Monthly Archives: November 2008

Mummy, what’s your favourite song? …

… asked daughter Juliet, who since her Dad bought some noise cancelling headphones has been glued to the family iPod. Well, where to start? I couldn’t possibly choose just one song, so in time-honoured Desert Island Discs fashion will try to limit it to eight! Here they are, in no particular order: Everybody knows by Leonard Cohen from I’m your… Read more »

Victory for the little guy over bureaucracy!

This was one of those books that once spotted, had to be purchased. A new author to me with an intriguing name and equally interesting book title, a great cover, plus it was an American import that shouted ‘quirky’ at me. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a novel with a bit of quirk in it, and I wasn’t disappointed…. Read more »

5 days left to enter my Christmas comp …

Dear Readers,Don’t forget my Christmas competition – enter my small book quiz and you could win yourself a selection of my hand-sewn Christmas decorations. I’m happy to send worldwide. Email me with the answers by Nov 30, I will make the draw on Dec 1st so I can beat the last date for airmail from the UK. You could win… Read more »

It’s a beautiful day

I’m sitting looking out over school playing fields, the early morning frost has melted leaving the grass glistening. A few trees stubbornly hang onto their last leaves, and the church spire points heav’nward, contrasting against a hazy blue and cloudless sky. All is perfect except for just one thing … Blooming leaf blowers!!! I can hear at least two going… Read more »

The Sonnets by Warwick Collins

This is an ambitious novel. The author has taken Shakespeare’s sonnets and created a novel around them, selecting those that fit this narrative – 32 in all, reproduced in full within the text. Although I love Shakespeare’s plays, I’ve never read the sonnets, just knowing a couple of the famous quotes. This novel was a great way of getting to… Read more »

Alan Coren – 69 for 1

In spare moments after lunch for the past couple of months, I’ve been dipping into the humorist Alan Coren’s last book of columns. I can’t believe it’s over a year since he died, but reading these mini-masterpieces of wit, I can hear his voice, in turns mocking and exasperated, but always with tongue firmly in cheek. Coren is at his… Read more »

By Dickens! …

AnnaBookBel   November 22, 2008   No Comments on By Dickens! …

… I’m enjoying the Beeb’s Little Dorrit. I watched three episodes back to back last night and loved every minute. I have to admit I nearly shed a tear when Little Dorrit left the Marshalsea looking back to lovely, nice Mr Clennam. Talking of Mr Clennam, I definitely prefer Matthew MacFadyen here to his turn as Mr D’Arcy in the… Read more »

Desert Island Books #2

Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable Some may consider choosing an encyclopaedic dictionary a bit of a cheat, but I maintain that if you were on a desert island with no internet – there is no better book than Brewer’s for frequent dipping into for little nuggets of information. It is simply the original and most quirky dictionary of the… Read more »

Synchronicity & Serendipity

Sometimes in the book blogosphere we’re all looking at books of the moment – several reviews will be posted about a new book or a title in the news – there’s a synchronicity about it all … Take the book I’m reading now for instance – Warwick Collins new novel The Sonnets which puts Shakespeare’s poems into a novel setting… Read more »

I’m a Hardy convert!

Back in September on this blog I confessed that I had never read any Thomas Hardy. As this admission coincided with the recent BBC adaptation I chose Tess of the D’Urbervilles to read. I only watched the first two episodes on TV though, and can honestly say I didn’t know the second half of the story at all. Although the… Read more »

Proper Showbiz Memoirs …

I love good showbiz memoirs and biographies. None of that celebrity trash – I like proper life stories of people in any aspect of showbiz with distinguished and/or interesting careers. In particular, I always find the behind the scenes stories of the creative process are fascinating, be it on stage, on film or in the studio – although I’m not… Read more »

Oct-Nov Book Group Report

Nine of us met at the new Ask? Italian in Abingdon last night for our monthly meeting. We had 2 books to discuss as October’s was cancelled. A nice place to eat, although slightly pricey for what you get, Ask? was not the ideal venue for a discussion as the high ceiling with gallery (it’s a converted Methodist chapel) made… Read more »

Short Takes

AnnaBookBel   November 2, 2008   No Comments on Short Takes

The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark The 100th book I read this year. It was a delightful short novel about a young man who arrives in a slightly posh bit of South London, stirs things up rather devilishly bringing this staid bit of town to life, and then he disappears. Is Dougal Douglas the devil or just a… Read more »