Bath Festival had a brilliant line up this year, but sadly I had other commitments for a large portion of May so I was only able to go last weekend to catch Sarah Perry’s Change Maker talk in the wonderfully Gothic Masonic Arms. It seemed fitting that her talk was in a darkened room with thick oak panelling and velvet drapes along the stage. I almost felt as if I was sitting in a room from one of her atmospheric books. Continue reading “MISC: Sarah Perry at Bath Festival”
Auggie has been through more in his first few years on the planet than most people do in an entire lifetime. Born with a facial difference, he has had to endure endless surgeries and hospital stays. Up until now he has been home-schooled by his mother but things are about to change. Auggie is going to Beacher Prep and starting the 5th Grade. He’s wary of meeting his new classmates but Wonder shows that while children can be cruel they can also be encouragingly compassionate when adults aren’t. Continue reading “REVIEW: Wonder by R J Palacio”
I do a lot of my reading on the commute to work these days. Working in London, it’s easy to get pulled into the manic rush, to squeeze yourself onto trains, race to catch connections, run to catch a bus. More than once I’ve been swept up in the panic of missing a train but I try to remind myself it’s not wasted time. It’s more time I can spend reading and that can’t be a bad thing. On Monday I got caught out, reading the last ten pages of Sarah Perry’s After Me Comes The Flood at lunchtime and I didn’t want to head home without anything to read, so I headed down to Waterstones to pick up a few books. Ignoring the fact that currently I work in an office filled with books, because I am in serious denial about my book buying.
Sal is like a Wes Anderson film but with more grit. It has all of the quirkiness and off beat humour, but it also has a serious edge and emotional depth. Sal takes her younger sister Peppa out into the Scottish wilderness not for an adventure but to escape. There is a novelty to their life among the trees – no school, no teachers, no rules – but there’s a gravity to it as well. For Sal, survival is her top priority and she achieves it will a practicality and focus that most adults lack. Continue reading “REVIEW: Sal by Mick Kitson”
Ancient history has always fascinated me, particularly relationships to the Gods. In Greek mythology the Gods were definitely the interfering type, not satisfied with watching the mortal world they often chose sides in wars and tried to swing things in their favour, or had brief romances with warriors or beautiful women that caught their eye. If you spurned them then things went south for you pretty quickly. It didn’t matter who you were. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller”
I have been a blogging ghost the past few months, dropping in occasionally to publish a post and then vanishing again for weeks. It’s not how I wanted to start my third year of blogging. Shame on me. But sometimes you just don’t have the time or energy and I’d hate to feel like I was just going through the motions, creating content just for the sake of it. I’d know and you’d know that my heart wasn’t in it.
HOWEVER, I am now catching up on my reviews and I’ve got my mojo back. So prepare for slightly more posts that you’ve had in the last few months. Don’t worry, I won’t bombard you with them. I don’t want you to get sick of me. No one wants that. So here’s a wrap up of the last three months (it looks slightly more impressive if I compile them than if I do them separately so prepare to be amazed, or slightly less underwhelmed than you would have been?) Continue reading “THAT’S A WRAP: February, March & April 2018”
I read to books last week and coincidentally both had sibling relationships at their centre, and they were positive relationships. They supported each other, protected each other and made each other laugh. They were brother and sister, or sister and sister, or brother and brother, but they were also friends. That’s not to say their relationships were perfect. Siblings can be your closest allies and an acute pain in the bum. The problem is they know how to push your buttons, they know things your parents don’t about you and that gives them leverage, and they don’t always agree with you. As one of three children, I can confirm all this is true, but that’s what’s great about siblings. Even when they annoy you and tease you, they’ll still stick up for you when it counts. Continue reading “READING LISTS: Siblings in Fiction”
There’s something about teenage infatuation. The sweaty palms, the racing heart, the constant mantra ‘do they really like me’? When you have a crush as a teenager your imagination runs wild and the possibilities seem endless. You project your feelings onto the actions of the person you like, imagine that a look or touch or conversation are significant, signs that they feel the same. Some of that excitement carries through into your adult life, but it’s not as all encompassing. Andre Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name is a tender and evocative exploration of one boy’s infatuation and the tentative relationship that grows from it. Continue reading “REVIEW: Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman”
If you haven’t watched God’s Own Country yet then I highly recommend that you do. Seriously, I will lend you my copy on DVD if I have to. It’s a significant film personally for me because it’s the first I watched on my own in the cinema. Admittedly, I did bump into someone I knew there, but I still sat on my lonesome and as the lights went down I was glad, because it’s a film you don’t want to be distracted from. You might think you’ve been transported to the world of the Brontes as soon as the brooding scenery and howling winds fill the screen, but this is an entirely modern story of romance and redemption. Continue reading “MISC: Films I wish were books”
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is a novel, but it could just as easily be described as an interlinked short story collection, following the very different fates of two sisters and their subsequent decendants. Effia and Esi share a mother but spend their lives apart, living in separate villages. The distance between them stretches wider when Effia is married off to an English soldier and Esi is captured and sold into slavery. Neither have a choice in their futures. Continue reading “REVIEW: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi”