Wed 7 Nov

Reading the OED

yes, this is for real!

I was looking up the word "matutinal" early this morning (yes, that is a clue as to the meaning) and came across this link. Thought it worth sharing

Sun 14 Oct

Thundering good read

like a piece of organ music!

"Until I Find You" by John Irving and as I started to write this blog entry I overheard on the wireless an interviewer talking about tattoos - synchronicity or not?!

The really embarrassing thing is I just today told a friend this book was "called something with a heart in it, and written by Wally Lamb" to which my fiancée advised "don't be surprised when it is not by Wally Lamb"!

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Tue 9 Oct
A weathered blue door frame with the timbers forming a cross - the word GILEAD across in bold type as the cover of the book

On hearing Marilyn Robinson talk of Gilead

It was a remarkable thing that drew me into listening to "The Book Programme" recently on Radio Four, the author's voice was remarkably similar to that of Diane Weist who acted the part of the supervisor in the drama "In Therapy". But beyond that was the nagging feeling that I had heard of Gilead and more than knowing it as a biblical place and contemporary balm I knew of it in a literary context. Still I did not link this with the interviewee, Marilyn Robinson. Read More »

Wed 26 Sep
The paper back cover, a blue hued image of wilderness with waters and far wooded horizons

Another of my holiday reads this summer was in complete contrast to the Philippa Gregory historical tale of the Tudors. Lynn Schooler is an author I first actually heard on the radio recounting (probably reading verbatim) the account of his encounter with a bear in the Alaskan wilderness. The account is extremely memorable, and on reading my memory switched back to the interview quite immediately, which gave an interesting perspective on the writing.

Although this book is completely "masculine" compared with the rather "womanly" writing of Philippa Gregory there is actually a link with her writing , and perhaps an unexpected one

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The Other Boleyn Girl - historical thoughts

I finished this book whilst on holiday in July, and although I had taken it as a holiday read perhaps it deserves a little more respect. There's no doubt that Philippa Gregory is a prolific and popular author, but I was unsure if historical novels were her stock in trade, as they are for an author like Mary Renault.

It seems they are, but I found this did not detract from my enjoyment Read More »

Fri 21 Sep
A mermaid swims down through aquamarine seas with bubbles streaming back

Adult and Child Writing

I am in the midst of reading Helen Dunmore's work "Ingo" to my daughter, all about the Mer people and definitely a cut above "The Water Babies" which would make an interesting compare and contrast as the next book to try reading for her, one I suspect she would enjoy a good deal less (although it has an enduring appeal for myself, I hate to admit!). Read More »

Sun 2 Sep

The Same Sea; a new author

It is not often I get excited about a new book these days, and from my previous entry you'll see how I had a very dispiriting experience recently.

Imagine my excitement to recently not only find a new book, but to discover a new author (it gets better too!).  The author in question is Amos Oz and I have been intrigued to discover he writes in Hebrew.  There are quite a few Israeli authors I respect and have read, but with the exception of Isaac Bashevis Singer (who wrote in Yiddish, quite a different proposition!) they all write in English.  The book was, I thought, his most recent work and a random choice from the library; "The Same Sea".  Turns out it was published in 1999 and that Amos Oz has written extensively before and after.

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Fri 31 Aug

When NOT to read...

I may well have read as many as a dozen books since I last made a "didactic" entry.

But these I am not going to dwell on - what I do want to mention is the ability I have only recently discovered.  And it has taken a number of reading groups and starting analysis before I am able to do this.... But... I can now take a book back to the library (or discard it) BEFORE I HAVE FINISHED READING IT.

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Sat 16 Jun

Becket fizzles under Old Earth

Last night I went to see a world premier - woo hoo.  I doubt it will rock anyone's world, but it moved me for sure.

Old Earth is also going to be something for me to edit into the bibliography of Beckett on Wikipedia, which will be an interesting thing to do.

What is this event I speak of you ask?

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Sun 27 May

On apologies

Althogh you may not be hearing anything about my reading (because I have not finished any books of note, life has just been too busy!) this does not mean I have completely unplugged from matters literary.

For exmaple listening to the World Service this morning I heard their "World Book Club" discussing Amitav Ghosh - "The Shadow Lines"  which I found fascinating.  It was very insightful into the wiring process, especially from this writers point of view of course.  This was much helped by a really really high standard of questions and commentary, which I suppose is to be expected given the mambers are drawn from "around the World" but the BBC!  The observation that struck me the most was that he had chosen to write about a horrendous period of violent unrest (Religious Wars in this case) and part of that choice for him was because whilst Wars have a consistently strong narrative (as William Boyd often seems to exploit!), including many many memoirs, biographies, and subsequent ficitonal accounts etc etc episodes like this inspire a sort of shameful collective silence and have no such "narrative".

Later on the regular radio I got to hear this and cannot resist posting it by way of my apology!  Credits to the "Wondering Minstrels" for the copy/paste

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