Book Group report: Food

John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk Our Book Group is reading by category this year. When choosing our ‘Food’ book two months ago, we narrowed it down to three books initially and then picked one out of the hat. The three were: The Vegetarian by Han Kang – prize-winning Korean novel John Saturnall’s Feast by Read More

Meg Rosoff at the Oxford Literary Festival

This Wednesday evening I was back in the vaulted delights of the Bodleian Divinity School (where I’d been on Monday).  It was a sheer delight to be in the disappointingly small, but very lovely, audience to hear Meg Rosoff talk about her latest novel in conversation with Suzie Feay. I suspect that if Meg’s latest novel Read More

A new brand of WWI spy …

Jack of Spies by David Downing Some readers may already be familiar with David Downing; the six books of his ‘Station’ series of spy thrillers set in WWII Berlin are highly regarded. Now he has set his sights back to just before the First World War to start a new series of spy novels with Read More

Book Group Report – a German classic novella…

The Jew’s Beechby Annette Von Droste-Hülshoff Being a German novella from 1842, this book was an unusual choice for our Book Group. It came about in conversation because one of our group’s sons was studying it at uni, and another who teaches German, owned a copy in German which she’d never read. Luckily, translations are Read More

A 'Hardy' Christmas for our Book Group

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy Our book group more often than not picks a classic to read over Christmas. This year we picked possibly the least Christmassy and most draining novel in a long time for our festive read – Jude the Obscure is not a book for the faint-hearted. So, when we met and discussed Read More

The Food of Love …

John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk (republished into its original place in the time-line from my lost post archive) I’ve taken my time reading John Saturnall’s feast, the latest novel by Lawrence Norfolk. He’s a man that takes his time to write his novels, having published just four in twenty one years, and so I’ve Read More

Book Group Report – In search of dragons …

Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch This story of young Jaffy Brown and his adventures, starting with an encounter with an escaped tiger, was another really good book group choice.  We all throroughly enjoyed this impeccably researched and ultimately rather gory tale of exploration and shipwreck in Victorian times. The Guardian’s review of the book tells Read More

3 reviews from Jan 2011: Hornby, Jensen & Gaiman

Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby I don’t know how he does it, but there’s something about a Nick Hornby book that so hooks me, that I feel part of the story – I can always identify with some of the characters. Juliet Naked is the story of a lost rock star, a completist fan and his Read More

Book vs film: Too much Julie, not enough Julia?

Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell This was the July choice for our book group, which gave those who didn’t read the book time to watch the film instead.  I managed to do both, and they are quite different animals… Julie Powell and husband Eric hail from Texas. They live in Read More