Archive for books

All the Fours


I’ve done rather a lot on my Bookstains blog today, so this post will be a short one as I am off out tonight.  This is my 444th post.  I’ve spent rather a long time on here – I could do with getting out more lol!

irma and alfred prunesquallor

I’m still working on my art blog, that’s coming along very slowly and the Gormenghast journey (Titus Groan) – even though I’ve nearly re read it is going at a snails trail.  Will I continue to track when I get to the second book Gormenghast?  I don’t think so, I haven’t got the time.

Pip is told he has great expectations

Over on Bookstains I have been writing about the Dickens books I have read – just very brief summeries but they still took a long time to do.  I am going to keep the teapot category and also the Weird and Wacky, but I am going to introduce some news categories.  The idea is to make this blog an eccentric eclectic mix – and the more the merrier I say!


‘Books, books, books, – so many but never too many’

Posted in BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT with tags , , , , , , on January 21, 2010 by echostains

Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake

My reading is coming along great, already on page 110 of my Flashback book challenge.  As you probably know, I am tracking my findings on my other blog ‘Bookstains’.  however my reading is overtaking my writing!  Just to whet my appetite further I have found some other books which I wouldn’t mind re -reading ‘Diary of a nobody’ by George Grossmith and ‘The Gilded gutter of Francis Bacon’ (and I will write about him – he is my favorite artist of all time, so I want to do him justice).

the gilded gutter of Francis Bacon by Daniel Farson

I had a clear out the other day and was determined to get rid of some of my books.  But when it came to it, there always seemed a reason to actually keep particular ones, even though I’ve read them.  Needless to say, the ‘unwanted’ pile consisted of about 3 books.  One good thing to emerge from this, was I found some books which I hadn’t yet read!  Isn’t it fantastic when that happens!  However, the negative  side of this is where on earth is the time for this reading  coming from?

the diary of a nobody

I rarely get any time in the day to read now, my readings done mostly at night.  I am going to remedy this though, I have to.  I am going to set a time in the day especially for reading, perhaps an hour.  I will make time!

‘Bookstains’ Read all about it!’

Posted in BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, POETRY, WORDS AND COMMUNICATIONS, WRITING AND BLOGGING with tags , , , on January 13, 2010 by echostains

books inklings and words

I have been working on another blog since the 7th of this month.  I have been writing bits on it for the last few days.  I was unsure whether to keep it private or not., but then I thought why not link it with ‘Echostains’ after all it is an extention.  Basically, the blog is about the books I’m reading and my thoughts  and reflections on the journey through them.

I have been participating in the ‘Flashback Challenge’.  This book challenge involves re reading past books.  I have opted to read more than 6 books.  For reasons which shall become clearer (see ‘Bookstains’) I am now reading ‘Titus Groan’ and ‘Gormenghast’.  But I do wish  to stress that the blog shall not be just about the book challenge, there will be other writings that I want explore too.

So, why not review the books on this blog?  The answer to this is that it will probably take up too much room (the way I want to do it, anyway).  Instead of doing a quick review at the end of reading, I want to take my time and map my progress.  This blog shall be experimental and it really shouldn’t matter if you have read or even heard of the books I write about. I may want to do a little creative writing of my own yet……  ‘Bookstains’ won’t be posted every day like ‘Echostains’. it will be a more leisurely and reflective persuit.  Well, that’s the idea anyway.  We’ll see how it goes…..

‘Flashback Challenge 2010 Here’s my list’

Posted in BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT with tags , , , , , , on January 3, 2010 by echostains

I’ve enrolled on the ‘Flashback challenge’ On Aarti’s blog BOOKLUST.  I’m still not too sure how to make a button work though.  I can make a button, well kind of,  but I can’t make it work.   By working I mean invert, press inwards, though it does work as a link.   Confused? I am.  I have opted to read over 6 books this year and have really took my time over choosing them.  I can’t start them yet as I am still reading Chris Firth’s ‘Branwell Bronte’s Barbers tale’, but I shall start immediately after I’ve finished that book.  My books are as follows;


Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake One of my favorite books, the best one of the trilogy.  Read every couple of years, but has had a 5 year gap since last reading.  I am going to read this as it should be read – non stop all the way through.  Total immersion needs to be maintained at all times – the stones demand it!

Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell   OR Her Benny by Silas K. Hocking.   The last time I read Mary Barton was at Uni and the last time I read Her Benny was about 30 odd years ago.  Barton is set in Manchester and Benny is set in Victorian Liverpool – both places are very dear to my heart, I may end up reading them both..

How the Dead live by Will Self  Really enjoyed the way this book was written – great writing and very surreal and clever.  About what happens when you die…strange yet hilarious

The Magus by John Fowles  This is the tough one.  I have tried to get into this book a few times – and failed.  Maybe it is better to read this book last as it may slow me down…

London OR Sarum by Edward Rutherford.  I haven’t quite decided which one to go with yet.  I have started both these books, got waylaid and by the time I gor back to them, forgot where I was up to… typical

The last one was going to be Dickens, but I’ve done Dickens to death, so it is going to have to be Ackroyd as I love his books.  So therefore the last book (which isn’t going to be last as that honour belongs to ‘The Magus) is going to be ‘Dan Leno and The Limehouse Gollam’.  This  a murder mystery set in Victorian London. part fact part fiction.   Dan Leno did actually exist, he was a music hall comedian.  Not read this book since it came out, so I’ll look forward to re reading it.

I’ve set myself the challenge to read over  of over 6 books, but they are to be decided.

 Update 7th January 2010.  Also going to read ‘Titus Groan’ by Mervyn Peake as well as the other books, for reasons which shall become obvious

 Lol!  What an extremely large button I’ve made – no missing that!

Dear Reader I Read it…Well I’ve started it ‘Branwell Bronte’s Barber’s Tale’ by Chris Firth

Posted in BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT with tags , , , on December 18, 2009 by echostains

fantastic pic on the front!

It’s a quick one tonight as my husband has finished for the holidays, and we’re off out for a lovely meal (well, I hope it’s a lovely meal), and I probably won’t feel like blogging when I get back.  This is where the scheduling comes in very handy.

Branwell Bronte

Now for ‘Branwell Bronte’s Barbers Tale’ by Chris Firth. Yes, I’ve finally started it.  And it’s looking good.  I am soaking up the atmosphere of George MacCraw’s barbers shop and the hideous weather.  I can even imagine the light in the shop and smell the fish reeking off fat  David.  It’s going to be an enjoyable read I think, though the text is a bit small for my myopic eyes (out with the Deidre Barlows, the magnifying ones)

wuthering heights but which Bronte?

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of Branwell writing ‘Wuthering Heights’  and wish this could be proved.  But very much doubt it, even if the evidence was indisputable , the Emily fans would never have it…  Still, it won’t hinder my enjoyment of the book

Flashback Challenge: Decisions and Decisions….

Posted in BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA, WORDS AND COMMUNICATIONS with tags , , on December 8, 2009 by echostains

books books fabulous books!

Books books, books.  I am still reading Norman’ Collin’s ‘London Belongs tome’ at the moment (a thick book  which I am very much enjoying).  I am then going to read Chris Firth’s ‘Branwell Bronte’s Barber’s Tale’.  Then it will be time to take the  Flashback Challenge.  This challenge’s the reader to read a number of books  all over again!  Even childhood ones.

this is the film, not the book

I am going for the ‘Literati’ challenge (that’s over 6 books).  You get a year to read them, so it shouldn’t be a problem.  The real problem is WHAT to choose.  I will definitely be reading ‘Gormenghast’, the middle book of the ‘Titus Groan’ trilogy.  I read this every few years…and it’s been a few years.  I shall read it right off, nothing in between.  One has to immerse oneself in Gormenghast to get the full effect, lol!  There we go, I’m turning into Fuchia already!

How the Dead Live


Another book shall be (if I can find it)’ How the Dead Live’ by Will Self’ as I greatly enjoyed this book.  I want to choose books which have changed me or shaped me in some way, so I may choose a childhood book, though there are just too many.  It could be quite interesting to see if I view the book differently as an adult, or there could be things I missed  as a child, or interpreted differently.  Sounds a great challenge though.  If you would like to read more about it – HERES the link on this smashing blog by Aartichapati

Mervyn Peake website HERE

A blog about Mervyn Peake HERE


The only trouble is what to read

Rounding up: Loose ends

Posted in ART, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER, THE STAR INN - THE RESCUE OF OUR LOCAL PUB with tags , , , , , on November 29, 2009 by echostains

 This post is one  in a special week of  celebrating Echostains I year Birthday blog

An indoor ladies toilet pleaseand disabled facilities

The last couple of days have been a bit hectic.  I’ve not even twittered!   The concert last night  for the toilets at The Star Inn  went down really well.  Did we achieve the money we needed for BOG AID? click HERE and find out…..

Julie Hesmondhalgh

Didn’t take many pics last night, just couldn’t get my mode right on the camera!  Really kicking myself about that.  None of them are really anything to write home about at all, mostly blurred.  You need a steady hand for this and getting there at 6.30pm….well, that doesn’t help lol!  Guest of honour Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley from Corronation St) made the auction go with great humour!  She was very entertaining, and a lovely down to earth person with a sharp wit!  The folk bands we had were also very good indeed and everyone just mucked in and had a great time!

More of my posts about The Star Inn HERE

We love art!

Seems ages since I put a proper post on here, everything is a bit up and down at the moment.  But will try to get back to normal soon and write about ART.  Well that’s the first year gone on my blog.  I have to say, I’m really enjoying doing it AND talking to some lovely people whom I would never have met otherwise!  Communication (the echo and the stain).

Echostains Blog is 1 Year Old Today! My 362nd Post

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, DESIGN, WATCHED, WORDS AND COMMUNICATIONS, WRITING AND BLOGGING with tags , , , , , on November 28, 2009 by echostains

one whole year

Yes it’s one year today when I first started my WordPress blog!  So far I have managed to write 362 posts.  The idea was to write one per day, but  it was a while before I discovered being able to schedule these posts.  My aim for the next year is to beat my record!

art is everywhere

What have I blogged about? wittered on about?  Well all sorts – mostly Art.  Art can be found everywhere though!   I didn’t want my blog to be dry academia (succeeded there alright), but neither did I want it to be full of too personal stuff either: outpourings, confessionals.  Rantings? occasionally…. moaning?  trying to keep it down to a minimum.  I also try to steer clear of politics.  I do have views but I think there are too many blogs that focus on political matters.

Branwell Brontes Barbers Tale by Chris Firth next book on my list

I have LOTS of categories!  Including our travels, books I’ve read, TV and films I have watched and of course artist’s birthdays.  I am adding to these.  Those I missed will get an airing soon.  The only criterion for selection is that I do actually happen to like the artist’s work, otherwise it would be a never-ending task, bit like the sorcerers Apprentice filling the buckets…

I have still got more things planned, and when I can work out how to link gallery pics with written pages about artist’s (as in my Altered book) I will do so, as this shall make it tidier.  Many thanks for those who have commented on my blog, it is very much appreciated!  I would like to thank my right and left middle finger for typing…I would like to thank GOD that I still don’t smoke, or I would be dead by now smoking AND typing…….that’s it really!  Cheers!