The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

So, this is weird – I finished The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters last week and today, as I sat down to write a review, I realised that I have no recollection of how the story ended. This means one of two things – either I have some serious memory issues or the ending wasn’t a particularly good one. I’m going with the later.

It’s 1922, and in South London, in a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants, life is transformed for widowed Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances when they are forced to take in lodgers – to ‘make ends meet’.

Frances and her mother sat with books at the French windows, ready to eke out the last of the daylight – having got used, in the past few years, to making little economies like that. Continue reading

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20 Books of Summer (except that it’s winter)

Cathy at 746 Books is hosting the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge again this year. I’m joining in, with a particular effort to read from my stacks of hard copies. The challenge is straightforward – read twenty books between June 1st and September 3rd. Continue reading

Hurry and finish #ALLTHEBOOKS

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I had to make an appointment this morning for about four weeks hence. And the date is in November. And I freaked out. Because after November comes December and then that’s the year, done and dusted. Good grief.

So, given that we’re getting to the pointy end of things, what’s my reading plan? I have some reading challenges to complete, a book club selection, a few ARCs and a couple of books that have been sitting next to my bed for far too long – Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Perfume to The Paying Guests

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

We begin this month with a book that topped international best-seller lists – Patrick Süskind’s Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. I read Perfume many years ago – it was lent to me by a friend, who also gave me Neil Schaeffer’s The Marquis De Sade (clearly we were on an 18th-century French jaunt). Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from The Paying Guests to Anna Karenina

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It’s six degrees of separation for books. Created by Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith. Check out the rules if you want to play along.

This month the chain begins with The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. It appeared in my round-up of the best books for 2014, as did The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

1. I’m back from Hawaii. It was ace. Don’t worry, I’ll bore you with a long show-offy holiday post soon.

2. The Baileys Prize shortlist has been announced. And the thing I love most is that London baker, Biscuiteers, iced the book covers. Brilliant.baileys-prize-shortlist-2015-in-cake Continue reading

Seems I missed that one…

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Top 10 Tuesday (this week I’ve done a bad-ass top 15) is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke & the Bookish and featuring a different book-related theme each week. I was a bit of a TTT-slacker last year, even though I generally love a list. Anyways, this week’s topic is ‘2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get To’. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

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A few notable bookish things –

1. This brilliant round-up of the best book covers for 2014 (tweeted by Jenny).

2. This list of books that made us cry in 2014. I do love a good cry over a book.

3. NPR’s Book Concierge – a gimmick but fun.

4. Scott’s crap book of the year list made me laugh. Out loud. Especially this bit – Continue reading

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday – the best of 2014

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As the year draws to a close, all sorts of ‘Best of 2014’ lists are popping up. And there are a couple of books that keep appearing on ‘Best books for 2014’ lists that I haven’t yet read, despite owning them – Nora Webster by Colm Toibin, The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and The Strays by Emily Bitto.

So I’m stretching the parameters of First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday (hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea) and presenting four opening paragraphs and a poll – you decide which book I should read next. Continue reading