

Tegan Thu 24-Jul-14 18:36:03

I've got a feeling it was a collection of short stories [?] anno. The problem is that, in those days I got most of my books from the library and, once read they didn't get to live on my bookshelves and only fragments stayed in my memory. All I know is the author tapped into my feelingsat the time in an uncanny way. Methinks I need to [re]read more of her books.

Marelli Thu 24-Jul-14 19:28:06

Thank you for my book, which arrived today. I've read through the preface and am really looking forward to getting into the book. smile

moomin Thu 24-Jul-14 19:46:19

Me too Marelli, have just started it this evening - thank you GN

Stansgran Fri 25-Jul-14 13:47:27

I received a copy today. Thank you very much. One of my favourite authors. I'm on eurostar on Tuesday so intend to read it then.

merlotgran Fri 25-Jul-14 18:08:57

My book arrived today. Thank you GN.

Greenfinch Fri 25-Jul-14 18:38:39

Thanks for mine too .I am looking forward to reading it.

emmasnan Sun 27-Jul-14 09:31:59

Thank you for my book, hope to start reading it next week.

seclusion Sun 27-Jul-14 10:39:18

Thank you for Penelope Livlely's book. I have enjoyed it and as I am
an old grandmother - in my eighties - many of her experiences have been
mine. She writes so well about how it feels to be old. My greatest
pleasure is reading and one of the few blessings of being old, if you
live alone and have no responsibilities, is being able to read as much as you
like - all night if you want to. As she is a writer she puts into words many
of my thoughts and feelings. I have found that as I have grown older
I have become much more appreciative. I am so grateful for kindnesses
from family and strangers. I have hearing loss and even though I have
hearing aids I find it difficult to understand speech and so conversation
and telephone calls are fraught. Thank goodness for subtitiles.
I am sure I have read some of Penelope's books as her name is so familiar
and I will take pleasure in reading or rereading them. I look forward to
August 7th and will come on to Granset although I am not sure what a
webchat is but will find out.

Terrafirma1 Sun 27-Jul-14 12:37:22

Have just started Ammonites and Leaping Fish - for which Thank you! I am bowled over already by so much good sense in such a short space- and I am onl y on P 34! The phrase " the dimishment of age particularly resonates as DH has mobility issues which inevitably impact our leisure activities as a couple. How reassuring then to read"perhaps there is some benign mechanism that aligns diminished capacity with diminished desire" and I no longer need to feel guilty becsuse I am not trekking in the Himalayas or climbing Macchu Pichu , nor do I want to. Back to the book! I know what I am doing for the rest of today smile

seclusion Mon 28-Jul-14 15:44:51

Apologies to Penelope for not spelling her name correctly. A mistype - I'm good at those.
It is true that one no longer wants to travel - no more chaotic
airports with all the queueing and the waiting about. I prefer
to sit in my armchair and watch John Bishop in Australia.
Younger people can have the adventures - I appreciate the postcards.
I keep rereading the book - always more to make you think.

Tegan Tue 29-Jul-14 12:40:47

seclusion; the John Bishop series was a little gem of a programme, wasn't it.

shalamar Tue 29-Jul-14 15:51:54

I love the idea of "a view from old age" and have ordered the book. I would like to ask Penelope how she is finding the view and how much it differs from a view from middle age?