Monthly Archives: October 2012

A “perfick” entertainment…

It’s not often that you can successfully combine a phrase and idea from a Shakespeare sonnet – number 18 as it happens. You know the one that begins: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a… Read more »

“Fashion! Turn to the left. Fashion! Turn to the right…”

Fashionby DK When I was a young girl, my mother bought me a series of historical colouring books of fashion through the ages. I adored these books, and armed with my Caran d’Ache Swiss watercolour pencils, I spent hours devising colour schemes for the costumes.  I then designed my own versions of the outfits for numerous cut-out dolls.  These colouring… Read more »

London lives

Annabel   23rd October 2012   9 Comments on London lives

NWby Zadie Smith Zadie Smith’s fourth novel, about the intersecting lives of a group of North Londoners, was one of the big publishing events of the late summer. Many other bloggers managed to read and review it much nearer its publication date – see Just William’s Luck, Asylum and Words of Mercury for some eloquent posts. Although I really hail from the Surrey borders, growing… Read more »

A souvenir of the Cultural Olympics

Alongside the sporting Olympics this summer was a Cultural Olympiad – with all kinds of arty events all over the country which included Nowhereisland – which was an art installation of a small island – dragged down by tug from Svalbard to the South West of England arriving in Weymouth for the sailing competitions. During its travel in international waters… Read more »

A family drama with a Hollywood backdrop

Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures by Emma Straub A novel set during the golden age of Hollywood has an instant allure, promising old-fashioned glamour and a look behind the scenes of the movies, plus possibly a whiff of scandal. That’s not what this novel is really about though, despite its title and monochrome cover … Elsa Emerson’s family own a… Read more »

Strange places for books

I think about the over-large extent of my TBR piles all the time. Blog-friend Simon Savidge has been doing that too recently. In his recent post on his TBR he asked “Where is the strangest place that you have ever left piles of books?” Rather than comment, I went to take a photo of my travel shelf … … yes,… Read more »

It’s good to share …

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders This is a charming tale for children of all ages – a wonderfully quirky novella, that has been matched by equally bizarre illustrations and produced as a singleton in a neat slim volume. Three families live in a hamlet called Frip. They all keep goats and live off the profits from… Read more »

Serendipity makes this a timely read from And Other Stories…

Lightning Rods by Helen DeWitt I started reading this book around ten days ago, and was shocked and amused in equal measure – but I paused around a third of the way through to give in to the hype and read JK Rowling’s latest (see previous post here) – and  by the time I picked the book up again, a… Read more »

Which side of the fence are you on?

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling Everyone who encounters this book will have a point of view about it. The author is a global phenomenon through the Harry Potter series: she’s worked her way up to being a multimillionaire from being a single mum, and does a lot for charity. Now she’s taken a risk, and moved on from Harry… Read more »

Which path should one take? A novel choice…

Luminous Airplanes by Paul La Farge I had just come home from a festival in Nevada, the theme of which was Contact with Other Worlds, when my mother, or, I should say, one of my mothers, called to tell me that my grandfather had died. Thus begins Luminous Airplanes, a quirky novel right from the outset, particularly so for the book… Read more »