Tag Archives: Art

My own little bit of the World of Moose…

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One of the books I’ve recently pledged to on Unbound is I Wonder What I’m Thinking About? by cartoonist and illustrator Moose Allain.  Visit his own website The World of Moose here, his prints are affordable and lovely.) All the Unbound pledgers were entered for a draw to win a piece of original Moose art – and I won!!! The picture arrived… Read more »

Beryl Bainbridge Reading Week: Where the Sun Doesn’t Shine

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Winter Garden by Beryl Bainbridge (1980) Douglas Ashburner is going on holiday. He was surprised that his wife of twenty-six years was happy for him to disappear off to the Highlands for a fortnight’s fishing trip. Leaving her in bed, she waves him goodbye with a ‘queenly gesture of farewell’. Little does she know. His real plans are to fly… Read more »

Beryl Bainbridge Reading Week: Titanic

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Every Man For Himself by Beryl Bainbridge My first review for BBRW 2016 is a re-read for me – but no ordinary re-read. The Folio Society has produced a gorgeous new edition of this novel which includes Beryl’s own paintings, the first time her text and paintings have been published together. Every Man For Himself was published in 1996, five years after another icy… Read more »

Too cryogenically cool to love outright

zero k

Zero K by Don DeLillo I’m not entirely new to reading Don DeLillo. I like the idea of reading DeLillo and I have read the first quarter of his 1971 debut, Americana, for my Annabel’s Shelves project. I was really enjoying it; it started well – we were introduced to top TV executive David Bell – who, if he’d been an ad-man, would have been Mad… Read more »

A Florentine treat

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The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant I used to have all four of Sarah Dunant’s Italian Renaissance novels on my shelves. I liked the idea of them, as I love Italy, its art and architecture and so on but, I’m not a big reader of historical fiction, so they got forgotten and late last year I gave them away… Read more »

A novel of one-sided letters…

how you see me

How You See Me by S.E. Craythorne This is the last of my reviews of books I finished reading in 2015; I thought I’d better get a few thoughts down before the memory of reading it fades too much. As Susan said in a recent post, ‘I have a weakness for debuts’ – you never know what you’re going to get…. Read more »

The boy, the stolen painting and the Russian…

Just occasionally, I believe I can read minds – well in a Derren Brownish way – you see by my title of this post, I hope to have manipulated you into thinking you were getting a(nother) post on The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt; some of you will be thinking but Annabel’s already reviewed that, hasn’t she? They would be correct… Read more »

Christmas Shiny Linkiness …

Today, I’d like to direct you over to my reviews in the Shiny New Books Christmas Inbetweeny.  By the way, have you tried our Shiny Advent Quiz yet? Ideal as a post-prandial competition… But back to my reviews as these books are all too good to leave off mentioning here too: The Islanders by Pascal Garnier Translated for Gallic Books… Read more »

784 pages – Was it worth taking the time to read…

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt It’s very likely that had our bookgroup not picked this novel, that The Goldfinch would have stayed on my shelves, unread, (beside Wolf Hall and The Luminaries), for much longer. I had to read it (well, I could have cribbed notes but didn’t), but I’m so glad I took the time to read its 784 pages… Read more »

C'est fun, but c'est n'est pas Les Mis…

Illumination by Matthew Plampin Given the love for all things French and 19th century at the moment thanks to the film I still haven’t seen that is Les Misérables, it was a good time to read a revolutionary novel. Illumination is set later than Hugo’s masterpiece,  during the Siege of Paris of 1870-71 in the Franco-Prussian War. It chronicles the siege… Read more »

Getting to know Beryl better…

Beryl Bainbridge: Artist, Writer, Friend by Psiche Hughes I will happily go on record to say that Beryl Bainbridge is my favourite author. Earlier this year, I hosted a reading week celebrating her work; you can see my record of that week and a bibliography of Beryl books and reviews on my Reading Beryl page. Through searching through reviews, obituaries,… Read more »

Incoming Beryl …

Beryl Bainbridge: Artist, Writer, Friend by Psiche Hughes I am inordinately excited to have been able to get my mitts on this rather different biography of my favourite author, the first full biography since Beryl’s death. Thanks to my lovely neighbours who rescued it from the Amazon delivery man and depot hell this morning, so I could share it with… Read more »

Modern Art is not rubbish

What Are You Looking At?: 150 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye by Will Gompertz The BBC’s Arts Editor, Will Gompertz, is unusual for an arts commentator – he has a sense of humour and a mission to enthuse us about his subject. He is uniquely qualified – having worked for the Tate Modern and performed… Read more »

Boring Postcards redux

One of my favourite artbooks is Boring Postcards by Martin Parr. It elevates the worst examples of the humble picture postcard to art. You can see my 2009 post about the book here where I gave it five stars it was that good.  Another of the things I brought back from my Mum’s was her postcard collection.  Two big shoeboxes stuffed with every… Read more »

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood – were they really desperate?

In the same way that I adored watching Rome and am enjoying The Tudors, I also loved Desperate Romantics which recently finished screening on the BBC. All of them are generally utter tosh historically, but great entertainment to watch – and of course everyone looks marvellous; (Rome also wins prizes for being the most creatively potty-mouthed programme on TV!). So how accurately… Read more »

A slow-burning yet rewarding novel

How to Paint a Dead Man by Sarah Hall I hugely enjoy reading all the buzz about the Booker Prize, but I normally don’t indulge in any deliberate speculative reading, preferring to pick and choose a select few short/longlisted titles after the event. Today though I can say I’m totally with it just this once, having started to read Hall’s… Read more »

Art for art’s sake?

The Bellini Madonna by Elizabeth Lowry There have been many novels about the search for missing art masterpieces, but few so convoluted as this. It’s written totally in the first person as a confession by Thomas Lynch, a randy old professor of art history who is an expert on the renaissance masters, Bellini in particular. Disgraced from his college, he… Read more »

From bitter almonds comes sweet romance …

Madonna of the Almonds by Marina Fiorato I was delighted to meet Marina a couple of months ago as I had so enjoyed her debut novel, The Glassblower of Murano, which I had blogged about last autumn here. She’s a real character! – half-Italian with a mass of red Titian hair, a northern accent and sense of humour to match…. Read more »

Boring Postcards by Martin Parr is anything but!

Boring Postcards by Martin Parr This was a book I rescued from a local charity shop for just £1 and fell in love with instantly. Presented in their original size, beautifully printed onto heavyweight paper with plenty of white space surrounding them, these postcards make a brilliant topic for an art book from Phaidon, masters of the subject. Also these… Read more »

Short Takes

AnnaBookBel   December 14, 2008   No Comments on Short Takes

I’d like to introduce you to a couple of books that I particularly enjoyed earlier this year before I started my blog … Gold by Dan Rhodes. This is a gently humorous novel about Miyuki and her annual trip to the same Welsh seaside village out of season, where she walks, reads, and drinks beer for a fortnight before going… Read more »