Small Gods

I’m still toiling away at The Lusiads, but the Edinburgh International Book Festival falls in August, and I had a number of books to read for Book Festival events, so I went with Plan B: Terry Pratchett’s Small Gods. When I discovered this Classic I’ve mentioned before that I discovered Terry Pratchett in my teens,…

#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…

Reflections on CampNaNoWriMo

Now that my hands have recovered enough to type more than 140 characters at a time, this seems like a good point to think back on CampNaNoWriMo. The first week went quite well – I made it over the 5000-word mark, and I realised that the idea suited a novella rather than a novel, so…

Off to Camp

Today marks the first day of CampNaNoWriMo, during which I’ll be attempting to write 50,000 words of a novel. As usual, I’ve shelved the idea I was planning to work on, and am winging it with some characters who won’t shut up about this weird castle they’ve moved to. Also as usual, I seem to…

The Trick Is To Keep Breathing

When I discovered this Classic & why I chose to read it I won tickets to see Janice Galloway speak at the Saltire Society, (sadly childcare issues prevented me from going) and I realised I hadn’t actually read any of her books. This one came highly recommended. What makes it a Classic It’s a beautifully…

The Female Man

When I discovered this Classic I found this Classic on Forbidden Planet’s list of 50 must-read SF books. Why I chose to read it I’d never heard of Joanna Russ (the highest-ranked female author on the list after Ursula Le Guin), and it seemed like a good opportunity to discover a new (to me) author….

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…