Words On Rainy Days

I know you all enjoy a bit of wordplay?  I certainly do, and while reviewing my reference shelves I rediscovered a paperback that will definitely stay there rather than be consigned to the charity shop pile. It’s The Wordsworth Book of Intriguing Words, subtitled The Insomniac’s Dictionary, by Paul Hellweg and  originally published in 1986. It’s Read More

Is the day of the encyclopedia on the shelf over?

Dear Readers, I’m in a quandary. Twenty years ago, with the aid of a legacy from my late great-aunt, I invested in a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica.  Leather bound with gilt page edges, and 32 volumes – it cost me over £1200 back then. Britannica itself has now stopped publishing the print edition, concentrating Read More

A book I wish I’d written …

Now don’t get me wrong, as someone who gave up English lessons at O-level, and has only written reports and policy documents, newsletters and blog posts (of course) since, I really don’t think I have a novel in me. More correctly, at the moment I don’t have a novel in me – much as I’d Read More

“Fashion! Turn to the left. Fashion! Turn to the right…”

Fashionby DK When I was a young girl, my mother bought me a series of historical colouring books of fashion through the ages. I adored these books, and armed with my Caran d’Ache Swiss watercolour pencils, I spent hours devising colour schemes for the costumes.  I then designed my own versions of the outfits for Read More

A Favourite Reference Book – About Books…

The Reader’s Companion to the Twentieth Century Novel ed Peter Parker. I know that you bookish sorts like nothing more than a book about books, so today I shall introduce you to one of my favourites. Published back in 1994, and edited by Peter Parker, (consultant editor Frank Kermode), this chunky tome chronicles the twentieth 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 Read More