View over the top of Goethe’s book

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Our house is currently running on adrenaline, long teenage sighs, and occasional bouts of panic. My daughter is in the middle of her exams, the results of which will decide whether she can… Continue reading

I’ve played my first joker and it’s not even for fiction!

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Five months into my 2017 challenge of buying no new books during the year, and I’ve just used my first of three emergency lifelines. As it turns out, it’s not even a work of… Continue reading

She came from Russia, she had a thirst for revolution…

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First up, I feel bad saying bad things about novels (unless the author is dead, and especially if the author is Thomas Hardy, then I’m more than happy). Simon Sebag Montefiore has never… Continue reading

Library hauls save lives

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Despite having a gazillion unread books on my shelves, I’ve been feeling uninspired by the titles in my TBR pile. I think my 2017 book-buying ban is beginning to bite and it feels… Continue reading

I never thought I’d need to do homework to get through a novel. It’s a good job I like history.

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I remember people complaining about Wolf Hall, saying it was hard to read. However, I’ve read a lot of Tudor non-fiction, watched all the documentaries with both the bright young faces of BBC… Continue reading

View over the top of my book #22

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I’ve given up trying to write any sort of book review for today’s post as I’m currently nursing (furiously shouting at) a dying computer. As there was the greatest possibility that my frustration… Continue reading

Saints, Poets, and Sneezing.

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This week, I have been mostly responsible for the death of many, many trees, in the form of many, many tissues. A lurgy is upon me, and while I’ve managed to go to… Continue reading

There’s strange, and then there’s Murakami.

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I’ve been immersed in Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan novels in preparation for my trip to Italy in June. Fancying a brief palate cleanser between volumes 2 and 3, I picked up Haruki Murakami’s The Strange… Continue reading

Lincoln in the Bardo

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When it comes to the American Civil War, many people in the UK only know what they’ve picked up from films, and Simpsons episodes. But while it would never be my specialist subject… Continue reading

#1951 Club: Anthony Powell’s ‘A Question of Upbringing’

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One of my reading aims for the year was to read Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time in its entirety. Alas, my plan to tackle a book a month fell… Continue reading