wabisabi

Anyone for Beryl?

I’ve been inspired by a question that Simon asked his discussion post during Muriel Spark Reading Week which he co-hosted with Harriet. Simon asked “Which other authors would you recommend to the Spark fan?” and my immediate response was Beryl Bainbridge! I’ve read just four of Bainbridge’s fifteen novels, but each one has been a Read More

wabisabi

Muriel Spark Reading Week – The Girls of Slender Means

 It’s Muriel Spark Reading Week, hosted by Simon and Harriet. Do visit their blogs to see a plethora of reviews and links to what we’ve all been reading. I’ve not read a Spark novel since 2008 when I really enjoyed The Ballad Of Peckham Rye.  I chose another of her 1960s novels for MSRW… * * Read More

Girls of Slender Means

Muriel Spark Reading Week 2012

  This post was republished into my blog’s original timeline from my lost posts archive. It’s Muriel Spark Reading Week, hosted by Simon and Harriet. Do visit their blogs to see a plethora of reviews and links to what we’ve all been reading. I’ve not read a Spark novel since 2008 when I really enjoyed The Ballad Of Peckham Rye. Read More

Harold Fry

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Republished back into my blog’s timeline from my old blog., combined  2012 posts from author event and book review… World Book Night 2012 in Abingdon with Rachel Joyce I spent the evening of World Book Night at Abingdon Library in the company of Rachel Joyce – the bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I Read More

wabisabi

A gem of a historical romance out of Africa.

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh You know how sometimes you’re just in the mood for a sprawling romance, a continent-crossing historical epic, that sort of book.  That was me last week, and The Fever Tree is such a book. The novel opens in 1880. Frances Irvine is left destitute upon the sudden death of Read More

wabisabi

I was manipulated but didn’t mind, for it was done with kindness …

Wonder by R J Palacio A ten year old boy starts at a new school in the fifth grade… It’s a good prep school, he passed the exam with flying colours… It’ll be the first time he’s been to school, ever… He’s been home-schooled by his Mom… Auggie (short for August) is clever, funny and Read More

Knitting bathing suit

Knit one, purl one and all that …

(republished into its original place in the time-line from my lost post archive. See the rest of this series of posts here.) I haven’t done one of my ephemera posts on old papers and clippings found in my late Mum’s hoard for ages, but came across these two knitting patterns recently which piqued my interest… A Read More

wabisabi

Another different Italian Inspector!

Death and the Olive Grove by Marco Vichi, translated by Stephen Sartarelli This is the second of Vichi’s novels featuring Inspector Bordelli of the Florentine police.  I’ve yet to read the first, but I don’t think it really mattered. It was first published in Italian in 2003, the English translation was published this year. When Read More

wabisabi

The making of a scientist

Konstantinby Tom Bullough When I met Tom Bullough at the Penguin Blogger’s Night last month, I was instantly taken with his reading from his novel Konstantin.  Later, talking to him, he was excited by the finished article and showed me the lovely fold out cover. An oversized paperback original, the dust-jacket is scattered with gilt Read More

Marianne Dreams

Revisiting a children’s classic from 1958

Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr In the Puffin edition (above), this book was my favourite contemporary children’s novel as I was growing up.  I read it in the late 1960s, not once, not twice, but countless times.  The story of a bed-bound girl whose drawings came to life in her dreams both entranced and scared Read More

wabisabi

The case of the randy old goats and the vampire!

Linger Awhile by Russell Hoban The ex-pat US author Russell Hoban, who lived in London,  died at the end of 2011 aged 86. He kept writing right up to the end.  I haven’t paid a visit to Hobanville in a while, and this short novel published in 2006 neatly filled in the gap between more Read More

wabisabi

“I would walk 500 miles” – well 627 actually…

The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce This is a road novel, but with a difference.  Harold Fry used to rep for the brewery, but he’s now retired.  He has nothing to do but get in his wife Maureen’s way.  He’s in a rut, they’re in a rut, basically ever since their son Read More