“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library,”

said Jorge Luis Borges – and I really wish I had!

What sort of books do you like to read? Is there a genre you prefer? Or are you like me, and will read pretty much anything, if it interests you? Do you care if the author is male or female? Does the author’s name really register when you first pick it up?

In my habitual perusal of the ‘net, I stumbled across a campaign encouraging the reading of female authors’ works, despite the allegedly off-putting pastel covers. I’ve been a bit lazy in my reading of late, I will admit, but normally, I am a prolific reader. I also hate getting rid of my books. So I have children’s books next to adult books. Well, not really, that’s not how I organise my books, but you get my drift.

My shelves are, coincidentally, mostly full of female authors. Mostly because I’ve managed to collect the majority of Georgette Heyer’s novels, a decent handful or three of Agatha Christie’s and most of Dorothy L. Sayers. And I’ve still got a load of Enid Blytons (I don’t want to have to buy my children the updated, modern editions. I see nothing wrong with the originals). I don’t have these books because the authors are female and so am I. The only author whose books I discovered because of the author’s name (and therefore gender) is Celia Rees, and she I chose because we share a name. I continued reading her books because I liked them. Most books are recommended or were idly picked up while browsing in a shop.

Good books I read, and look for more by the same. Books which bore me, not so much. I don’t normally think about the author’s gender. I just want to know if the writing’s any good. Sometimes, easy reads are what I want, and I’ll read “chick-lit” for the simplicity, or television/film tie-ins – like those by “Richard Castle”! But usually, I just want a good story, told in such a way that the words paint pictures in my mind. Conan Doyle, Dumas, the above women, Tolkien. There is a host of great authors out there, too many to list them all here. Discover your own favourites, not just the ones that the Powers That Be decide everyone should read.

I think a book is a book and you should read what you like. Regardless of the author’s gender.

With this Ring…

I thee wed? I rule the world? I hide it away and wait for it to duplicate and make me lots more gold?

Guess which I’m after…

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There’s this look that people have in jewellery shops when my partner and I ask about wedding rings. It’s a nice blend of confusion, doubt and “you’re just trying to be difficult, aren’t you?”. We know it quite well, even with our preliminary investigations into wedding rings.

You see, in his infinite wisdom (and knowing my taste in gold) Mark found for me a beautiful engagement ring with a rose gold band. Vintage Art Deco. Not my favourite period, but I’m not sure that I coud’ve found a better ring. Sapphire, diamonds and rose gold. Both our birth stones and my favourite colour gold. In 18ct rose gold.

Most places don’t even do 9ct rose gold, let alone 18ct. Although, I’ll have fun when we do find one. Because then my inner geek will come out to play. Because my wedding ring will be the (almost original) One Ring.

I might have mentioned my minor obsession with all things Völsunga. The story which both Wagner and Tolkien used, with a Ring which everyone wants and fights over. A Ring which, if left alone, perhaps guarded over by a dragon, will duplicate every nine days. Made of red Rhine gold.

Yes, one of my first thoughts on being presented with a rose gold engagement ring was “My wedding ring’s going to be the One Ring!!!” (Obviously, the very first thought was “Yes!”)