It’s Nonfiction November, this week hosted by Sarah’s Book Shelves. The task? Pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title.
I had so much fun with this topic last year and although I feared I’d exhausted my ideas, I’ve managed a few more pairings –
Ireland divided – Lost Lives by David McKittrick / Across the Barricades by Joan Lingard Continue reading
I feel like Elizabeth Taylor gets overlooked.
I don’t mean this Taylor:
Sophia Garfield had a clear mental picture of what the outbreak of war was going to be like. There would be a loud bang, succeeded by inky darkness and a cold wind. Stumbling over heaps of rubble and dead bodies, Sophia would search with industry, but without hope, for her husband, her lover and her dog.
And so begins Nancy Mitford’s satire, Pigeon Pie. Continue reading
It’s time for #6degrees. It’s unquestionably the least demanding bookish meme on the interwebs, so join in!
This month we begin with Joan Lindsay’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (thanks to Brona for the suggestion). My first link is to Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, Born to Run. That might seem an unlikely link but I’ve seen Springsteen twice in the last few years, and both times Hanging Rock was the backdrop. Continue reading
It’s been a solid reading year. According to Goodreads I’ve read 37 books. Here are my top picks so far – Continue reading
Sometimes a very, very short book is just the ticket – reading slump, testing a new genre, choosing something for your book group (because you know they don’t have the stamina for anything over 200 pages), a long train ride…
Here’s a list of my favourite very short books. Continue reading
Depending on your attitude, it’s either wildly inappropriate or absolutely hilarious that I was listening to Nancy Mitford’s Wigs on the Green concurrently with the podcast, My Dad Wrote a Porno. If you’ve experienced both, you’ll appreciate that the frequent mentions of hedge mazes, manicured lawns, horses and duchesses are quite similar in one sense… and also very much not. Anyway, the important thing is that both made me laugh. A lot.
There’s a juicy back-story to Wigs on the Green, notably that the novel was truly about Nancy’s two Fascist sisters, Unity and Diana, and that the relationship between Nancy and her sisters imploded after its publication (I really should read The Mitford Girls, which has been languishing on my TBR stack for over a decade). Nancy never allowed the novel to be printed after WWII, on the basis that jokes about Nazis were not funny in any context. And obviously they’re not, yet the elements of the story related to class and marriage are sharp and very, very funny.
‘Marriage is a great bore. Chaps’ waistcoats lying around in one’s bedroom and so on. It gets one down in time.’ Continue reading