Sentimental Schmaltz and Yarn-based Crimes: When Film Adaptations Fail to Deliver

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I’ve just watched the film adaptation of Elizabeth Taylor’s Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont and I really wish I hadn’t. To be fair, I’ll admit that the location and the majority of the characters… Continue reading

Get fit with Proust and Byron

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Actually, that should read ‘Get fit with Proust’s dad and Byron’. Proust was not fit. He had always been a sickly child, and suffered from asthma, but as an adult decided the daytime… Continue reading

The Joy of New Bookshelves

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The mounting stacks of secondhand book bargains recently reached critical mass in our house. As we’ve been in need of some kind of wardrobe for months, and had to hire a van to… Continue reading

A Scots Quair, seagulls and orphaned books

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It’s nearing the end of the second week of the school holidays here, and I thought we’d better cobble together some kind of day out away from screens before my daughter’s eyes fell… Continue reading

Summer Reading

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After having a ‘what the hell is going on with UK politics?’ break from reading, I feel ready to knuckle down to some serious contemplation of my reading aims for the coming month… Continue reading

And you thought your family were strange

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Charles Foster is perfectly placed to write this book, as his family are sufficiently open-minded to assist, and I doubt many parents would encourage their child to live in a hole in a… Continue reading

Looking Away

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The steady rise of the far right since the financial crisis of 2008 has been one of the most frequent causes of my insomnia. I might not sleep any better, but I want… Continue reading

David Copperfield – Shallow Review #3

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Here are #1 and #2 if anyone wants to catch up. After the death of his mother, David’s at home with the evil stepfather Mr Murdstone, and his evil sister Miss Murdstone. Mr… Continue reading

Escaping to Iceland with Arnaldur Indriðason

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I’ve had the concentration of a goldfish over the past week, so I abandoned all my reading challenges and reached for something less challenging, yet no less brilliant than my usual reading fare.… Continue reading

When in doubt, look up.

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Or down. Or about. In these uncertain times, people are increasingly turning to nature writing for solace. Even after ecological disasters, nature just carries on. When I left for work this morning the… Continue reading