Monthly Archives: October 2008

Moviewatch: In Bruges- It’s effing hilarious!

This film was absolutely fantastic from start to finish. Wildly original, quirky, very violent yet wickedly funny with some brilliant sick jokes. Oh, by the way, it happens to show off Bruges quite beautifully. Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes I knew, but couldn’t quite place Brendan Gleeson at first – then it dawned on me – he was Mad-Eye Moody… Read more »

What did you do in the war Mum?

War Crimes For The Home by Liz Jensen The things normal people got up to in the war. Good girl Gloria falls for a GI and learns to be bad with disastrous consequences. Told in flashback, Gloria is now an old lady and installed in an old folks nursing home, as her son Hank thinks she has dementia or even… Read more »

Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews

This was a lovely showbiz memoir to read – Julie has the ability to see the good in everybody and make friends wherever she goes. This first volume of memoirs stops at the point Walt Disney was poised to make her an Oscar-winning megastar, but is no less interesting for that. I hope there will be volume two before long… Read more »

I’ve been tagged – sort of …

I have been invited to be ‘tagged if in the mood’ by the blog phenomenon that is http://meandmybigmouth.typepad.com/scottpack/ having left a comment asking him to comment on my blog. He graciously did so – twice – Thank you very muchly indeed Scott. The rules for this are:1. Link to your tagger (see above).2. Share 7 facts about yourself – some… Read more »

A sense of place

AnnaBookBel   October 21, 2008   No Comments on A sense of place

The Glassblower of Muranoby Marina Fiorato Novels with a strong sense of place are always attractive to me, and the most attractive of all are those set in Italy. I can’t get enough of them – the romance, the passion, the art and architecture, the food. But absolutely top of the list are those set in Venice at the trading… Read more »

Lost Light by Michael Connelly

Published in 2003, Lost Light by Michael Connelly is the 9th Harry Bosch novel in an outstanding series set in Los Angeles that shows no signs of diminishing returns at all. In fact they’re getting better… What’s new about Lost Light is that Harry retired from the LAPD at the end of City of Bones, disillusioned with the hypocrisy in… Read more »

Bookended by great lines…

People and quizzes often tend to concentrate on opening lines of books all the time. Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . . … from Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier being, of course, an absolute classic. But who knows the last line, which just so happens to be beautifully elegaic … And the ashes blew towards… Read more »

Boy in the striped pyjamas by John Boyne.

A lot has been written about this book, especially since it was filmed, so I came to it having realised the ending, but I hadn’t worked out how it happens. Told from the point of view of nine year old Bruno, the son of a high ranking soldier who gets promoted to become the Commandant of Auschwitz, Bruno and his… Read more »

The Man Without by Ray Robinson

Ray Robinson’s debut novel Electricity was one of the best things I read this year … until I read his second novel The Man Without. Electricity has a superb heroine in Lily – a severe epileptic who was abused and in care as a child. The novel follows her quest to find her lost brother Mikey. The text buzzes and… Read more »

Words of wisdom

AnnaBookBel   October 14, 2008   No Comments on Words of wisdom

From the sublime … “The marvellous thing about a joke with a double meaning is that it can only mean one thing.” Ronnie Barker … to the sublimely ridiculous but still true… “A sure cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree.” – Spike Milligan “Never trust a man, who when left with a tea cosy … Doesn’t try… Read more »

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

This is a brilliant novel, but one I found it difficult to enjoy. The title, appropriately for a parody of America’s deep south in the 1960s, comes from master satirist Jonathan Swift and is a perfect description of the book. The author has assembled a cast of grotesques, from aged crones to spoilt housewives, and failed flatfoot policemen to a… Read more »

Genrification … that’s the name of the game?

If a fiction book is labelled chicklit, or Science Fiction, does it put you off? – Possibly … Sci-Fi was one of the most spurned, if not the most derided genre of novels until chicklit came along. Personally, I can’t see anything wrong with either genre – in principle … Now I have to defend myself: Chicklit – I admit… Read more »

From the Archives

My eight year old daughter recently asked me what my favourite film is. She probably meant which is my favourite film of hers … but I quickly replied The Blues Brothers. Not the best film ever made, and a close run for my top place to Excalibur, but The Blues Brothers was the film that got me started listening to… Read more »

Spotlight on ***** Books #2

It’s time to introduce you to another pair of the books I have particularly enjoyed this year getting five out of five stars each. A full list of my five star books can be found on my Librarything site – there’s a link to your right. First in the spotlight this time is Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned by Walter Mosley…. Read more »

School Dinners by Becky Thorn

My sister-in-law has a book out and it’s a real retro nostalgia trip. I saw the manuscript earlier this year, and it got us all talking for hours about stories of our own school dinners when we were little – loved and loathed in equal measure I think. And as for the dinner ladies … woe betide anyone who wanted… Read more »

I’m sooo tired …

The weekend’s just flown by with scarcely a page being read … Open Day at School all day Saturday was fatiguing to say the least. Then, it was our daughter’s 8th birthday on Sunday and a party for 14 screaming girls – one year older, but the volume of the scream increases exponentially! It was lovely to hear them all… Read more »

Underneath its prickles is a charming story …

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery translated from the French by Alison Anderson. Get past the prickles in this novel by Muriel Barbery, and there is a charming story underneath. It’s told from the alternating viewpoints of Renée, a widowed concierge who has a love of philosophy, cinema and Tolstoy, and Paloma, an incredibly erudite twelve year old who… Read more »