Category Archive: British And American

Christie and Crumpets – now that’s a bandwagon I’ll happily jump on!

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Inspired by Lucy’s recent Agatha Christie fest, I took to my bed over the weekend with a steaming mug of tea, a stack of toasted crumpets and a couple of dusty disintegrating Christies… Continue reading

The dark magic of Patricia Highsmith

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I discovered Patricia Highsmith’s malevolent genius earlier this year when I read The Talented Mr Ripley (1955). I’m a sucker for a good thriller, and the actions of Highsmith’s lovable psychopath, Tom Ripley, had me… Continue reading

Ernest Hemingway: My New Guilty Pleasure

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I’ve collected quite a number of Hemingway’s books over the years, but until recently I’d never read any. This is because any mention of Hemingway is usually accompanied by talk of misogyny, bull-fighting,… Continue reading

Well what’s one to do when Balzac takes a bath?

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The other night I’d been enjoying a long soak in the bath engrossed in my book, The Chouans , the first volume of novels comprising Balzac’s The Human Comedy. Thus far, I’ve enjoyed it far more than… Continue reading

Ain’t it always the way?

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  Just as my future begins to look bright, dictators start threatening to blow us all up. That’s one of the many aspects of Vera Brittain’s story that chimed with me when I… Continue reading

New books and a wearable mountain

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I had never heard of Nicola Barker, but a random Tweet led to a Guardian article, and that led to me ordering this book. And like many good second hand books, it came… Continue reading

The Talented Patricia Highsmith #20 Books of Summer

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Due to my recent trip to Italy, a number of titles in my #20 books of Summer list are connected to Italy in some way. The Talented Mr Ripley is no exception, set mainly… Continue reading

Today will be different

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This isn’t the type of book I’m usually drawn to, but as the library allows us to live dangerously with no financial risk, I gave it a go, and am glad I did.… Continue reading

Camping out with Goethe and Luther

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I love an impromptu weekend at a £12-a-night campsite in the Highlands, but I don’t love the obligatory two hours of mother-daughter bickering punctuated by cries of ‘Not that left, the other left!’… Continue reading

‘Swing Time’ by Zadie Smith – #20 Books of Summer

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My experience of Zadie Smith’s writing has been extreme. When the world went crazy for her debut, White Teeth (2000), I just didn’t feel the love, but I was persuaded to give Smith another… Continue reading