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Showing posts from July, 2012

Richard III at The Globe

I digress from books so soon, I know, but I am still buzzing from seeing Richard III at The Globe on Tuesday.  It was such a fantastic performance.  I feel compelled to urge everyone to get a ticket if they possibly can.
The superb Mark Rylance heads the all-male cast.  He takes the title role and gives his all as the machinating Richard.  As he limped and shambled and stammered onto the stage for the first scene the audience clapped and cheered, expecting great things.  I don’t think we were disappointed.  His Richard was full of malice, knowing asides and warped humour.  We laughed along with him as he made light of killing a king and a prince; giggled as he plotted to do away with his flighty brother Clarence.  I, for one, was complicit with his manoeuvres towards the crown.
The rest of the cast were also splendid, this is not a one-man show.  The men playing the women characters must have been sweltering under their make-up and wigs, but they were excellent.  In fact, so convincing …

An Evening With Ned Beauman and Jake Arnott

This evening I was in illustrious company.  I was lucky enough to be at Waterstones Covent Garden, who played host to Ned Beauman and Jake Arnott.  Both authors treated us to a reading from their latest novels, answered questions and signed books.

Ned (I'm going with first names now!) read from his Booker long-listed second novel, The Teleportation Accident.  He fortuitously chose one of my favourite stories within stories that add to the book's gloriousness: Scramsfield and the suicide pact.  It's so thick with morbid humour, and shows just the type of man Scramsfield is.  Not the type to emulate, of that I am sure.  He is just one of the disreputable and deluded characters in the crazy world Ned has created.

Jake read from The Magician section of his genre-defying House of Rumour.  This part of the book is set in the early 1940s and features naval intelligence officer Ian Fleming.  Each part takes its name from the tarot pack, which gives an overarching description of the…

Booker Prize Longlist Day

Today's the day.  The Man Booker Prize Longlist has been announced and it is looking pretty good.  At first glance there are several I'm very excited about, a couple I have already read and a couple I didn't know about at all.  Next week I shall meet up with some friends to discuss the list over coffee and cake.  We'll decide on this year's reading strategy, work out who's read and has got what, then attempt, again, to read the lot.  I'll report back on how we get on.

The link to the full list is here:

I'm very excited about it all this year.  What about everyone else?  Are there any early favourites?


Starting a blog is an exciting and slightly scary thing.  Choosing a name, picture and profile to convey something about you and your blog is a little daunting.  As may be somewhat apparent from those choices I am an obsessive reader.  Always have been, always will be.   I have notebooks full of jottings about the books I have read over the years, and I make lists of what I have read, what I want to read and what I should read.  As I said, obsessive.

I am also rather flighty in my reading tastes.  Well, maybe not flighty but certainly I do read a very broad range of books.  I read a lot of academic history for college.  I love Young Adult fiction and a good vampire tale.  I sometimes hanker after sci-fi or a huge fantasy epic. Literary fiction, historical fiction, popular history, mid-twentieth century middle-brow novels are all welcome here.  And, after a long hiatus, I have just started to read some graphic novels again.  My superpower would be the ability to read one book with eac…