Cannery Row, God Bless the Underdog

A beautiful read. Steinbeck has the light-deep touch of a poet. He reminds me of Laurie Lee in his lyrical description of place and of Whitman and Kerouac in his running and rhythmic use of language. But more than anything I love his ability as a writer to soar– to go right from the bones […]

My Tuppence Worth

I was listening to the world news on the ol’ wireless yesterday. I have to concentrate so hard when I listen to the news, I find it really difficult to actually hear it. Drone drone drone summit drone politicians drone drone issues drone drone process drone. I realise that what’s being said is important, it […]

The Tiger’s Wife

I really enjoyed this book, it is full of good old fashioned, magical, mythical storytelling and very fun to get lost in. It reminded me of Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer both in tone and theme, namely, the role of myth in dealing with difficult truths. Sometimes it is denial but at other […]

200 Books Project – Robinson Crusoe

My friend Amy and I are reading 200 books from the (much disputed) literary canon in chronological order. It’s a project that ebbs and flows but always pootles on somehow. I just posted a blog about Robinson Crusoe and if you’re interested, you can read it here.

I ❤ Let The Great World Spin

Last night, a friend of mine who loves New York made my day by gifting their copy of Let The Great World Spin to me. I had tried to buy a copy several times during April but it had never worked out and I’m glad it didn’t because it was a lovely way to receive […]

Four Thinks…

Think One: Riding the Heights of Quotidian Love One of my favourite memories from my childhood was when my mum took me off on my own at the seaside and trawled the shoreline with me to look for the treasures the mermaids had left us. It shines so vividly in my memory. It struck me […]

Two tiny book reviews

1. The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds Great writing, all of my favourite things in one book… why did I not love it more? I think that it is because overall, I found the journey it took me on as a reader was slightly unsatisfactory. Brilliant because it is poetic and sensitive and rich for […]

On the first day of Christmas, my true love said to me: “let’s examine fear”

On the sixth day of Christmas… I read Dave Egger’s Zeitoun, practically in one go. I think I probably lifted my head to put more chocolate in my face but that was about all. Goodness, what a fascinating and revealing story, outlining one man’s experience of Katrina. Zeitoun, the eponymous hero, is ordinary enough to […]

Everything Is Illuminated which is not by Jonathan Franzen.

I feel late to the party having only just read this book but I am glad I turned up. I realised at some point halfway through the book that Jonathan Franzen and Jonathan Safran Foer had been occupying the same space in my head. It turns out that they are two distinct people. It’s the […]

Treasure for your chest #5

       If I ever even come close to what Lee achieves in his writing, I will be a happy lady. It is beautiful and lyrical, loving and poetic. You enter his vivid childhood village-world entirely and then towards the end of the book he gives insights that are full of tenderness and truth. […]