book-piles

2017 in First Lines

This is a fun meme, giving a snapshot of one’s reading through the year – not necessarily an accurate sample, but fun. The title links will take you to my reviews. January:  Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis ‘They made a silly mistake, though,’ the Professor of History said, and his smile, as Dixon watched, gradually Read More

Belle Sauvage

Back into Lyra’s world…

The Book of Dust, Volume 1 – La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman My, it was good to get back into Lyra’s world. That familiar, yet unfamiliar universe – where humans have an animal counterpart, their daemons; the setting is sort of contemporary, yet steampunky, with landmarks we know set alongside ones that could be Read More

Clockwork

A book I read pre-blog … and Philip Pullman

Clockwork by Philip Pullman In a wonderful interview and Q&A  article in the Guardian on Sunday (do go and read it), author Sarah Perry asks Pullman what he’d most like to be remembered for, and his reply is his novella Clockwork. Then children’s author SF Said then asks why Clockwork?  Pullman replies: It is the most perfectly Read More

imaginary friends

Philip Pullman essays – a single from Indie Booksellers Week

Imaginary Friends by Philip Pullman I know we’re a few weeks past Independent Booksellers Week now, but you may still be able to get a copy of this single essay by Philip Pullman, published as a little book for IBW and only available in indie bookshops. Each year a different essay about books and reading Read More

oxfordflooded_large

A rather different kind of literary festival…

Last Friday evening, I had the pleasure of helping staff of Mostly Books man the bookstall at a rather special event at Larkmead School – a state secondary school just up the road from me in Abingdon. The event was the launch of an anthology of writing by sixth form pupils called The Blender which was created in conjunction Read More

Good man jesus scoundrel christ

The greatest ‘story’ ever told?

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman Storytelling is something that Philip Pullman cares about very much –  he told the audience so at the Oxford Literary Festival a week or so ago (link here). It is also immediately apparent when you start to read this book.  The language is very straight-forward, Read More

Good man jesus scoundrel christ

Philip Pullman at the Oxford Literary Festival

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ It was Palm Sunday today, and off I went to the hallows of the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford to see the first full talk by Philip Pullman on his new book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, which is published tomorrow.  It’s the latest volume in the Read More