Monthly Archives: March 2010

Gaskella’s Midweek Miscellany #7

Firstly, another plug for my giveaway – if you’d like to win a signed first edition copy of Philip Pullman’s new story The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ then please click here to visit my post on Pullman’s appearance at the Oxford Lit Fest, and leave a comment telling me which creature your ‘daemon’ would be. The comp… Read more »

Nanny McPhee & the Big Bang

When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go. Nanny McPhee (“small c, big P”) again comes to the aid of a family who can’t cope.  This time the action is updated to during World War II. The setting is a small… Read more »

Philip Pullman at the Oxford Literary Festival

It was Palm Sunday today and off I went to the hallows of the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford to see the first full talk by Philip Pullman on his new book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, which is published tomorrow.  It’s the latest volume in the Canongate Myths series, but tackles one of the most controversial stories there is… Read more »

Lit Lists #2 – 5 brilliant books set in Venice

In Feb I started a new feature – Lit Lists – for a bit of fun with books. * Pick a keyword and then find a number, 5 or 10 say, of books that link to it in any way – e.g. they are either about or feature that word, or have it or a variant in their titles; *… Read more »

Heatwaves can be murder!

August Heat by Andrea Camilleri (trans Stephen Sartarelli) This is the third of Camilleri’s novels that I’ve read, the tenth in the popular series featuring Inspector Salvo Montalbano, and it was the most enjoyable yet. It’s nearing the middle of August and the heat in Sicily is getting unbearable.  Montalbano’s girlfriend Livia is arriving soon with friends to stay in… Read more »

Gaskella’s Midweek Miscellany #6

Today is Ada Lovelace Day – a day of blogging about and celebrating women in science. I used to be a proper working scientist and am now a school one, but I confess I was totally unaware of the day, and Ada Lovelace herself. It turns out she was Byron’s daughter, and was a programmer for Babbage’s Analytical Engine. The pic to… Read more »

A Science Fiction Noir Classic from 1942

Donovan’s Brain by Curt Siodmak When I was writing my post the other week about my reading history I tried to remember my favourite Science Fiction books from my teens. John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids was one, Asimov’s Fantastic Voyage was another, but my absolute favourite from back then was Donovan’s Brain by Curt Siodmak.  This made me desperate to read… Read more »

Love and Landscape

Corrag by Susan Fletcher I was always for places. I was made for the places where people did not go – like forests, or the soft marshy ground where feet sank down and to walk there made a suck suck sound. Me as a child was often in bogs. I watched frogs, or listened to how rushes were in breezes… Read more »

LOTR Readalong Month 3 – Midway through the Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers Vol 2 by JRR Tolkien It’s month 3 of the LOTR Readalong in which we’re reading vol 2 – The Two Towers. This month the readalong is hosted by Teresa at Shelf Love and she has posed some questions for us … Where are you in your reading? Are you finding it slow… Read more »

Gaskella’s Midweek Miscellany #5

Despite living just ten miles outside the centre of Oxford, I’ve never been to any event in the Oxford Literary Festival.  This year I shall cure that.  I’ve booked a ticket to see Philip Pullman talk about his new book in the Canongate Myths series – The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ on the 28th March – the… Read more »