Monthly Archives: July 2011

World Book Night Top 100

Yes, it’s yet another top 100 list.  This time from World Book Night, who got the country talking books back earlier this year.  WBN has asked all its users of the website to nominate their top ten books and they’re compiling the top 100 to inform them on the choice of the 25 books for World Book Night 2012. Here’s… Read more »

A Fab Album Cover

Spotted a review of the new Fountains of Wayne album (out on Monday) in the newspaper and had to share the fabulous album cover with you. I must admit I don’t know their music, but I loved this cover … Sad to see a library in disrepair, but great to see nature reasserting itself. Get the album at Amazon UK:… Read more »

So Many Books …

So Many Books by Gabriel Zaid, trans Natasha Wimmer After reading Simon’s post on the wonderful book of essay about books by Anne Fadiman called Ex Libris yesterday, I  spotted this little book about books lurking in my TBR.  Zaid is Mexican, (I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by a Mexican before). His 2004 collection of articles/short essays mainly… Read more »

From Paradise to Hell …

Lord of the Flies by William Golding Conceived, so I’ve read, as a response to the Utopian and rose-tinted worlds of Swallows and Amazons, and in particular, Ballantyne’s Coral Island, Golding’s Lord of the Flies, published in 1954, is one of the most influential debut novels of the 20th Century. I haven’t read it since my teens. With several decades of life’s experiences… Read more »

The case of the nasty young man

Dirty Snow by Georges Simenon For most of us, Simenon is famous, justly, for his creation of Maigret, the pipe-smoking French detective that appeared in over a hundred novels and short stories from the 1930s to early 70s. The Maigret novels are light and the detective is a delight, but Simenon also wrote many other novels that are very different… Read more »

My life in Comics and Magazines

I’ve always loved comics and magazines. I remember looking forward to getting rolls of comics wrapped in brown paper from my Grandma – classic comics for girls of the 60s like Bunty, Mandy and Twinkle.  I particularly loved Bunty, as it had a cut-out doll with wardrobe on the back page which I religiously snipped out each issue. My brother got… Read more »

The mad scientist and his red ray

The Fatal Eggs by Mikhail Bulgakov. Pre-blog, back in 2006, we read The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov in our book group and I loved it. This novel about the devil coming to a town of non-believers in 1930s Russia and spreading mischief paralleled against the a writer in mental hospital who has written a Pilate’s eye view of Jesus… Read more »

Gaskella’s Midweek Miscellany

In today’s Miscellany… A visit from the Fairy Hobmother A funny nearly literary moment from my Dorset holiday And the latest book arrivals at Gaskell Towers. * * * * * Firstly, I had a lovely surprise e-mail whilst I was on holiday. It was from the Fairy Hobmother who granted my wish when I commented on my friend Ali’s… Read more »

“What’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget”

Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson. There is a lot of love out there for this novel. Despite the hype though, given the type of psychological thriller that it is, it was always going to be a book I’d read anyway. Christine wakes every morning to a man and house she can’t remember. After a horrific car… Read more »

Playing by the rules …

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles Scene: New York City, 1966 – an elderly couple, Katey and Val, are at a gallery viewing of photographs, all taken of passengers on the subway over many years. The same man occurs in two photos, but in obviously different circumstances years apart. Katey recognises him – it’s Tinker Grey… which takes her back… Read more »