Monthly Archives: April 2011

Essential books of the noughties…

Penguin Essentials are “some of the twentieth-century’s most important books. When they were first published they changed the way we thought about literature and about life. And they have remained vital reading ever since.” I’m sure you’ll agree that they make an interesting collection of modern classics, and pictured below are some of the titles in this series. The good… Read more »

Prepare to be uplifted, but hankies at the ready …

Ways To Live Forever by Sally Nicholls List No 1 Five facts about me 1. My name is Sam. 2. I am eleven years old. 3. I collect stories and fantastic facts. 4. I have leukaemia. 5. By the time you read this, I will probably be dead. The above quote from the very start of this amazing book sets… Read more »

One of the other bests of Beryl …

The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge. Now I’ve read three novels by the late great Dame Beryl Bainbridge, I can truly say that she has become one of my favourite authors, and I can’t wait to read more.  She was a master of succinctly getting to the heart of the matter.  Her novels aren’t long in pages or words, not a… Read more »

Oh, to be young and in NYC…

The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar Dinnie, an overweight enemy of humanity, was the worst violinist in New York, but was practicing gamely when two cute little fairies stumbled through his fourth floor window and vomited on the carpet. The opening line from this novel is a cracker. Heather and Morag are the two young fairies in question, with… Read more »

Oh, to be young and in NYC…

The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar Dinnie, an overweight enemy of humanity, was the worst violinist in New York, but was practicing gamely when two cute little fairies stumbled through his fourth floor window and vomited on the carpet. The opening line from this novel is a cracker. Heather and Morag are the two young fairies in question, with… Read more »

A fine backwoods thriller…

The Terror of Living by Urban Waite It was the quote from Daniel Woodrell (an author of whom I’m a huge fan, see here), on the cover that made me instantly want to read this book, a debut novel set in the backwoods border country near Seattle.  To all outward appearances it’s a crime thriller, set in the murky and… Read more »

Growing up with Gaddafi

In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar Since the escalation of political unrest in Libya recently, the author of this 2006 Booker shortlisted novel has been in demand to comment about living under Gaddafi – something he is particularly well placed to do.  His own family fled Libya for Egypt in 1979, and his father, a former UN diplomat… Read more »

Getting the right man for the job …

True Grit by Charles Portis This was our Book Group choice for reading in March.  It’s fair to say that while no-one hated it, not everybody loved it like I did.  One thing that we were all agreed on though, was that Mattie Ross was a remarkable young heroine, however irritating she could be. If you are only familiar with… Read more »

Midweek Miscellany

It’s ages since I’ve done a post of miscellaneous musings … I used to number them, but the last one was so far back, I can’t be bothered to see what number I got up to – hope you don’t mind.   This time, I have a couple of links for you, a report back on the TBR dare, plus… Read more »

Look inside …

Annabel   5th April 2011   19 Comments on Look inside …

Take one book – a 1965 Puffin paperback of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Pages well tanned, covers worn, spine well-creased and starting to fall apart – it’s my well-loved edition I had as a child.  The painting on the front is by Shirley Hughes. Then I opened the front cover and found this … I loved playing… Read more »