Monthly Archives: April 2012

Anyone for Beryl?

Annabel   29th April 2012   59 Comments on Anyone for Beryl?

I’ve been inspired by a question that Simon asked his discussion post during Muriel Spark Reading Week which he co-hosted with Harriet. Simon asked “Which other authors would you recommend to the Spark fan?” and my immediate response was Beryl Bainbridge! I’ve read just four of Bainbridge’s fifteen novels, but each one has been a joy. They are: The Bottle… Read more »

Muriel Spark Reading Week – The Girls of Slender Means

 It’s Muriel Spark Reading Week, hosted by Simon and Harriet. Do visit their blogs to see a plethora of reviews and links to what we’ve all been reading. I’ve not read a Spark novel since 2008 when I really enjoyed The Ballad Of Peckham Rye.  I chose another of her 1960s novels for MSRW… * * * * * The Girls… Read more »

World Book Night in Abingdon with Rachel Joyce

  I spent the evening of World Book Night at Abingdon Library in the company of Rachel Joyce – the bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I read this book at the end of March and loved it – my review is here. After reading from the novel, Rachel then talked in conversation with Alison from Transworld Books… Read more »

A gem of a historical romance out of Africa.

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh You know how sometimes you’re just in the mood for a sprawling romance, a continent-crossing historical epic, that sort of book.  That was me last week, and The Fever Tree is such a book. The novel opens in 1880. Frances Irvine is left destitute upon the sudden death of her father. He had been… Read more »

I was manipulated but didn’t mind, for it was done with kindness …

Wonder by R J Palacio A ten year old boy starts at a new school in the fifth grade… It’s a good prep school, he passed the exam with flying colours… It’ll be the first time he’s been to school, ever… He’s been home-schooled by his Mom… Auggie (short for August) is clever, funny and loves Star Wars… He doesn’t… Read more »

Knit one, purl one and all that …

I haven’t done one of my ephemera posts on old papers and clippings found in my late Mum’s hoard for ages, but came across these two knitting patterns recently which piqued my interest… A knitted swimsuit – hard to conceive of in these days of stretchy fabrics that hold everything in.  However, what amused me was the caveat at the… Read more »

Another different Italian Inspector!

Death and the Olive Grove by Marco Vichi, translated by Stephen Sartarelli This is the second of Vichi’s novels featuring Inspector Bordelli of the Florentine police.  I’ve yet to read the first, but I don’t think it really mattered. It was first published in Italian in 2003, the English translation was published this year. When I started reading the book,… Read more »

The making of a scientist

Konstantinby Tom Bullough When I met Tom Bullough at the Penguin Blogger’s Night last month, I was instantly taken with his reading from his novel Konstantin.  Later, talking to him, he was excited by the finished article and showed me the lovely fold out cover. An oversized paperback original, the dust-jacket is scattered with gilt planets, stars, constellations and little… Read more »

Can faith work miracles?

The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen This book wasn’t what I was expecting, although it did start off that way… In the beginning there was an empty room, a little bit of space, a little bit of light, a little bit of time. I said: ‘I am going to make fields,’ and I made them from table mats, brown… Read more »

Happy Easter!

Annabel   6th April 2012   4 Comments on Happy Easter!