Monthly Archives: November 2009

My Literary Hero

Annabel   26th November 2009   11 Comments on My Literary Hero

Paul Auster I finished reading his latest book Invisible a week or so ago. It is a great novel and displays many of his favourite tricks and his characteristic verve in the writing. I also re-read his first novel The New York Trilogy – a linked set of metafiction detective novellas, which I found as dazzling now as when I… Read more »

Three middle-class brothers – three family mid-life crises

The Bradshaw Variations by Rachel Cusk A year in the life of the Bradshaws – three brothers, their ageing parents and their families. Firstly, there’s middle brother Thomas who has taken a year’s sabbatical to learn the piano, his wife Tonie who has been promoted and back at work full-time, and daughter Alexa. Older brother Howard is successful and impulsive,… Read more »

Medical Myths debunked

Annabel   23rd November 2009   6 Comments on Medical Myths debunked

Don’t Swallow Your Gum: and Other Medical Myths Debunked by Dr Aaron Carroll and Dr Rachel Vreeman This short book looks into about seventy-five medical myths and old wives tales, examines the evidence, and debunks them. Many will have read Ben Goldacre’s bestselling book Bad Science – (If you haven’t read it, do! My review is here) in which the… Read more »

An Evening with Susan Hill

There was great anticipation in the air in Abingdon tonight for another Mostly Books event featuring popular author Susan Hill. The small hall was packed to hear her talk about her latest book – Howard’s End is on the Landing which I previously reviewed here. She proved to be a real character, and started her talk with a plea for… Read more »

An Evening with Susan Hill

There was great anticipation in the air in Abingdon tonight for another Mostly Books event featuring popular author Susan Hill. The small hall was packed to hear her talk about her latest book – Howard’s End is on the Landing which I previously reviewed here. She proved to be a real character, and started her talk with a plea for… Read more »

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!

Annabel   18th November 2009   6 Comments on HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!

My Dad, Ray, was born eighty years ago today in 1929, the year of the Wall Street Crash, and on the day of the Grand Banks Earthquake off Newfoundland. He shares his birthday with Alex Issigonis (1906) – designer of the Mini, astronaut Alan Shepard (1923), Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood (1939), Brit actor David Hemmings (1941) and pop-singer turned gardener… Read more »

A magical read for older children

Shadowmagic by John Lenahan When Scott offered giveaway copies of Shadowmagic by John Lenahan I was quick to comment as I thought this older children’s fantasy could be really fun; and that my daughter might enjoy it. I was particularly thrilled when a signed copy arrived – Thank you Scott & John. Lenahan is an American magician living in England…. Read more »

Round-up – Fireworks & Blog Stats

It was the fireworks evening at my daughter’s school last night. Yes, I know it’s not the usual timing, but by having our display a week later we are able to get one of the best firework companies in the country to do our little event. Kimbolton Fireworks are the biz – they’re doing the New Year fireworks at Edinburgh… Read more »

Two short novels – Two complex stories

This week I passed the 100 books read this year landmark, and numbers 99 and 101 were both cracking short novels… The Beacon by Susan Hill is a claustrophobic and suspenseful family drama which leaves you wondering what you believed in the tale. It tells of four siblings, Colin, May, Frank and Berenice who were born and bred at ‘The… Read more »

How can you cheat death when you’re only 14 …

The Death Defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean One of my friend Julia’s recommendations, this is yet another wonderful crossover book by children’s author Geraldine McCaughrean. Surely it must be her turn as Children’s Laureate soon … Imagine your aunt had prophesied that you would die at the age of fourteen, and worse still that everyone believed her. That’s what… Read more »