After David Bowie died, (was it really over two years ago? it feels like yesterday), I added my own ‘Bowie Book Club‘ page to my blog with his 100 favourite books. I had no plans to read them systematically, but hoped to read or re-read at least a few of them, and read about some Read More
Month: January 2018
The Joy of Found Bookmarks
We’re reading Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh for Book Group this month. I got this Green Penguin Modern Classics edition from a charity shop. I opened it up to find a read luggage tag with this written on it (in capitals): NOTE REAR TYRES WORN DOWN TO 2. MM LEGAL LIMIT IS 1.6 MM. ? Read More
Two novellas, vignette style, but oh so different!
I really enjoy a good novella, one-sitting stories. One writing style that seems to particularly suit novellas is a story told in vignettes – each section a paragraph or two, at most a couple of pages. They often cut the story down to the bare bones, leaving you to read much between the lines – Read More
An artist’s memoir of childhood in London and Hollywood …
Unaccompanied Minor by Alexander Newley My review of this memoir by the son of Joan Collins and Anthony Newley is my first of the year for Shiny New Books. Newley is an artist and frequent self-portraitist, and this account of growing up in this dysfunctional story was illustrated and enriched by many of his pictures Read More
A Timely Thriller…
Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan This legal and psychological thriller has been on the receiving end of a lot of hype since its publication a couple of weeks ago. My local bookshop got some advance signed copies in for Christmas, so I got my hands on it early and read it before the Read More
Two Short Novels in Translation
One of my ‘Try Harder’ targets this year is to read more in translation. I got the year off to a good start with these two short novels… Bird in a Cage by Frédéric Dard Translated from the French by David Bellos I discovered Dard just over a year ago, when the lovely people at Read More
Review catch up – again – and the problem of remembering!
Two shorter reviews of books I read last year… Nutshell by Ian McEwan I read McEwan’s novel between Christmas and New Year, and the terrible thing is, I know I really enjoyed it. I know it was funny, outrageous and inspired by a quotation from Hamlet, yet I can’t really remember any detail about it Read More
A spec fiction novel that was almost too much!
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson Imagine, if you can, a world where the worst thing that can happen to ordinary folk is your pizza not arriving within thirty minutes of placing the order. That is such a bad thing, that the head of the Mafia, Uncle Enzo, who runs the Cosa Nostra Pizza business Read More
Back in the Panhandle…
Why Stuff Matters by Jen Waldo I loved Jen Waldo’s first novel, Old Buildings in North Texas which I reviewed for Shiny New Books here (with a Q&A with Jen here). In it, Olivia, a wise-cracking cocaine addict, is sent back home to Caprock in the Texas panhandle, under her mother’s control as rehab. Read More
I’ve rather a large pile of unreviewed books I read in 2017 to catch up on, so today I have some shorter reviews for you… When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi I love medical memoirs, especially surgeon’s tales, but occasionally a book will come along that will knock you sideways. When Breath Becomes Air Read More
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I nearly always fail when I set resolutions, so no reading resolutions for 2018. Instead, I shall have reading ‘try harders’. In 2018, I will try harder to read: From my TBR – I own more books than I have time to read before I die! From my TBR – I need to save money. Read More