Category Archives: Book Reviews

“Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt (1997) – a blistering if controversial tale of an unforgettable childhood

That was the month (of March) that was, and ‘Tis an understatement to say how frustrating it was that reading had to take such a back seat. Have relished following so many stories of everyone’s Irish Reading Month adventures and … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Non-fiction | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

“L’Amica Geniale” / “My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante (2011) – taking the world by storm

One of the expressions I heard time and time over while living those ten years in the north of Italy was “Quando vieni al Sud piangi due volte; quando arrive e quando te ne vai” – the great North/South divide … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , | 23 Comments

“Room” by Emma Donoghue (2010) and “The Collector” by John Fowles (1963) – giving ‘small but perfectly formed’ a whole new dimension

The brilliant Baftas were just upon us again, and another baby star is coincidentally born, with the heart-stopping performance of Jacob Tremblay as five year-old Jack. When I read “Room” for the first time, my own daughter was 12 and we were … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Books on the Big Screen | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

“War & Peace” by Leo Tolstoy (1869) – whatever am I going to do with myself now?

All good things, so so sadly, must come to an eventual end. It’s been a roller coaster of a ride trying to gallop alongside the heinously cropped 6-hour adaptation of this epic novel, and I almost came out of the saddle … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Books on the Big Screen, Classics Club Challenge | Tagged , | 23 Comments

“A Place Called Winter” by Patrick Gale – almost hits the spot

A departure from the norm for this much-loved author, in the sense that this time he places his protagonist in a historical setting and the farming moves across the waters from Cornwall to Canada. Based in a context that follows … Continue reading

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Colm Tóibín – a man for all seasons? – the jury’s out…

Having spent a not inconsiderable amount of time over previous days proposing wildly romantic things for people to do in Paris over the Saint Valentin period, it struck me that the main character of Colm Toibin’s recent novel “Nora Webster” … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Books on the Big Screen | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

“A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara (2015) – taking repeated deep breaths

Be warned, this book comes with a general health warning. It is an absolutely visceral read. It tears at your heartstrings, rips at your emotions, at times plucks at your eyes like one of the vultures from ‘The Jungle Book’. … Continue reading

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“Lady Chatterley’s lover” by D.H. Lawrence (1928) – taking the John Thomas, sorry, the mickey – and welcome to “Whoar”, oops “War & Peace”

Back in the autumn, the BBC revisited Lady Chatterley and strapping Oliver Mellors, and after watching the rose-tinted version with a certain sense of bafflement, was tickled to pick up the battered (complete and unexpurgated) copy on the shelf and … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Books on the Big Screen, Classics Club Challenge | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Kate Atkinson’s “Life After Life” (2013) and “A God in Ruins” (2015) – it doesn’t get much better than this

Kate Atkinson, just in case there was ever any shadow of a doubt, is the real deal. I want her to write for ever and ever and ever. Was entranced during the wee small hours recently watching her on interview … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett (2009) – a whole new take on ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’

It’s taken me all this time to watch the film of the book I enjoyed reading so much the year it was published, with its Stepford Wives’ flavour and heady swipe at the treatment of the hired help in Jackson, … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Books on the Big Screen | Tagged , | 5 Comments