Monthly Archives: August 2011

A Hollywood Musical Interlude

Hooray for Hollywood at the Proms with the John Wilson Orchestra I was lucky enough to manage to get tickets for my Dad & I for what will be the musical event of the year for me –  to see the wonderful John Wilson Orchestra playing music from the golden age of Hollywood musicals. This is Wilson’s third annual visit… Read more »

Generations of mothers and daughters

A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle This short novel by the fine Irish writer Roddy Doyle is written for teens, but I thoroughly enjoyed it on an adult level too… Mary O’Hara is twelve. She’s feisty and rather cheeky – but then her Mum Scarlett was too when she was younger; it’s a family trait. Mary’s gran, Emer… Read more »

Paving the way for the bonkbuster …

Valley of the Dolls (Virago Modern Classics) by Jacqueline Susann Jacqueline Susann’s 1966 novel was hugely influential; it paved the way for Jackie Collins and all the other bonkbusters that followed. I’d been wanting to reach this book for ages, but knew nothing about its plot. I imagined that with that iconic cover (left) of a pair of luscious lips… Read more »

Gaskella goes graphic …

When I was a student years ago, I was rather fond of the early Cerebus the Aardvark comics, (swords and sorcery with an cute aardvark hero – yes I know!). After that I didn’t read any comics or graphic novels until 2007 when our Bookgroup read one of the classics of the genre, Watchmen – written by Alan Moore and illustrated… Read more »

A renowned children’s author goes mainstream…

The True Tale of the Monster Billy Deanby David Almond David Almond’s first novel, written for older children, was Skellig (1998). It parallels the stories of two children who find and help an ailing creature who may or may not be an angel, with that of the boy’s little brother who is ill in hospital. It won loads of prizes… Read more »

The bookish equivalent of shouting at the telly!

The Testament of Jessie Lambby Jane Rogers. This was one of the few titles on the 2011 Man Booker longlist that excited me from the short descriptions I’d read. I was familiar with Jane Rogers, having read Mr Wroe’s virgins, and Promised Land, some years ago; (she adapted Mr Wroe’s virgins for the BBC in the early 1990s; it starred… Read more »

We interrupt this blog …

Internet is up the creek, so I’m in survival mode with just my phone – I’m notoriously fumble fingered on my phone, so don’t expect any FB posts or tweets. Fingers crossed that they sort it out very soon. As they say, normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. Meanwhile I’ll get some more reading done!See you soon… Read more »

Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones…

Pure by Andrew Miller Initially I approached this book with some caution.  The only other Andrew Miller novel I’d read many years before was Ingenious Pain, and although I could see that it was a great novel, I did find it hard going at the time.  The premise of his latest though was so attractive, and by the second chapter… Read more »

Three of a kind – ‘Deborah’

I’m continuing to explore my TBR, although in my actual reading I’m getting rather sidetracked with more recent additions. I’m featuring three novels by authors named Deborah today. Help me choose which to read first – they all sound brilliant. Here are the trio … These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach.  This is a funny yet moving comedy of manners… Read more »

I’m part of the Transworld Book Group!

The lovely folk at Transworld have set up a kind of book club in which participants get to choose books from their autumn list. They then get sent out one per month. I found out about this challenge via Boof at The Book Whisperer. There are some interesting titles…  I chose the four on the top row of the montage… Read more »