Archive for reading

My 427th post summary


read all about it?

I thought that it was time for a little summing up of what’s been happening on here.  This is my 427th post now.  So far (fingers crossed) I have managed to blog very nearly every day last year.  My goal for this year is not to miss one day out.  What am I finding to blog about?  ooh all sorts of interesting and some not so interesting things…….


I thought it was about time I put a little of my art on here, plus an explaination of what ‘echostains’ actually is.  Weird and wacky design is carrying on and so are the teapot posts. Just when you think you have seen it all – someone comes up with yet another innovative design.

Richard Flores 'Stormin Norman teapot

January also saw the launching of my other blog ‘Bookstains’ just press the magic button on the right and get there instantly!  That blog is dedicated to reading challenges, authors I have read and a mapping of my Gormenghast journey as I re read Titus Groan and Gormenghast and write my findings and any new insights I find.  I shall be having a spring clean on here – if Spring ever comes and a bit of a sprucing up.  I may even have to change my theme as the formatting is erratic at times – sometimes the text comes out massive when I save a post.


‘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!

‘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!

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

Time and Tide and Other Old Washing Powders that make Life easier but no Slower

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, BRONTE BITES, BYGONE ADVERTISING AND PACKAGING with tags , , , , on November 25, 2009 by echostains

fruit fantasia, better than the usual Test card eh? and very pretty

Not much of a post today, I’m afraid, just been very busy indeed.   Found a cousin I haven’t seen for about 40 years so we have a lot to catch up on!  There’s not enough hours in the day sometimes – yet other times,it seems to hang heavily.  I have loads to do in the next couple of days so I might not put a great deal on…but then again, I just might (as an escape route).  Still reading the Norman Collins ‘London belongs to me’ book and have got Branwell Bronte’s Barbers Tale’ by Chris Firth lined up after that.  Plus there’s all that clearing out business that I STILL haven’t got round to…oh Deary ME!

Book Graveyard: They are not Dead, They are only Sleeping

Posted in BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, DESIGN, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , , on November 3, 2009 by echostains

people stocking up on free books abandoned by Amazon second hand book suppliers Feb 2009 Bristol

Free books!  In February this years people filled their socks  and anything else they had on them with second-hand books from an Amazon abandoned warehouse!  Read the story HERE

Books, books, books!  I have books piled up all over the place.  I have too many books.  I’ve sold some, given  some away, but still I have mountains of books.  I have bookshelves.  But those are filled, so books are crammed into the gaps!  Up in the loft space, I have shelves of books and books stacked up on top of each other.  I once tried to create some kind of order, even catalogue them…but I gave up in the end.  Much as I love books, I couldn’t help admire some of these ideas of about what to do with surplus books.

one page makes you smaller...

I am torn, on the one hand I do think it a bit sacrilegious to deface books, kind of Orwell’s 1984  (says I merrily tearing, painting and snipping away at my altered book…) but on the other hand, look how innovative the Alice in Wonderland one is!  I think that if you are going to deface a book with what looks suspiciously like Tenniel illustrations… remove them first and replace with a photocopy.  Still torn though….. and so is the book..

tea party madness, whatever did they put in the tea?

I rather like the book room though!  No defacing and practical, a cosy little den to read in, surrounded by books.  Of course you would have had to make sure you had already read all the building books: it just wouldn’t do to pull one out would it…

if there was just some way of making a roof..this would be so cosy

I think these framed 3D pieces are lovely.  It’s a good job they are  behind recessed glass. If not, they would collect a lot of dust.   They have collage elements, that remind me of Dada photomontage  artist Hannah Hoch 1889 -1978.  Read about this famous Dada artist and about her place in the Weimar Republic.  Read  a brief history of Photomontage HERE

book carvings

HERE is the website these books came from, along with many other ideas about what to do with your books!  A rather good idea that I came up with is to actually read them!  Innovative eh!