Paul Auster Reading Week: Wrap-up & Giveaway!

Thank you to everyone who has joined in the week of reading and talking about my favourite author – the week has gone so fast. A particular thank you to those who’ve been able to read and review books list below – very much appreciated. However, there have been some great discussions here and on Read More

Fitzcarraldo Fortnight

It Gets Me Home, This Curving Track by Ian Penman After Karen reviewed this book last autumn (here) I just had to get hold of a copy – one of Fitzcarraldo’s white for non-fiction titles. I love great music journalism, and this collection of essays about a wide range of musicians is some of the Read More

Some good reads from pre-blog days, and what I thought about them then… #10

While I recover from my Auster-thon and finish some more books by other authors, here’s yet another selection from my master spreadsheet of capsule reviews of books I read pre-blog – this batch is from 2007, and there’s still plenty more where these came from! (Buy at Amazon links are all affiliate links, I’ll earn Read More

Paul Auster Reading Week: A Life in Words

Paul Auster in conversation with I.B. Siegumfeldt. IB (Inge Birgitte) Siegumfeldt is a Danish professor at the University of Copenhagen, which houses The Paul Auster Research Library – an international hub for his work and its translated versions. Auster was made an honorary fellow back in 2011, and Siegumfeldt has taught his work, especially the Read More

Paul Auster Reading Week: Man in the Dark

I am alone in the dark, turning the world around in my head as I struggle through another bout of insomnia, another white night in the great American wilderness. Another great opening line from Auster in his 2008 novel. The narrator is August Brill, a writer who is seventy-two, living again with his daughter and Read More

Paul Auster Reading Week: The Brooklyn Follies

I was looking for a quiet place to die. Someone recommended Brooklyn, and so the next morning I traveled down there from Westchester to scope out the terrain. I hadn’t been back in fifty-six years, and I remembered nothing. Auster has a good way with opening lines, doesn’t he? I was instantly drawn in to Read More

Paul Auster Reading Week: City of Glass, the Graphic Novel

Adapted by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli If you’ve read City of Glass, the first of the three novellas that comprise Auster’s New York Trilogy, (more on that here), you’ll realise that it isn’t an easy text to adapt to a graphic form. There’s not much action really, a lot of sitting, watching and especially Read More

Why Auster is my favourite author and why you should try reading him

Auster’s first fiction published under his own name was three novellas, initially published separately in 1985-6, then collected as The New York Trilogy (NYT). I discovered the NYT when it first came out in paperback in the UK. I was attracted to the cover, also bearing Faber & Faber’s livery (right); the blurb promised detective Read More

Introducing Paul Auster Reading Week 17-23 Feb & Sign-up

Auster is probably my favourite living author, and last autumn I decided I would host a reading week to celebrate his work – and it begins today! I hope some of you will join with me in reading some of his writing: be it novels, memoir, essays, screenplays, poetry, letters and so on – he’s Read More

The Finished Books Tag

Perfect timing! I spotted this tag which is doing the rounds on Paul’s blog, Half Man, Half Book blog this morning – and it’s perfect to fill the gap before Paul Auster Reading Week which begins on Monday. Do you keep a list of the books you have read? Of course! That’s the easy answer. Read More

A book with no words that speaks loud and clear

Bad Island by Stanley Donwood You may have heard of Donwood through his longterm collaborations with Radiohead, or have seen his gloriously colourful cover for Robert MacFarlane’s Underland (right) which came out last year, (indeed Donwood has collaborated with MacFarlane and others on various other illustrated books). I came to Donwood first, however, via a Read More

Some good reads from pre-blog days, and what I thought about them then… #9

I’m getting into my Paul Auster Reading Week reading (17-23rd Feb), so here are some more 2006 capsule reviews from my master spreadsheet. Hope you enjoy them. Jackie Brown (a.k.a. Rum Punch) by Elmore Leonard Originally titled Rum Punch, this novel was reissued and retitled after the Tarantino film of it. If you’ve seen the Read More

Silver by Chris Hammer

Chris Hammer was a journalist for years before writing his first thriller, Scrublands, (see Kim’s review here). In Scrublands, investigative journalist Martin Scarsden visits a town in the bush where, a year before, a priest had shot at his congregation before being killed himself. He discovers that the accepted facts don’t fit and in doing Read More

Book Group Report: A Yorkshire Classic

A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines For once, our group was united – everyone who managed to finish the book really enjoyed this novel, a much-loved modern classic from 1968, filmed as ‘Kes’ in 1969 directed by Ken Loach. As is often the case where we read books which we all loved, together Read More

“Won’t you be my neighbor?”

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood A quick film review from me today. I went to see this at the weekend – and I simply adored it. It made me cry, it made me laugh a little, it certainly made me feel good – do go and see it. ‘Mister Rogers’ – Fred Rogers, was Read More

Weekend Miscellany

January review A sad day yesterday, but we all have to live with it now, so I shall SUMO – shut up and move on. I’ll start today, by updating you on how I’m doing on #TBR20. The plan was,  (with Lizzy and Richard @caravanablog and any others participating), not to read or buy any new books Read More

Japanese Literature Challenge 13

The Cake Tree in the Ruins by Akiyuki Nosaka Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori It’s the 13th year of the Japanese Literature Challenge, hosted by Meredith of Dolce Belezza – it runs from January through to the end of March – find out more here. I hope to read more than one book for it, Read More

The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch

I discovered this memoir through Rebecca’s post here and it was one of her ‘backlist best of’ choices too last year. You need to be of strong stuff right from the start, as Yuknavitch begins her account of her life so far with a truly emotional and painful episode, the stillbirth of her daughter, a Read More

Blog Tour – Cara Hunter – All the Rage

I discovered Oxford author Cara Hunter last year when she visited my local indie bookshop for a Crime Panel Event. It was fascinating to hear her talk about the genesis of her detective, DI Adam Fawley, and about the way she includes social media and transcripts in her texts. I went on to read the Read More

A review assortment – Johnston – McGlasson – Dawson

I didn’t mean to leave a week between posts, but I’ve got some very welcome overtime at the moment, which means that everything else moves into blogging time and so on. So here are three medium length reviews of recent reads for you. A Sixpenny Song by Jennifer Johnston It was Kim’s post here, celebrating Read More

A review assortment – Lahiri, MacKenzie, Maugham

The Clothing of Books by Jhumpa Lahiri Translated from the Italian by Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush An London-born American author of Bengali descent, Lahiri moved to Italy where she now writes in Italian – and her husband translated this essay into English, which she then reworked in both Italian and English for its English publication! Complicated, huh? Read More

“Home is so sad”

How It Was by Janet Ellis After reading and loving the late Clive James’ last book, an anthology of his writing on Philip Larkin (reviewed here), I was planning to read more Larkin already. Then, up he pops in my last read of 2019, in the title and epigraph of Janet Ellis’s second novel, for Read More

Belatedly, my reading plans for 2020

I don’t intend to make formal New Year’s reading resolutions, but I do have plans! 1. State of the TBR It always has been out of control. I used to take part in the TBR Dare annually, in which participants tried to only read from their TBR from 1st Jan to 31st March. That was Read More

Six Degrees of Separation: Daisy Jones & The Six

Hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest,  Six Degrees of Separation picks a starting book for participants to go wherever it takes them in six more steps. Links in the titles will take you to my reviews where they exist. This month – the starting book is: Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid How I loved Read More

Red Lockdown!

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton Anyone who works in a school will be familiar with ‘lockdown’ procedures, with code reds being the ones you hope you’ll only ever have to practice; the make yourselves as invisible as you can to an intruder ones. Lupton’s latest novel takes such an awful situation, placing it into an Read More

Review of the Decade

Happy New Year & Happy New Decade! But, before I dive headlong into the 2020s, here’s just one more backwards-looking post to pick out my highlights for each year of the 2010s, well 2010-2018 – I’m considering 2019 done! 2018 Book of the Year: To Throw Away Unopened by Viv Albertine. Something about this memoir Read More

Year End Review 6: It’s my BOOKS OF THE YEAR!

This year I’ve given up trying to shoehorn my selections into a set number, be it 10, 12 or a baker’s dozen. My list has as many categories as I felt I needed – which ended up as 18 this year. Without further ado, here they are: Best fictional biography: Murmur by Will Eaves – Read More