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Book Discussions > Environment adding to reading experience

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message 1: by Dave (new)

Dave Wood (pocket7976) | 985 comments This past December late at night, whilst the snow was falling and settling 8inches deep around my estate I read The Shining by Stephen King .

For me this added tremendously to the reading experience - (I may have had to sleep with the light on a few time :P)

Any one else have an experience of reading a book whilst the environment outside seems to match it?


Lynne - The Book Squirrel (squirrelsend) | 3622 comments I read a book called Deluge - about London flooding when I was pregnant with my son so must be 32 yrs ago now and outside it was so dark with rain, thunder and lightening so bad the street lights were on and it was only 3pm in the afternoon.

Fantastic atmosphere!


message 3: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments Sounds atmospheric. The Estate - does it compare to Longleat?


message 4: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
Not a book, but I remember watching Body Heat in a very hot cinema - certainly got me hot under the collar - lol


message 5: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
And actually I read most of The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey whilst sitting in a conservatory feeling pretty hot, so that helped engender the spirit of Trinidad


message 6: by Chris (new)

Chris (calmgrove) I find it hard not to think of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer without hearing the music of Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov, because when I was about 11 or 12 I listened to it on a reel-to-reel tape recorder over and over again while reading the second half of the book.

I know it's not quite the same thing as the examples quoted above, but the climactic journey through the caves is forever associated with the stirring movements of the symphonic poem. And it was the same music I recalled without listening to it while reading the end of Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingamen which also concludes with a claustrophobic cave journey. I suppose it's a kind of synesthesia.


message 7: by Dave (new)

Dave Wood (pocket7976) | 985 comments Helen wrote: "Sounds atmospheric. The Estate - does it compare to Longleat?"

lol sadly I'm not quite Lord of the Manor yet. A simply housing estate for me and the only wildlife is the occasional seagull :(


message 8: by Chris (new)

Chris (calmgrove) Oh, and in the same spirit, I remember watching the film of Doctor Faustus starring Richard Burton in a cinema in the late sixties, and when Faustus was accompanied by thunder as he gets dragged off to hell (sorry, should have posted a spoiler warning!) the thunder outside the theatre drowned out the celluloid thunder. Talk about Life imitating Art!

I exited the cinema to find my motorbike in floodwater right up to the wheelhubs in some of the worst flashflooding Bristol had ever experienced in the 60s.


message 9: by Dave (new)

Dave Wood (pocket7976) | 985 comments Chris wrote: "I find it hard not to think of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer without hearing the music of Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov, because when I was about 11 or 12 I listened to it on a reel-to-reel tape r..."

yes Chris I know what you mean I had a similar experience - whilst reading It I was listening to a lot of Sting (10 Summoners Tales) and that album and the book are now inexplicably linked in my brain - a strange pairing I know!!


message 10: by Matt (new)

Matt (riverranger) | 155 comments When choosing a book for holiday I try to match it to the location as far as possible.

For example, when in Provence years ago I read Mayle Peter and his related books such as A Year in Provence Not literary greats, but it added atmosphere to both the books & the holiday.

...when in Leek recently I read a plumbing manual...ahem (or more correctly anything involving Max Boyce)....

But you get the picture.


message 11: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments When I was admitted to hospital a few days before having my twin daughters, I knew I'd have a couple of days waiting around as needed steroid injections to develop their premature lungs before delivering them -I for some reason selected The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing to take with me... odd choice given circumstances even by my standards!


message 12: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments I read Labyrinth when holidaying in Crete, we were going to Knossos. I can't listen to Scherezade without picturing my daughter dancing to it (aged 3) around the room. Heaven help anyone daring to stop it!


message 13: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
I once read Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn whilst waiting to have my appendix out


message 14: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments Now I'm trying to remember which Book I read when having my gall bladder out - actually I was out cold! I re-read Terry Brook's fantasy series all over that period.


message 15: by Deanne (last edited Jul 21, 2011 01:04PM) (new)

Deanne | 684 comments Bit worried because in the operating theatre where I work we tend to anaesthetize the patients so they can't read while we remove their organs.
Wait we do wake up some of the craniotomy patients during their operations and have a chat.


message 16: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments I remember the anaethetist jabbing my hand with all sorts of stuff and me saying ow, him saying yes that one hurts and then me trying to explain that I felt funny. Then I awoke to someone saying on a scale, how bad's your pain. I was concerned that I didn't know the scale!


message 17: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
When I eventually get round to War and Peace, I will definitely be having the 1812 Overture blasting away in the background


message 18: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3425 comments Mod
I often enjoy reading a book relevent to my holiday too: I took Dracula to Whitby and Wuthering Heights onto the Yorkshire moors (perhaps I should have brought my Kate Bush CD along too?)


message 19: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments Download to i-pod and sing along (badly, natch) doesn't annoy the family at all - even better if also doing interpretive, contemporary dance around the lounge...


message 20: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
Em wrote: "Download to i-pod and sing along (badly, natch) doesn't annoy the family at all - even better if also doing interpretive, contemporary dance around the lounge..."

Now there's a vision to ponder Em - lol


message 21: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments I have strong memories of a girl in my 6th form class, doing a dance to that, it was hilarious. Good song though.


message 22: by Matt (new)

Matt (riverranger) | 155 comments Am currently sat in Chessington (theme park) reading under the Vampire ride. No vamp books to hand but am reading "Flashman at the Charge" and the sounds of battle & pain are palpable... Almost real. Oh hang on, they ARE sounds of fear and suffering!!!!


message 23: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3425 comments Mod
Em wrote: "Download to i-pod and sing along (badly, natch) doesn't annoy the family at all - even better if also doing interpretive, contemporary dance around the lounge..."

For Kate Bush - definitely!!!! (though must sport big hair & a leotard for the full effect....)


message 24: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments May as well go the whole hog and sport the leotard and hair do, the kids already think I show them up so in for a penny...


message 25: by Packabook (new)

Packabook | 35 comments I definitely believe in reading books set in the country you are visiting...it just makes the whole thing a great deal more enriching. My obsession with this is what led me to set up Packabook....glad I'm not alone!


message 26: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments Yes, it's great to read a book based in the country or city you're in for eg. I read Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City in San Francisco, Cannery Row in Monterray (sp? sorry!) and The Songlines in the Australian Outback. Has anyone read Once Were Warriors which is based in New Zealand? They made a devestating film based on it which I wept through.

But, what I love best is that books can transport you across the globe and into space without you having to leave your armchair!


message 27: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
Am reading For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway , so wishing I'm in sunny Spain, though perhaps not in the middle of a war!!


message 28: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments I'm going to Tunisia, what can I read there? Although given the news everyone keeps quoting at me - no war books!


message 29: by Packabook (new)

Packabook | 35 comments How about 'The Tremor of Forgery' by Patricia Highsmith or 'Conditions of Faith' by Alex Miller.... I haven't read either I'm afraid, but the reviews aren't bad!


message 30: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments I shall have a look, thanks.


message 31: by Deanne (new)

Deanne | 684 comments Helen
Not set in Tunisia but Algeria, what about The stranger by Camus.


message 32: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3425 comments Mod
Helen wrote: "I'm going to Tunisia, what can I read there? Although given the news everyone keeps quoting at me - no war books!"

Not set in Tunisia, but the right part of the world: How about The English Patient?


message 33: by Dalia (new)

Dalia | 86 comments Hi Helen-
Have you read anything by Naguib Mahfouz? He is wonderful at setting atmosphere. His books are set in 1920s-1950's Cairo.


message 34: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments Thanks, have placed them on my check these at amazon list. I now have about 5 tbr lists!


message 35: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments Reading The Day the Ravens Died: terrorism.
Real life: riots across the country.


message 36: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
I blame old geezer for writing it


message 37: by Deanne (new)

Deanne | 684 comments Milennium people by Ballard, taking it to work tonight as I'm doing a standby, really should read something spooky as I get to spend the night in a sideroom on a deserted hospital ward. Try not to think how many people have died in the room and the patient bed I get to sleep in, some of the staff won't use the room, especially when the patient call light goes on at 2am.
May not get any sleep anyway as I work at the Queen's Medical Centre, and I'll be on call for Neuro. Watching the footage of a police station being firebombed here in Nottingham just disgusting. Ballard's book about a group who carry out bombings and organise riots.


message 38: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments Ian wrote: "I blame old geezer for writing it"

Took the words right out of my mouth, lets go get him!


message 39: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
Helen wrote: "Ian wrote: "I blame old geezer for writing it"

Took the words right out of my mouth, lets go get him!"


He's not been around for a while.....wait till he hears you are reading his tome

Deanne - try Coma by Robin Cook for spooky hospital reading


message 40: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments The lead character is named Paul!


Lynne - The Book Squirrel (squirrelsend) | 3622 comments Helen wrote: "The lead character is named Paul!"

He would make a great PM Helen! I love his attitude to the Health & Safety reps!


message 42: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments It's funny how I keep comparing my book to the current situation and thinking 'Paul would have this sorted'. Perhaps real Paul could send the PM a copy!

We have ludicrous H&S rulings in teaching now. We all have id cards - there are 7 teachers in our school so all the parents know who everyone is, I refuse to wear mine as I feel it's unnecessary. If we were a big school fair enough!


message 43: by Hayley (new)

Hayley Stewart (haybop) | 99 comments I feel so jealous of people who can read with anything happening in the background - I end up having to turn the radio off and everything just to get sucked into the book, I'm distracted way too easily.... although, if you're suggesting that the best way for me to finish my Stieg Larsson book is to hop on a plane to Sweden and find somewhere quiet there, I wouldn't say no ;D


message 44: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments Oh I can't read with anything going around, although I've trained myself to do it on the bus.


message 45: by Dave (new)

Dave Wood (pocket7976) | 985 comments Yes I'm slowly training myself to read on trains.

I hardly ever glare at school kids making a noise anymore :0


message 46: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments I'm so used to telling kids to be quiet in class that I have to watch myself on the bus. I've told people off more than once and then realised I wasn't in class!


message 47: by Hayley (new)

Hayley Stewart (haybop) | 99 comments I can't read on anything that moves - on a train trip I couldn't even play on my sister's DS because that involved some reading... such a shame, I could get so much reading done otherwise!
@Helen - Love the thought of you just randomly telling off noisy people, that's brill! My sister's only once gone into teacher mode and told off some noisy kids behind us in the cinema.


message 48: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments My friends constantly tell me off and tell me we'll get killed one day!


message 49: by Dave (new)

Dave Wood (pocket7976) | 985 comments My friends a Primary School Head Teacher - I've seen her silence annoying kids with just one look!!

Sadly as the summer holidays wear on she seems to feel the need to practice and starts picking on all of us!! Not surprising as we act like kids most of the time :)


message 50: by Helen (new)

Helen | 4238 comments You probably deserve it! Ask her if she has a job for me.


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