Posts Tagged: books

Utt(er)ly barmy

Authors routinely complain about boorish punters at book signings, but I don’t think any of them tried the Uttley solution. The formidable children’s author apparently didn’t like the prospect of dealing with real children: Dimly, she perceived an overwhelming mob running at her and with British pluck she unhesitatingly grabbed her duck-handled umbrella and waded… Continue reading Utt(er)ly barmy

Muriel Spark, The Finishing School

This novel was sent to me by Penguin, so that I could add a review to their Blog a Holiday Read site, where, apparently, it will appear sometime. You, discerning reader, can read about it now though. Many things are coming to an end at the faux-bohemian College Sunrise: not just the education of a… Continue reading Muriel Spark, The Finishing School

A Thousand Days in Tuscany by Marlena de Blasi

This is not the sort of book I would usually read, but since I was going to be in Tuscany for seven days, I thought it seemed an appropriate travelling companion. Evidently, it’s a sequel to her A Thousand Days in Venice, and there are other volumes on Umbria and Sicily- so you can see… Continue reading A Thousand Days in Tuscany by Marlena de Blasi

Save the canon!

Sean O’Brien is one of my favourite poets. His work has always shown its rootedness in tradition, even when questioning that tradition – see Cousin Coat, for instance. Here, in an excellent article, he makes a case for the restoration of the canon in education, before something very precious is lost. He’s right.

Oh for an editor

Over at Patternings, Ann Darnton points out how her reading of Chesil Beach was spoilt by Ian McEwan’s failure to get a contemporary detail right – he has his protagonist playing Beatles and Rolling Stones covers of Chuck Berry before they were recorded. On one level it’s a minor detail, but on another, as Ann… Continue reading Oh for an editor

Jane Aus

Classic FM tell me that, to mark Mothering Sunday, they are podcasting Jane Austen novels, or, as they put it “complete abridged re-telling of these romantic classics”. That’s got to be better than the shortened abridged version, hasn’t it?

Book Cull

This dilemma was recently faced by me and ‘er indoors. Our solution appears as a comment way down the page. This marks a huge advance for us, as about ten years ago when we decided we were really really going to get rid of some books, we managed about three nominees between us in about… Continue reading Book Cull

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