Sun 24 Apr

John O'hara

Of course I have read many many books since I last posted here, but I haven't the time or memory to talk about all of them. So I thought I would just mention the author John O'hara since I have read and enjoyed a couple of his books; Appointment in Samarra, and Butterfield 8 Read More »

Mon 2 Nov

Paradise. A.L. Kennedy

Hard to write about, but something of a landmark book for me to read. My introduction to the book came simply from the high esteem in which I hold the author (see my review for "Day", below), but as I read further into the book any doubts that alcohol and alcoholism were not going to be major themes were dispelled. Coming at a time when I was attempting to get on to the proverbial "wagon" myself gave me quite a spooky feeling of synchronicity.

Apparently the book's 14 chapters mirror the 14 Stations of the Cross, which figure in the book's plot and imagery, but I was not able to see that, except in the final chapter perhaps. Ms Kennedy herself has said she did indeed write with this theme in mind, and I think she's a catholic so it should have been a narrative she could follow. For me the descriptions and experiences around drinking were scarily seductive and horrific by turns. It's hard for me not to think Ms Kennedy has her own demons in bottles!

If my thought have whetted your appetite then do ready the review by Ali Smith in "The Guardian", it comes top of my google search and is a striking example of the reviewers art at it's best.

Tue 11 Nov

Day - a suitable remembrance day read

I have recently made the acquaintance of a new author whom I rate extremely highly. A L Kennedy is a very gifted writer of short stories and, surprisingly, also has a reputation for stand up comedy. Why surprising? Well right from the start when I read her novella "Original Bliss" it became apparent to me that Kennedy likes to dwell on the darker aspects of humanity.

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Mon 24 Jun
Sun 24 Mar

Good grief; several sisters

By some strange coincidence I have found myself reading books where a sister is prematurely separated from her sibling by death. The two books in question were "26a" by Diana Evans and "The Garden of the Evening Mists" by Tan Twan Eng. The first has added plot features, chief amongst them being that the sister is a twin. The second is a great read if you want to learn about Japanese gardens in the process and fancy a novel set in the war years, after Japan surrendered in Malaya.

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Mon 11 Feb

The fat and the thin - AKA The Belly of Paris

I read Thérèse Raquin twenty or so years ago and it left me with a vivid memory of a racy sexy thriller. So when in search of a Project Gutenberg download to try and unblock my reading it seemed promising to turn to the works of Emile Zola.

This book may not have had the raciness and dark passions of "Therese" but it did not disappoint.

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Sat 22 Dec

in hospital reading

But it's aero having the op not me! I'm just playing with my blackberry to pass time...

Sun 16 Dec

Having a cold and reading

I am finding an unexpected aspect to this stinking cold I seem to have, along with most of the London population it seems, it is stopping me reading!

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Sun 9 Dec

Teachers - can they spell advocacy?

back in the day when this blog was called "didactic" I would occasionally deviate from matters literary into matters literate.

Today on the radio I heard a reference that made me think I might laps back to my old ways for an indulgent post.

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Fri 7 Dec

Which is the "heavier" Reading?

I am presently reading Wideacre the opening tome of a trilogy by the prolific Philippa Gregory. At the same time as this I borrowed impulsively from the library a far slimmer volume The Infinities by John Banville.

So, we have the Banville v. Gregory challenge, per the title, which is the "easier" or "lighter" read?

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