Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Fifteen Characters Meme

I spotted this on Claire’s at Paperback Reader’s Facebook page, but I think it’s doing the rounds. Sounded fun so here are my fifteen. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen fictional characters who’ve influenced you and who will always stick with you. (Emphasis: influenced). List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes…. Read more »

Fforde does YA and it’s Ffabulous Ffun!

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde Jasper Fforde has written a new book, and if it wasn’t for heroine being two weeks short of sixteen, no swearing, and no overt classic literary references, you’d be hard pushed to know that it was for young adults.  I expect that many grown-ups will read it anyway and some will be none the… Read more »

The world of Ephemera #7 – the word is ‘Dirndl’

A dirndl, in case you’ve never heard the word before, is the name for a traditional peasant dress worn in Bavaria, the Tyrol and the surrounding areas. It consists of a fitted bodice, blouse, full skirt and apron. I’m talking dirndls today because I have one – read on … When I was at junior school, my parents used to… Read more »

New Stories from the Mabinogion #3

Ronnie’s Dream by Niall Griffiths See my previous post here for some background on this series of comtemporary retellings of the medieval Welsh story cycle the Mabinogion, and the first two titles in the sequence. The Dreams of Max and Ronnie to give this book from the second pair its full title comprises two novellas based upon separate stories involving dreams…. Read more »

Don’t call me Vicky!

Indemnity Only by Sara Paretsky. Meet V.I. Warshawski – friends get to call her Vic, never Vicky. Indemnity only is the first in a series of 13 novels featuring the sassy Chicagoan PI. One evening she meets a new client, a banker, who wants her to find his son’s missing girlfriend. Vic goes to the boy’s pad to find him… Read more »

Bookish Gifts for Older Children

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know I have a fondness for reading children’s books – not just all the Twi-likes (I’m getting fed up of them – “Finally!”  I hear you say), but proper novels for children nine upwards.  I thought I’d highlight a few that I’ve spotted or enjoyed recently in case you were looking for books… Read more »

The World of Ephemera #6

I love looking at old family photos.  Amongst all my Mum’s was a small album she inherited from my late Great-Aunt Muriel.  This one shows Muriel and three friends strolling down the street in Llandudno in  1929. Muriel is the third from the left, she was twenty-three when this was taken. I’ve no idea who the other three are –… Read more »

New Stories from the Mabinogion: vols 1 & 2

The Mabinogion is a collection of medieval Welsh stories of Celtic origin – they are written very much in the bardic tradition of oral storytelling. The eleven tales as normally collected have the four ‘branches’ of the Mabinogion proper, a set of Native Tales and three Romances;  the Native Tales also include early references to King Arthur. During my obsessive… Read more »

The Death of King Arthur v. Le Morte D’Arthur

The Death of King Arthur by Peter Ackroyd I am a huge fan of all things Arthurian – having always enjoyed books about myths and legends by Roger Lancelyn Green et al as a child, it was seeing the 1981 film Excalibur that turned this interest into a bit of an obsession.  I read most of the old texts and… Read more »

Bloggers and Book Groups – Keeping the Backlist Alive

This past fortnight I’ve been soooo busy with fireworks, quiznights, and tonight more fireworks, I’ve got behind on blogging about books and my stock of ephemera too even. Normal service will resume next week I hope! So meanwhile, I’d like to have a voxpop type discussion with you… We all love ‘new’ books – titles hot off the press, piled… Read more »