Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. Are we excited about the Man Booker 2017 longlist? I’ve read two (Exit West – didn’t like it much at all; Swing Time – loved some bits, other bits not so much) and have one more in the reading pile (The Underground Railroad). I’m intrigued by 4 3 2 1 and Lincoln in the Bardo. Tell me who you think will win and I’ll endeavour to read those before it’s announced so I can feel smug about being ahead of the curve 🙂 Continue reading


Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar

In the end notes of Priya Parmar’s book, Vanessa and Her Sister, the author says “It is not easy to fictionalise the Bloomsbury Group, as their lives are so well documented. They were prolific correspondents and diarists, and there is a wealth of existing primary material. The difficulty came in finding enough room for fiction in the negative spaces they left behind.”

It may not have been easy but Parmar makes it appear effortless. Her novel, a fictional diary by Vanessa Bell, painter, and sister to author Virginia Woolf is so convincing, so compelling, that my ‘belief’ never wavered for a moment. The diary entries are interwoven with correspondence between members of the Bloomsbury Group – letters, telegrams and postcards.


vanessa bell and virginia woolf Continue reading