Every sort of trouble I can think of, we’ve tried it out

Z: a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
by Therese Anne Fowler

In case you missed me effusing on Twitter, I loved this book. A lot. I picked it up on a whim in a bookshop, having heard nothing about it and with no idea what to expect. I only knew that I was interested in the subject matter, but of course that was no guarantee. It was a good whim: I was engrossed and tore through it, then regretted having read so fast…

Sunday Salon: Taking a break

The Sunday Salon

A week after getting home from a fortnight in France, it doesn’t quite feel like I never had a holiday at all, but the holiday relaxation is certainly fading fast.

As I mentioned while I was away, I didn’t get much reading done on holiday. I don’t know if that was because the books I read weren’t very absorbing, or because I was distracted by holiday stuff (Places to see! People to spend time with!) or because I’ve given myself too much reading that had to get done this year and not enough reading for fun, so that relaxing on holiday meant doing less reading…

Holiday in France: the reporters memorial

A friend suggested I blog about this after it was almost all I talked about when summarising our holiday! It certainly made a big impression on me.

A Robert Capa Memorial des Reporters

It started with a small memorial outside a museum in Bayeux to Robert Capa, a photographer whose work Tim and I are familiar with and admire…

I am too diffused

The Golden Notebook
by Doris Lessing

This book is more of an intellectual exercise than a novel, which has its rewards and makes it good fodder for discussion, but doesn’t make it the most enjoyable book I’ve read lately. Not that I hated it by any means, I’m glad I’ve read it, but I’m not convinced of Lessing’s skill as a writer so much as her intellect…

August reading round-up

I’m posting this a few days late as I’m on holiday, which unusually has so far decreased my reading, not increased it. I think I may be discouraged as I’ve been reading The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing for book club for about three weeks and it’s a huge book so I’m still barely a third of the way through. I wonder how many of us will have made it to the end when book club meets next week? Also, Tim recommended one of his books for me to read on holiday so I’m about a third of the way through that as well. Between them I’m sure I read at least as much as one normal-length book last week…

Sunday Salon: En vacances

The Sunday Salon

This week we’ve been on holiday in Normandy with friends. Weather’s been, er, iffy but we managed to grab a couple of afternoons in the pool/on the trampoline (I love that the gîte has a trampoline!) in-between road trips. I have somehow read only half a book, despite plenty of suitable reading weather, but with 13 other people providing distractions I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised…

Unsung women kept the wheels of the war machine turning

Fighting on the Home Front: the Legacy of Women in World War One
Kate Adie

This is a book that needed to be written, and Kate Adie seems like a good choice for it – a journalist whose own career blazed a trail for women to follow, but who is nevertheless rarely if ever controversial, not radically feminist and famously matter of fact. And arguably that’s exactly the book you get: competently written, comprehensive and factual. But is it the book I was hoping for…

Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’Roll

Today, if you hop on over to For Books’ Sake, you can read my review of Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’Roll: the Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science by Zoe Cormier, a scientist and writer/communicator for Guerilla Science. I think it’s a fascinating topic…but please do go take a look to find out what I thought of the book…

Order will come to your distracted mind again

Faces of Love and the Poets of Shiraz
by Hafez, Jahan Malek Khatun and Obayd-e Zakani
translated from Persian by Dick Davis

This book was a bit of a serendipitous find. I was in West Hampstead to meet friends and had arrived early, so I thought I’d pop into West End Lane Books. I wasn’t looking for anything particular, just enjoying a good browse, and I spotted this book on a shelf of beautiful books. Clearly, I don’t need more books right now, but this was poetry, in translation and beautiful, all of which are things I’d like to have more of…

Musical interlude: the White Stripes

“The hardest button to button” is not just a great song that reminds me of university and the friends I made there, it’s also a great video by one of the masters of music-video directing: Michel Gondry. I’m really pleased he’s come back to music videos this year (for Metronomy’s “Love letters”) after a few years’ hiatus. His creative genius works so well in this format…