This: Stoner

This: Stoner

An old friend recommended Stoner by John Williams to me and I’m glad of it. I really liked it. It is a beautifully observed, straightforward story. I would say that it is the ordinary tragedy of an ordinary man. I think that is what is so heart-breaking — the scale. If it had been about […]

Goodness: Paper Works by Gingko Press

Goodness: Paper Works by Gingko Press

I leafed through a copy of this in Berlin and would really recommend it for fans and practitioners of paper arts. Beautifully curated and a lovely tactile tome; it not only showcases the familiar faces of the paper-cutting world but also those who are really pushing the form. I found it totally inspiring. Find it […]

These Things

I have been missing blogging about things other than my work and so I thought I’d make a weekly slot to share some other bits and bobs and perhaps even, some thoughts. Imagine that. Marvel at: Helen Stratton (1867 – 1961). I’m sure that like me, you will have seen these images before sometime, somewhere. […]

Well Now….

I just thought I would share a couple of things I have enjoyed recently: 1. Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything. These days I have a thrice weekly commute. It’s not massive but it is deserving of an audiobook. I got this on a whim at my local library and I love it! […]

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

  Poor Ivan, what a day. I can’t help but compare this book to The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz which is about an escape from a Gulag. Perhaps it is a Russian thing (?) but both books are powerful for the same reason; their understated, quiet, […]

Some Beautifuls:

1. Slow-time Pen-Friendship. I sent my friend a real letter with some real drawings and some real poetry snippets and she sent me back a real letter, with real drawings and real, embroidered leaves. When I got her letter, it made me beam from the inside out. 2. The God of Small Things by Arundhati […]

Super Old Chick-Lit?

{Part of the 200 Books Project} I wonder how Austen’s work would be perceived or categorised if she were a writer now? I have just finished Persuasion. I liked it well enough but not in a particularly deep way — it’s a fun romp featuring a few characters and a sea of caricatures. I can […]

Recent Recommendations: Books

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston — a good read overall and I loved what it revealed of the Jim Crow era South. And oh golly, the beginning of the novel has moments of positively soaring writing: She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant […]


I was so happy on Friday, to be digging around the paperback section of Halfprice Books. One of my finds was a little collection of prose musings and essays by Laurie Lee, who authored one of my very favourite books Cider With Rosie. Cider With Rosie is a childhood memoir whose resonance goes beyond its […]

Oh Simple Thing

I’m being simple at the moment. I don’t know if it is all the uncertainty (visa applications pending) or the new baby or just a time to reprioritise but I have slowed right down and for now, I have let a lot of things go. I have, however, been spending a lot of my snatched […]