Monthly Archives: May 2010

Too little too late?

All That Follows by Jim Crace It’s 2024 and the eve of jazzman Lennie Less’ 50th birthday.   Leonard is on a break from sax-playing – he has a frozen shoulder. Sitting in front of the telly, he hears about a siege in a town not so far away, then he sees a photo of the hostage-taker;  it’s a figure from his past.  It’s… Read more »

More modern vampires

Fledgling by Octavia E Butler. Fledgling was the last choice for the season of the ‘Not the TV Book Group’, and the lively discussion was hosted by Kim at Reading Matters. Published shortly before the author died, Fledgling is another different and slightly SF take on the vampire novel. Shori looks like a twelve year old black girl, but is actually a genetically… Read more »

Gaskella’s Midweek Miscellany #11

With the nice weather we’ve been having, I was musing about taking some cushions and a book out into the garden, but then thought again.  I just can’t concentrate on reading a book outside.  I’d be too distracted, listening to the birds, admiring the flowers, being hay-fevery, being on bug patrol, thinking ‘I need to mow the lawn/do more weeding/scoop the… Read more »

A delightfully quirky children’s adventure

The problem with getting into your forties and beyond is that you inevitably need reading glasses.  I managed to lose mine for a whole day this weekend, but luckily I found them this morning – phew!  So yesterday I had to read with my old glasses (which are now perfect for computer work, but no good for small type).  I… Read more »

A delightfully quirky children’s adventure

The problem with getting into your forties and beyond is that you inevitably need reading glasses.  I managed to lose mine for a whole day this weekend, but luckily I found them this morning – phew!  So yesterday I had to read with my old glasses (which are now perfect for computer work, but no good for small type).  I… Read more »

A Promising Pair from Peirene Press

Peirene Press, named after a Greek nymph who turned into a water spring which was drunk by poets for inspiration, is a new publishing house specialising in contemporary European literature in translation. I was lucky enough to win a copy of their first novel from Librarything, and was offered a copy of their second by Meike who runs the company,… Read more »

How does a book choose you?

I was browsing in my fave local indie bookshop the other day … looking at all the new arrivals.  Then I got into a conversation about what makes you pick up a book – or rather, what is it that makes a book cry Pick me! Pick me!    There are some obvious factors: In particular, I’m a sucker for a… Read more »

Russian echoes of Waiting for Godot

The Concert Ticket by Olga Grushin The story in this wonderful novel was inspired by a real event – that of the eighty year old Stravinsky returning to Russia in a ‘for one night only’ comeback concert; the queue for tickets started a whole year before. Set in an unnamed Russian city some time during the height of the totalitarian regime, the… Read more »

Catching up with Persephone Reading Week.

Last week was Persephone Reading Week which has been hosted by Claire and Verity.  As well as visiting the Persephone bookshop, I did manage to read one of their titles, but didn’t manage to blog about it last week. So here I am a week late – my choice was one of the Persephone top-selling titles: Little Boy Lost by… Read more »

Gaskella’s Midweek Miscellany #10

I’ve not been very active on the blogging front the past week – but I have had other things on my mind. I had a one of those big birthdays with a zero on the end this weekend, and surprised myself by being rather pre-occupied with it. I really didn’t care when I was forty, but this next one got… Read more »