Another dose of Murdoch…

The Italian Girl by Iris Murdoch After being the only person to sort of enjoy parts of The Black Prince (reviewed here) at our book group last month, I was slightly wary of reading another of her novels so soon. But the Great Iris Murdoch Readalong hosted by Liz Dexter was up to her 1964 novel The Read More

Review Catch-up…

Life is rather busy, and I’m terribly behind on my reviews. So here is a batch of reviews and links for you… Educated by Tara Westover This memoir of growing up in an unconventional setting and how the author escaped to discover the world outside was absolutely compelling reading, Westover grew up off-grid in Idaho, Read More

Year End Review #6: My Books of the Year!

And finally, in my review of my reading year, it’s my Books of the Year. I saved this post for last, because since Christmas, I have just read a book which had to be added to this list. I tried to keep the list to a dozen, but it’s ended up as 14 – but Read More

Year End Review #5: The Stats

This is the post I love writing each year.  I consult my trusty spreadsheet which now has over ten years of basic data on it, and pull out some comparative figures about my year of reading. These are accurate up to the book I finished reading yesterday! Books and Pages Read Very close to last Read More

Year End Review #4: In Translation

I’ve also decided to give books I read in translation a separate mention this year, if only to try and spur me on to do better in 2018. I was shocked to find that I’ve only read fourteen novels in translation this year, just over 10% of my reading; last year I read 27, (of Read More

Year End Review #2: The Disappointments

There are always some books that just don’t live up to expectations.  Here are a few that didn’t gel with me for various reasons – plus my nominations for silliest thriller of the year. The DNFs I had a good year again with just 2 DNFs – books that I got a way into before Read More

Reading Chekhov plays on the page for book group

About once a year, our book group feels adventurous and decides to read a play rather than a novel or non-fiction title.  Last year we read The Weir by Conor McPherson which was rather wonderful. This year we decided to plump for some Chekhov and as the plays are short to read we picked The Read More

A novel about men and their ‘work’ – it must be Magnus Mills!

This post was republished into my blog’s timeline from my lost posts archive Explorers of the New Century by Magnus Mills Mills fifth novel is another very dark and subversive comedy about his speciality – men and their work.  This time though, it’s not about manual labourers, white van-men, bus drivers or any of their Read More

How to add to your wishlists with Nick Hornby…

This post was combined and republished into my blog’s timeline from my lost posts archive. The Complete Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby One of the easiest ways of adding lots of books to your wishlists, (apart from the recommendations of other bloggers of course), is to read a book about books.  Even better if said book Read More

Extra/Ordinary Stuff!

1000 Extra/ordinary Objects by Taschen I have long admired German publisher Taschen’s affordable art and design books – I have quite a few in my library on favourite artists (Hopper, various Pop Artists, etc). To celebrate their 25th anniversary, they produced a series of books, and 1000 Extra/Ordinary objects (note the slash) is one of them. Read More