2017 Reading Challenge: 2nd Quarter

I’ve taken my eye off the ball this quarter because I realised at the start of May that I was unlikely to meet my Goodreads Challenge (104 books in 2017), so hurriedly read a lot of the shorter things cluttering up my TBR pile to get back on track.  Reads meeting the diverse challenge included…

2017 Reading Challenge: 1st Quarter

Yes, the plan was to write monthly updates on my challenge. And now it’s March, so we’ll go with quarterly updates instead. In some ways that’s better, as I can mention books that perhaps only warrant a few lines, and would otherwise have been missed. My 2017 reading began with an unusual (for me) choice:…

True Grit

When I discovered this Classic I discovered this Classic when I watched the Coen brothers adaptation of True Grit at the cinema. Why I chose to read it I needed to read a book narrated by a female character for research, and remembered that True Grit is narrated by Mattie Ross. I hadn’t initially considered…

Now in November

When I discovered this Classic Earlier this year the Guardian Bookshop emailed me about a deal on books from APOLLO, an imprint which specialises in ‘forgotten’ modern classics. Josephine Johnson’s Now in November was one of two I ended up ordering. Why I chose to read it I chose Now in November over my other purchase…

Review: The Lie Tree

The Lie Tree has been one of my TBRs for a few months now, and shot up the list once I got a ticket to the Frances Hardinge and Sarah Perry double-bill at Ed Book Fest. The Lie Tree tells the story of Faith Sunderly and her family, who travel to the island of Vane…

#EdBookFest: Alison Weir

Earlier in the year I made myself a hazy promise that I would see something at the Book Festival this summer. It was the news that Alison Weir would be speaking that had me queuing for tickets as soon as they became available (by which I mean queuing online while eating breakfast in my pjs…

Review: Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon

As a child I was fascinated by the story of Anne Boleyn, and her tragic end. Now that I’m older my sympathies have transferred to her rival, Katherine of Aragon, whose integrity and faith were exemplary. It seems that Alison Weir, who has subtitled her novel ‘The True Queen’ shares my sympathy. Weir is one…

#EdBookFest: Alexander Masters

Since I was lucky enough to get a ticket to see Alexander Masters speak at the Edinburgh Book Festival yesterday, I decided a short companion piece to my earlier review was in order. The talk was hosted by James Runcie, who after a brief introduction, led the author through a series of questions about how…

Review: A Life Discarded

For about 6 years in my late teens/early adulthood, I faithfully kept a diary. In 2009, fed up of carting them around, I binned the collected volumes (c.20 A5 notebooks), convinced that they would be of no interest to anyone else. Unlike the diarist in A Life Discarded, this was a deliberate act on my…

The Eve of St Agnes

July did not go entirely according to plan. I started reading The Lusiads, but, between CampNaNoWriMo and family commitments, I didn’t get very far. Finding myself in danger of having no Classic to blog about for July, I turned to Penguin Little Black Classic No.13:  The Eve of St Agnes. In addition to ‘The Eve…

Oliver Twist

Things have been odd this month as I’m in the middle of moving, so while I was able to make time to read a Classic, it’s taken me a lot longer to get around to posting about it. When I discovered this Classic Like most people, I suspect, I knew Oliver Twist as a musical. I’m not sure…

Titus Groan

March has largely been dreary and cold (at least where I am), so I declared it Fantasy month, which in turn made it time to tackle Titus Groan for the 2016 Classics Challenge. When I discovered this Classic A relative gave me a copy of Titus Groan when I was a teenager, and deeply in…