Jimmy’s and Billy’s Books


My neighbour has kindly loaned me some books to read. Since retirement he has discovered a love of reading. Never picked up a book before in his life.  Now he’s taken to it like a duck to water. He has even taken to handing me books he’s enjoyed himself. The range of reading material he reads is fascinating. If he has nothing else, he will devour encyclopaedias.

Lately, it has been autobiographies. I recently finished reading Jimmy Barnes’ Working Class Boy and Working Class Man. That was interesting which surprised me. It is captivating reading. Raw and real, and in his voice.

His tough childhood was lived in the main right here in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, after emigrating from Glasgow in Scotland as a young ‘un with his family. Now there is someone who has lived hard and loud. Having learnt, through his storying, just what he got up to in his wild days, it’s a wonder he survived. Particularly during the very heady days of heavy rock ‘n rolling as front man of Cold Chisel and then a solo career. The merry-go-round of childhood trauma propelled him to search for meaning and purpose. Only it was fueled by fame, drugs, drugs and more drugs, and rehab until eventually life forced him to slow down and take stock. He’s doing OK now it seems. In January he performs right here in Adelaide on the beach, with his old band mates.


Lo and behold, having just finished  read Jimmy’s life story , I was next handed Billy Connolly’s book. Another Glaswegian Scot.  I must admit that I am a bit hot and cold when it comes to the Billy brand of humour. But his travelling shows have been interesting to watch. Parkinson’s disease has grabbed a hold of him now but Billy has not lost his sense of humour.

Reading his book is like listening to him talking. Just like the other Glaswegian. Maybe it is the Scot in them. It is surprisingly captivating.

I have yet to finish his book but I wanted to share  with you this list I found in the chapter on a Guide to Literature. Turns out Billy discovered a love of reading very early in life. It helped him escape the hell that was his childhood.  But first, this is what the wee Scotsman has to say about reading –

If you will allow me to climb on my wee soapbox here, reading books is wonderful. They even make you sleep well. Not electronic books and Kindles all that shite: they will keep you awake. They mess with your eyes. I’m talking about regular, paper books. Start reading one at night when you go to bed and you will inevitably nod off and wake up with the book on your chest, your light still on, and one leg out of the bed. 

And here is the list. What kind of reader are you?

The Polygamist Reader is a multitask reader who loves reading a load of books at a time and somehow manages never to muddle up the stories.  That’d be me.

The Monogamous Reader sticks to one book at a time and loves re-reading favourite titles. That’d be The Retired Husband. Some books have fallen apart for being read so often.

The Extrovert Reader is adventurous and will grab just about anything with words. That’d be my neighbour.

The Introvert Reader sticks to one genre, identifies, analyses and ponders over characters and plot. Don’t know anyone like that.

The Altruist Reader recommends huge reading lists to family and friends in an effort to help.  I have been known to dip into this.

The Neurotic Reader is distracted, switches between books and hardly ever finishes them.

Raili Tanska

Live life to the full

13 thoughts on “Jimmy’s and Billy’s Books

  1. I’m a typical polygamist reader. I always have two or three on the go!
    Life without reading is just one life. If you read you live many lives.

  2. I used to love Billy when I was younger, I wish I read more books I do enjoy reading but I don’t somehow feel like I have the time, I don’t know why 😳

      1. Very true I’ve just been recommended Astrology for the soul by Jan Spiller, I think it would be right up your street. I got it from amazon on kindle at a reduced price 🙂🙃

    1. Nice to see you here ! have learnt to appreciate BC’s humour more. Perhaps it has softened a bit over the years. or it has settled into my funny bones more easily as I have aged.

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