On The Bookshelves

Revealing she was prompted by my Instagram lighthearted pictures of family/friends bookshelves, Laura Thompson has shared a photo of her cooking bookshelf. That post on cookbooks also contains an interesting aside I did not know… because, well, I never attended culinary school:

When I was in culinary school, we—the students—were instructed, pretty much forbidden really, to purchase cookbooks. Instead, we were told to buy books on technique. It was expected that we take our classroom education and learn new ways to create new takes on old classics, not merely recreate the old.

You’ll notice also if you click over that among her volumes she has Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It was one of the first cookbooks of its kind. If you have seen the film Julie and Julia, you understand already from where that cookbook comes.

It’s funny she posted that just yesterday. I had been planning on sharing this bookshelf to Instagram, but had not. Now, I will here:

[Photo by me, 2018.]

That was taken the other day: a small bookcase in our Chipping Sodbury (yes, “Chipping Sodbury” again) friends’ guestroom.

I didn’t ask, but I’m thinking some are “his” books and some are “hers.” If you are not yet in a “live-in” relationship, you need to know this, because it’s important: when you end up living permanently with a “special someone,” their books will likely come with them.

Notice Dan Brown’s Inferno at the bottom. Hmm. I’m not sure here if he is “his” or “hers.” I’ve never read anything Brown has written. I’ve also seen him shredded by critics as a flat-out “bad” writer. I’m guessing he’s hardly Shakespeare; but I also tend to feel that sort of scathing assault stems from a degree of sour grapes from those who would love to sell as many of their own books as he does – and also to see them adapted into films as several of his have been.

Here, vaguely relatedly, how about another book adapted to film, and which often now in DVD form ends up on a bookshelf?

[The James Bond DVD collection by MGM. Photo by me, 2019.]

I received the twenty-four movie James Bond DVD collection (Dr No through Spectre) for Christmas. I watched the fourth Connery-starring installment, Thunderball, the other day. It was the first time I’d seen that one in many years.

Sitting through it, I realized I’d forgotten most of it. Why? I’m guessing because it’s not as familiar as Connery’s others.

For one, at more than two hours long (so it would have needed lots of cutting to fit into a “2 hour” US time slot), possibly it has not been on television quite as often as his earlier films. Also while reviewers at the time said the novel itself (which I have never read) has humor and is not as violent as earlier Bond books, this 1965 film didn’t to me have as much humor and is probably the most violent and graphic overall on screen of the then Bond films to date. Lots also happens underwater (there is also plenty of, uh, “shark action”), so there are long stretches of no dialogue, which usually would read better than it may translate to a screen.

[Thunderball on DVD. Photo by me, 2019.]

Still, it was great to feel like I was seeing it virtually for the first time. It is serious early cinema Bond. Oh, and if there is a lesson surely to be learned from the film, it is probably this one: Beware of a revenge-seeking Frenchwoman wielding a harpoon gun. 😉

Have a good day, wherever you are. 🙂