Book #20: Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome. This is our book club selection for this month. We thought if we couldn't be on vacation yet we could at least read about a trip.
The story of 3 friends and a dog who take a fortnight's journey down the Thames. Equal parts travelogue, tall tales and humour (of course, spelled the British way!). I laughed out loud several times reading the book; PapaC had to come in and ask what in the world I was reading.
Here is an excerpt from the chapter on fishing. Understand that my bias is to dislike fishing intensely!
The neighborhood of Streatley and Goring is a great fishing center. There is some excellent fishing to be had there. The river abounds in pike, roach, dace, gudgeon, and eels, just here; and you can sit and fish for them all day.
Some people do. They never catch them. I never knew anybody catch anything up the Thames, except minnows and dead cats, but that has nothing to do, of course, with fishing. The local fisherman's guide doesn't say a word about catching anything. All it says is the place is "a good station for fishing"; and from what I have seen of the district I am quite prepared to bear out this statement......
The "Angler's Guide to the Thames" says that "jack and perch are also to be had about here," but there the "Angler's Guide" is wrong. Jack and perch may be about there. Indeed, I know for a fact that they are. You can see them there in shoals, when you are out for a walk along the banks; they come and stand half out of the water with their mouths open for biscuits. And if you go for a bathe, they crowd round, and get in your way, and irritate you. But they are not to be "had" by a bit of worm on the end of a hook, nor anything like it--not they!
Book #21: Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell.
Another of Thirkell's series of books set in Barsetshire. This time, Miss Mary Preston comes to stay with the Leslie family for the summer. But will she fall for the handsome, charming but selfish David, or the upright, serious and kind widower, John? Well, we all know how it will turn out, but it is such a lovely journey getting there.
I really appreciate the way Thirkell portrays the loving family. Not that they are perfect, and paragons of virtue. But each is valued in spite of, and many times because of their eccentricities.
You wouldn't want to live in Barsetshire permanently, but it is a lovely place to visit!