Handing on the gift of Rumer Godden’s lost gem to my daughter.

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When I was seven I was given a battered old copy of Rumer Godden’s ‘Miss Happiness and Miss Flower’ for Christmas by a girl at school. I’m thoroughly ashamed to say that I… Continue reading

Oi, Flaubert! Get in the corner with Hardy.

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*spoilers, tons of ’em* Madame Bovary is one of the most page-chewing, pillow-punching books I have ever read. To start with, she’s just not likable, and an unlikable protagonist is a very hard… Continue reading

Half Price Sale in the Oxfam Bookshop – Bring a Wheel-barrow!

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Oh man! I have had such a magnificent haul in the Haverfordwest Oxfam Bookshop. There’s something soul-restoring about secondhand book-buying. It has all the benefits of retail therapy but without the subsequent emptiness… Continue reading

Happy Birthday Charlie D!

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As it’s Dickens’ birthday today (203 years old – looking good, Charlie boy!), I could hardly let such an important date pass without celebrating it, especially as Lucy has recently raised the gauntlet… Continue reading

A slightly morbid, gothic birthday celebration for Charles Dickens. He’d have approved.

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Happy 203rd birthday, Charles! The first thing I remember seeing related to Charles Dickens was a lock of his hair, at the museum of his birthplace, in Portsmouth, where I was also born… Continue reading

Thanks to Alison Steadman, I will never read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ ever again!

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The novels of Jane Austen have been good friends to me over the years. I couldn’t count how many times I’ve re-read them. When mulling over what books to read for this blog,… Continue reading

One of the other Tolkien kid’s books (no hobbits, but people do eat and drink a lot)

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Who remembers Mr Bliss? Sure you do. His bike doesn’t have any pedals so he only uses it to go downhill, then he buys a car at the bottom. Don’t think about the… Continue reading

Who wants to play the Wednesday Word Game with me?

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This game is a cracker if you love words and wordplay! Here’s the deal. You choose a few words, preferably some plump, delicious beauties, that have fallen out of common usage, and you… Continue reading

Weighty tomes for both reading and for use as replacement table legs

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War And Peace is just too long. There, I’ve said it. There are enormous chunks I could do without, but I can’t put it down, as very exciting when things suddenly happen, which… Continue reading

The Literary Sidekick: always the bridesmaid, never the bride!

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I think Francois Seurel gets a rough deal. Like most literary sidekicks, he is doomed to stand on the sidelines of the novel’s action (‘Le Grand Meaulnes’), holding a clipboard and taking notes… Continue reading