This film was absolutely fantastic from start to finish. Wildly original, quirky, very violent yet wickedly funny with some brilliant sick jokes. Oh, by the way, it happens to show off Bruges quite beautifully. Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes I knew, but couldn’t quite place Brendan Gleeson at first – then it dawned on me Read More
Month: October 2008
What did you do in the war Mum?
War Crimes For The Home by Liz Jensen The things normal people got up to in the war. Good girl Gloria falls for a GI and learns to be bad with disastrous consequences. Told in flashback, Gloria is now an old lady and installed in an old folks nursing home, as her son Hank thinks Read More
Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews
This was a lovely showbiz memoir to read – Julie has the ability to see the good in everybody and make friends wherever she goes. This first volume of memoirs stops at the point Walt Disney was poised to make her an Oscar-winning megastar, but is no less interesting for that. I hope there will Read More
I’ve been tagged – sort of …
I have been invited to be ‘tagged if in the mood’ by the blog phenomenon that is http://meandmybigmouth.typepad.com/scottpack/ having left a comment asking him to comment on my blog. He graciously did so – twice – Thank you very muchly indeed Scott. The rules for this are: 1. Link to your tagger (see above). 2. Read More
A sense of place
The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato Novels with a strong sense of place are always attractive to me, and the most attractive of all are those set in Italy. I can’t get enough of them – the romance, the passion, the art and architecture, the food. But absolutely top of the list are those set Read More
Lost Light by Michael Connelly
Published in 2003, Lost Light by Michael Connelly is the 9th Harry Bosch novel in an outstanding series set in Los Angeles that shows no signs of diminishing returns at all. In fact they’re getting better… What’s new about Lost Light is that Harry retired from the LAPD at the end of City of Bones, Read More
Bookended by great lines…
People and quizzes often tend to concentrate on opening lines of books all the time. Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . . … from Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier being, of course, an absolute classic. But who knows the last line, which just so happens to be beautifully elegaic … Read More
Boy in the striped pyjamas by John Boyne.
A lot has been written about this book, especially since it was filmed, so I came to it having realised the ending, but I hadn’t worked out how it happens. Told from the point of view of nine year old Bruno, the son of a high ranking soldier who gets promoted to become the Commandant Read More
The Man Without by Ray Robinson
Ray Robinson’s debut novel Electricity was one of the best things I read this year … until I read his second novel The Man Without. Electricity has a superb heroine in Lily – a severe epileptic who was abused and in care as a child. The novel follows her quest to find her lost brother Read More
Words of wisdom
From the sublime … “The marvellous thing about a joke with a double meaning is that it can only mean one thing.” Ronnie Barker … to the sublimely ridiculous but still true… “A sure cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree.” – Spike Milligan “Never trust a man, who when left with a Read More
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
This is a brilliant novel, but one I found it difficult to enjoy. The title, appropriately for a parody of America’s deep south in the 1960s, comes from master satirist Jonathan Swift and is a perfect description of the book. The author has assembled a cast of grotesques, from aged crones to spoilt housewives, and Read More
Genrification … that’s the name of the game?
If a fiction book is labelled chicklit, or Science Fiction, does it put you off? – Possibly … Sci-Fi was one of the most spurned, if not the most derided genre of novels until chicklit came along. Personally, I can’t see anything wrong with either genre – in principle … Now I have to defend Read More
One from the archives
Updated and republished into it’s original place in my blog’s timeline My eight year old daughter recently asked me what my favourite film is. She probably meant which is my favourite film of hers … but I quickly replied The Blues Brothers. Not the best film ever made, and a close run for my top Read More
National poetry day today!
To celebrate National Poetry Day, dear Readers, I am going to subject you to a Gaskella original. I haven’t written a poem since I was at school over two decades ago, but inspired by events of earlier this week, I’ve had a go at writing not just one, but two (oh yes!) haiku. Early October Read More
Spotlight on ***** Books #2
It’s time to introduce you to another pair of the books I have particularly enjoyed this year getting five out of five stars each. A full list of my five star books can be found on my Librarything site – there’s a link to your right. First in the spotlight this time is Always Outnumbered, Read More
School Dinners by Becky Thorn
My sister-in-law has a book out and it’s a real retro nostalgia trip. I saw the manuscript earlier this year, and it got us all talking for hours about stories of our own school dinners when we were little – loved and loathed in equal measure I think. And as for the dinner ladies … Read More
Underneath its prickles is a charming story …
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery Translated from the French by Alison Anderson. Get past the prickles in this novel by Muriel Barbery, and there is a charming story underneath. It’s told from the alternating viewpoints of Renée, a widowed concierge who has a love of philosophy, cinema and Tolstoy, and Paloma, an incredibly Read More
I Love Lists!
Books about books are like a magnet to me – if they’re booklist books, they have even more pull. They can also drive you mad when you find your own favourites titles or novelists are missing and others you think less of are included. Any book of this kind is entirely subjective and the opinion Read More
Big Brother is watching you…
1984 by George Orwell I read this first, as I’m sure many of us did, as a teenager. I’m also sure that the savage satire on totalitarian states went straight over my head – I was into Science Fiction, and sadly didn’t pay any attention to modern history. Instead I was probably thinking how clever(!) Read More