For fun I’ve been twittering about devising a bookish motto, which once tweaked may become the new subtitle of this blog. The phrase ‘Never leave home without a book’ sums my reading strategy up nicely. Now it needs to be translated into Latin … Many moons ago I did get an ‘A’ for my Latin Read More
Month: March 2009
“Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die”
Numbersthe debut novel for teens (and up) by Rachel Ward is a book very much concerned with life and death, and the quote above by Tennyson, seems to me to capture its essence in a nutshell perfectly. Told in the first person, this is Jem’s story of the time spent with her friend Spider. Fifteen Read More
“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.”
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke Translated by Oliver Latsch … so said Truman Capote. Going to Venice is like stepping into a time-warp. On the surface, it’s ancient, romantic and beautiful, yet it is mysterious and there’s often a whiff of danger from its history as a great trading city. Much of the paraphenalia Read More
“Always winter and never Christmas” in this dystopia
I must admit to a liking for books featuring dystopian futures. It’s really interesting to see what different authors do with the world left after the breakdown of society. Surprisingly then, I’ve yet to read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, but it has gone up the list. In Far North by Marcel Theroux – Siberia has been Read More
My Easter kid-lit feast
I’ve decided that in the run-up to Easter, I shall concentrate on children’s literature and ya (young adult) novels. Like many readers, and notably dovegreyreader’s recent theme of revisiting her inner child, I get an awful lot out of reading proper children’s novels, the best of which are the equal of any adult book. However Read More
An evening with (the UK’s) Doctor Phil
So it was off to Abingdon School’s super Amey Theatre on Saturday evening for a couple of hours with the UK’s Doctor Phil – not to be confused with Oprah’s one! Phil Hammond is a doctor in general practice and a very funny comedian, and we were treated to his one man show full of Read More
Loser’s Town by Daniel Depp
Loser’s Town is the first novel by Daniel Depp, half-brother of the more famous Johnny. As a Hollywood insider, it is full of satirical glimpses of life in the public eye and what goes on behind closed doors. Dave Spandau, ex-stuntman turned private eye is an intelligent and gruff hero that you can’t help but warm 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 Read More
Sorry – I’ve been extremely busy so far this week, so two capsule reviews for you of what I’ve read recently … Marching Powder by Rusty Young This follows the incarceration of a young black Englishman in Bolivia’s San Pedro prison for drug-trafficking. I would not have got this book if my book group hadn’t Read More
What a show!
Oliver! by Lionel Bart has been my favourite musical ever since the time we performed some selections from the show at primary school, and I was Oliver, aged 11. Ever since then, I’ve needed very little encouragement to launch into Oom Pah Pah! on any suitable occasion or to recreate my star-turn singing the soppy Read More
A chef that stayed …
I was lucky enough to meet Raymond Blanc (very briefly) last year at a signing for this book. All in the room found him completely charming and his passion for food was totally infectious. He took time with everyone, gossiped about his TV series ‘The restaurant’, asked the children there what they liked to cook, Read More
Moviewatch – Burn After Reading
The latest film from the marvellous Coen brothers is another of their darker than dark comedies, a tale of dorky folk who all get caught up in a stupidly bizarrely circular chain of events . Burn After Reading has very few laugh out loud moments, but there are plenty of corner of the mouth secret Read More
Did they actually learn any science?
A new series started on BBC last Friday called ‘Rocket Science’. I don’t shout at the telly much, but I did watching this. An ‘inspirational’ science teacher who loves practical physics and chemistry takes a bunch of typical 13 year old kids who hate the subject and tries to convert them over a period of Read More
You might find this quite interesting …
Brian Eno – he of the bald dome, Roxy Music synth twiddling, U2 producing and of course Music for Airports wrote the Windows start-up theme apparently! Yes – all 3.25 seconds of it – so you can blame him every time you fire up your PC. However he’s such an interesting chap you can’t hold Read More
Benny and Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti Translated by Sarah Death I’m doing well with my resolution to read more translated fiction – eight out of twenty books read so far this year. Benny and Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti is yet another brilliant Nordic novel from Sweden to be translated for us to read. Both heartwarming Read More
Guilty Secrets #3
This is another entry in the occasional series where I own up to not having read something. Today I am owning up to not having read the literary quarterly ‘Magazine of New Writing’ Granta. Nothing wrong with that you may say – literary quarterlies are often an acquired taste. The shocking thing is though that Read More
This great book will mess with your mind!
The Juggler by Sebastian Beaumont Last year one of my favourite new books, and really deserving of five stars, was Sebastian Beaumont’s debut novel, the marvellous Thirteen. Framed around the strange life of a depressed night-cabbie, it was multilayered, darkly surreal and edgy. It played tricks with your mind, (which with hindsight reminds me of Read More