An Oulipo French classic

Zazie in the Metro by Raymond Queneau, translated by Barbara Wright Zazie’s mother has a hot date in Paris, so she has to leave her eleven year old daughter with her Uncle Gabriel.  Zazie is a mischievous and potty-mouthed youngster who, unable to achieve her aim of travelling on the Métro as they are on Read More

Man, lost, needs space.

Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion? by Johan Harstad, translated by Deborah Dawkin Written in 2005 in Norwegian and newly available in translation, this novel had an irresistible title for me being a bit of fan of all things space related.  However, it’s not really about the Apollo space program, it Read More

Home, sweet home, or not as the case may be…

Wall Of Daysby Alastair Bruce A man stands on a rocky outcrop, watching the sea-green water. He is called Bran. He survives alone on a small island just big enough to sustain him where he has lived for ten years ever since he was banished from his homeland. Life on his rain-soaked island is hard, but Read More

Book Group Report: Half of a Yellow Sun

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Our book group read this month was one of those archetypal earnest stories featuring real events that can generate great discussions. This novel takes place in 1960s Nigeria before and during the Nigerian-Biafran war which started in 1967.  It follows the lives of two sisters, their Read More

Another quirky fable of men and their work

A Cruel Bird Came to the Nest and Looked in by Magnus Mills Don’t you just love the cover of this book?  Having just finished reading it, I love it even more, as it encapsulates the kingdom within its pages perfectly. I can identify its buildings including ‘The Cake’ – the dome-topped concert hall (middle Read More

The Baroness takes on Austen

Death Comes to Pemberleyby P D James Novels that take on the classics have a chequered history, and will always be subjected to increased scrutiny to see if they live up to the premise.  Jane Eyre, Rebecca, and Gone with the wind, for instance, have all had prequels, sequels and adapations written with varying degrees Read More