Books, A Gift & A Bit of a Rant About The Census

Having started the year powering through book after book and really enjoying my reading, I’ve hit a bit of a wall, and slowed right down.  The last couple of books I’ve read haven’t been particularly enjoyable, and I’m not really enjoying the one I’m reading at the moment. 

I just don’t know what I feel like reading next – here are some pictures of my choices.  Any ideas/recommendations?

On another note, the postman delivered a box today (gotta love a parcel dropping onto the doormat!), from the very kind Elizabeth at Making Good Use, who sent me this fab VW eggcup that was the catalyst for this post last week, and a lovely handmade card.  Thanks so much, Elizabeth – very much appreciated.

Finally, the 2011 Census form arrived in today’s post.  A 32 page monstrosity that requires completion by every household in Britain, though I’m really somewhat hazy as to the exact reasons behind it. 

I’m sure that the cost implications far outweigh any potential benefit, anyway, particularly in these straitened times.  Have glanced over it cursorily, I notice that one can obtain a copy of said census form in 56, yes 56, different languages – each with it’s own internet link and individual helpline telephone number. 

A few examples of the languages available – if you’ve heard of any of them, do let me know because I haven’t: Igbo, Amharic, Lingala and Tigrinya.

For God’s sake, it is really too much to expect the inhabitants of the UK to complete a UK census form in English, the official language of the UK? 

We ought to take a leaf out of other countries’ books – I remember going to a police station in Spain to report a burglary several years ago, and a notice on the wall (in Spanish) saying: We only speak Spanish here as we are in Spain.  If you don’t speak Spanish, we can’t help you, please come back with somebody who does, who can translate for you.


16 thoughts on “Books, A Gift & A Bit of a Rant About The Census

  1. Looking at the books on your shelves I can see that we have a lot of the same books! I always love Jodi Picoult, I don’t think there is a single one of hers I have not enjoyed. I’m trying to remember if i liked The Gift by Cecelia Ahern…she is very hit and miss.

    Our census forms will be arriving soon, but I think unless one of you are the chosen few it is only basic information required..#of people in house, birthplace, that sort of stuff. I never did complete my 2006 census. No particular reason, we were in the midst of moving, I was pregnant and miserable and apparently quite lazy!

    Ours also come in a variety of languages. Yesterday, I was looking at some information from the school district and it had a page long list of languages a survey could be done in, complete with phone numbers for help. One of the languages was Cree, which is spoken by some First Nations. I do not know of a single Aboriginal in my city who can not speak English and who was not raised with English as their first language so it certainly seems silly to have that on there.

  2. Hi my dear-I’m in a reading lull at the moment too, a great pile of unread ones which I can’t get motivated to read!! Love the home made egg cup, very cute indeed!! xx

  3. I LOVE Cecelia Aherne and I saw you had The Gift, I have all of her books and to be honest it was OK, some of her books can be quite complicated but this one was an easier read but the story was not keeping me on the edge of me seat, I see too you have Not that Kind of girl, that too was just an ok read. Wow you do have a lot of books to read Caroline , I have about 6 to read but have not really felt in the reading mood, once I get going there is no stopping me, enjoy your books! The census seems like a complete waste of money to me, what will whoever gets the info do with it and will it help anyone???
    x Dawn

  4. Tracey Chevalier, all the way! I adore her writing style, it’s so absorbing.
    Igbo is a Nigerian language. I’m from the very multi-cultural West Midlands. xxx
    PS Love the egg cup!

  5. I love the egg cup too – do we know where she got it from? One of my kids would LOVE it. Anything VW he is into – especially the ‘slugbug van’ as they call it here.
    I wondered about the Census. I have never filled one out at all. When I took US citizenship late 2009 there was a test to read out a simple English sentence. If you couldn’t read it in a proper understandable English you failed……
    Oh the books Caroline,….. I have loads of those just waiting to be read too. I am currently on the new one by Jodi Picoult – ‘Sing You home’ and love it. Many I see on your shelves were enjoyable but also a bit forgettable. I liked but wasn’t wowed with ‘The Gift.’ The Penelope Lively one was quite tough to get into but loved it in the end. ‘Foursome’ by Jane Fallon (Ricky Gervais’s woman) was ok I think too. Have heard v good things about Lesley Pearse and have a few here but haven’t actually read any yet.

  6. I think its the same in India. In all our government papers, we have atleast 3 language options—English, Hindi and Urdu.

    And I suggest you read The Vintage Summer. Love the name 🙂

  7. Wendy Holden The school for husbands is a great fun read, I really enjoyed it!, nearly as good as The Wives of Bath by her which I loved. x

  8. Hi Caroline, Glad the camper van egg cup arrived safely, and that you liked the card. Our census envelope arrived yesterday too – I’ve not opened it yet as the thickness of it is just too daunting to contemplate.

  9. I think we might have similar taste in books! I read ‘Remarkable Creatures’ just last week. I’ve read ‘Eclipse’ more times than I’d like to admit considering I’m 33 and not 13. Do I remember you saying you had bought a copy of ‘Room’ a while back? What did you make of it?

  10. I’m in the same situation re books. After a great start followed by a few duff ones I hit a wall too. Bloody annoying, to say the least. Your “books to read” shelf looks a lot like mine, too. Have to have a choice on hand.

    Also agree re cencus languages.

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