Tag Archives: Books

Interview with Clive Farahar

Hi all,

So I have something just a lot exciting today. Aside from loving newer books, I love old and antique books too, I love looking at antique book stores and reading about them. On a side note, one of my favourite tv shows is Antiques Roadshow, where of course there’s several book and manuscript specialists, my long time favourite being Clive Farahar. 

What’s my point? Well I got in touch with the good man himself and asked if he’d answer some questions for my blog, which he did. I pretty much squealed as I read his replies, being a longtime Agatha Christie fan myself:

1. What ignited your passion for books, in particularly antique books?

CF. I always enjoyed Church Jumble Sales and Village Fetes and there were always lots of books to look at, and some were remarkably good. As I got older and discovered Second Hand Bookshops, I found that I could supplement my pocket money by selling my “finds” from these sources.

2. At the age of 4, you received a first edition set of the Noddy books. What was it about these stories that really captured your interest?

CF: The stories were mild enough but there was always a new episode with Noddy and Big Ears getting in and out of scrapes, and of course Noddy had a car and I always wanted a car.

3. I presume you’d be a keen reader, so if you’re able to read for leisure, what are some of your favourite genres of books? Favourite authors? All time favourite reads?

CF: I read all the time, but I love detective fiction which I discovered early on in paperbacks, Penguin Green Backs which specialized in it, from Earl Stanley Gardener and Raymond Chandler to Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. I wrote to Agatha Christie once about her work and asked rather rude questions “What makes you novels tick?” and “Do you always know ‘who dun’ it before you start a book?”. She kindly wrote back pointing out my use of “slang” as she called it would not get me good O level marks.

4. What was the moment in your career when you knew you wanted to work with manuscripts and antique books? 

CF: I was 19, employed as a Booksellers Assistant, going through a box of books at a minor sale in Bond Street when I discovered the original illustrations for Rex Whistler’s first commission for Frank Swettenham’s only novel’ Arabella in Africa’. The Auctioneers had ignored them as printer’s proofs, and I bought them for very little. After that I have always meticulously sorted through bundles of paper whether manuscript or printed papers for such hidden gems and unconsidered trifles.

5. The Antiques Roadshow is now in its 40th season, which is definitely a remarkable feat in itself. I imagine you’d have seen lots of fantastic items since you first joined in 1985? Therefore I ask you if you had to have a top five finds, what would you pick?

CF: . It always amazes me that after all this time that new and amazing ‘finds’ are still turning up on the Roadshow

A Signed First Edition of Peter Rabbit £25,000

25 Original Drawings by Beatrix Potter £250,000

A Collection of Love Letters to an unkown Mistress of the artist Henry Moore £50,000.

A Magnificent book on Camellias found in a Junk shop for 10 pence, £10,000.

The Chandos Manuscript at London University £4,000,000.

Thank you Clive, it’s been a pleasure. I wish you all the best for this season and future seasons of the Antiques Roadshow. 



Book Review: Veiled Angel by J.J Nite

Published 2016 by Clean Reads

Note: I was given a copy of this book for an honest review, please note that doesn’t influence my thoughts on the book.

Rating: 2 stars 

Let’s talk about the writing:

Okay, I see what the author was trying to do, and she did well thinking up a brilliant and unique concept which seemed refreshing at first; sadly it ended there for me, the book was rushed and the author could have planned out events and characters further so the reader could have engaged with them more. But at the same time I did like how the writing was simple, and the storyline was easy to follow; also I could picture everything as I was reading it. 

As I said though it was an exceptionally rushed book; it was also incredibly predictable, and when I reached the face off that had been mentioned at the end, I was left underwhelmed. I do know though that there’s other books in this series and that gives me hope for what’s to come. 

Let’s talk about the characters: 

Eden, is a down to earth girl who is plucked from everything she knows when her mother becomes tragically ill. She was initially a solid character, but she was acting pretty immaturish until about halfway through when the reality of her circumstances grew on her and she actually accepted what she had to do. 

Atlas is my favourite character in this book, at first he is Eden’s guardian coyote. I thought it was clever that the author chose what are considered dangerous and sometimes feral animals to watch over her main character. Atlas, as he is dubbed by Eden, is cute, funny and wise and I honestly wish he was real, which is not something I thought I’d ever say about a coyote. That just goes to show the effect of books. 

Sami was a character that confused me initially, I mean her appearance felt out of the blue and sudden, but it makes sense now that I look back. Her characteristics just felt underdeveloped, and to avoid being too spoilery, I don’t really understand why she was doing what she was doing, when it boils down to it, which backs up my point of this book being underwhelming. 

Kiah was a character that came into the story when he needed to, and I must confess I thought he was cute with Eden. He was the rock that she rested on during her trials and tribulations through the book, and I mean this as a pun as Eden seemed to sleep at the end of every chapter. But at the same time I have so many questions about all of these characters so I can only hope the author draws them out more. 

Sefta was a character that ironically I was instantly weary of, though I have no idea why. Perhaps I thought that it was too good to be true for Eden to be safe with her grandmother right after her mum died? But then I didn’t get why Sefta wouldn’t let Eden get her belongings out of the truck, but there you go. When it came to it, Sefta was Eden’s other guide during the big revelations of this book, and you could tell that she really cared about her granddaughter and only wanted her to be safe in the dangers that were about to come. 

All in all a very mixed read, but in time I will read book 2, because I’m curious to know how this series continues. 

A big thank you again to Mallory McCartney over at Clean Reads for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. 

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading,