Top ways to make me buy a book

It’s not particularly hard to get me to buy a book. I’ve mentioned some triggers here and here. But publishers, if you’re reading, here are some moreContinue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Never Let Me Go to the Art of Fielding


It’s time for #6Degrees – I promise it’s ace fun, so join in and link up!

We begin this month’s chain with Kazuo Ishiguro’s creepy Never Let Me Go – is it a glimpse into the future? It seems too far-fetched but there were elements of the story that felt horribly possible, as there were in Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from A Prayer for Owen Meany to Fates and Furies


It’s time for #6Degrees – join in! Link up! Get amongst it!

We begin this month with John Irving’s classic, A Prayer for Owen Meany. The story centres around a terrible accident involving two young boys. Likewise, the plot in Wiley Cash’s A Land More Kind Than Home, also focuses on the tragic consequences of an incident involving two boys. Continue reading

It Is Just You Everything’s Not Shit by Steve Stack


Steve Stack’s It Is Just You Everything’s Not Shit is a gentle response to the whingers in this world (who’ll find a reason to moan about everything from global warming to the temperature of their morning coffee).

The book is essentially an alphabetized collection of first-world-pleasures. And that’s okay. Because while horrid things will always exist, it’s fine to feel happy when cracking the top of a boiled egg; to feel soothed by Sir David Attenborough’s dulcet tones; and to relish lying in a hot bath reading a book. Basically, Stack is saying yes, there’s shit going down, but appreciate what you have, be grateful, and realise that while you’re busy fretting over the state of the world (and your first-world-problems), there is still lots of ace stuff to put a little ‘Yay!’ in the day. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Olive Kitteridge to Doppler


It’s time for #6Degrees (and for the first time, I’m hosting – that’s code for you absolutely must join in, please)!

We begin with Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize winner, Olive Kitteridge. The story is set in a small town in Maine, as is John Irving’s beautiful saga, The Cider House Rules. Continue reading

Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving

“Some unexplainable things are real.”

After finishing John Irving’s latest, Avenue of Mysteries, I’m left wondering, did Irving want us to read more deeply into particular elements of the story (notably the power-play between two Virgins {Mary and Guadalupe}, and a vaguely threatening mother-daughter team) or was the whole thing pure Irving folly?

I’m going with the later because fans will know they’re dealing with hallmark Irving – circuses, transvestites, the importance of reading, prostitutes, the meaning of faith and absentee mothers. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

1. I’ve finished exams. This blog is a GIF-free zone but given that the subject I had an exam for was really, really, really difficult, I’m breaking out the Sheep of Joy.


2. Last week I went to see Buyer and Cellar. And I laughed and laughed. It’s a play about Barbara Streisand’s personal ‘shopping mall’. The amazing thing is that Babs does have her own mall and you can read about it in the book she published about design – My Passion for Design. After reading some of the reviews on Goodreads, I’ve decided that as much as I love her, she’s nuts.

“I simply must know if everything in Barbra Streisand’s life is that silvery blue color. Her laptop, her toilet paper holders, her Xanax bottle cosy?”

3. Babs and Barry’s Guilty album is one of my favourite albums ever. Continue reading