Monthly Archives: August 2015

“Let The Great World Spin” by Colum McCann (2009) – if you can keep your head…

A spinning kaleidoscope of a novel that keeps you teetering on the edge and your head literally spinning: I was unable to put this book down once I’d delved into it.  What could a tightrope walker, an Irish monk and … Continue reading

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The Guardian’s 100 Best Novels by Robert McCrum, August 2015: two years in the making, 400 years in the writing…

      Still feeling bereft at having finished “Middlemarch” and determined to go the whole hog with more of those classic reads, when along comes another grandiose book list. Will this one stop the Sunday Times’ list from resting … Continue reading

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“Quartet in Autumn” by Barbara Pym (1977) – gentle strokes of pure genius

I think Barbara Pym is one of the great unsung heroines of the time. Her novels are how I would like to return in the next life: small but perfectly formed. I’m not even remotely surprised that a “Barbara Pym … Continue reading

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“The Classics Club” Five Year Challenge – taking the bull by the horns

It’s altogether too tempting to be led off the straight and narrow by all these exciting new novels that just keep appearing and calling for attention. In the meanwhile, am embarrassed to tot up the countless tomes that have gone down in the … Continue reading

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“Middlemarch” by George Eliot (1871) – joining the mile high club…

Deep rapture, euphoria, beatitude and other superlatives. Veneration, wonderment and general doffing of caps. Have finally joined the several mile high crowd of fan club of all things Mary Ann Evans, and what’s even better is that there is still … Continue reading

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“We Are Not Ourselves” by Matthew Thomas (2014) – set to become a classic

Oh, what a good book. What a really great read. This is without a shadow of a doubt going to be one of my books of the year. I have just put the novel down, and a thousand thoughts are … Continue reading

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“Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides (2003) & “The Danish Girl” by David Ebershoff (2000) – nature versus nurture

Fictional Cal/Calliope was “born twice: first as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August 1974”. Lily Elbe was … Continue reading

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“The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy” by Rachel Joyce (2014) – if you read nothing else this year…

If you haven’t yet read “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry”, please just drop everything and get hold of a copy. If you have, but haven’t come across the companion novel, recounting the parallel, life-affirming journey of Queenie Hennessy, likewise … Continue reading

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