The fact that I can’t travel currently was made tolerable by the setting of Whisper of the Lotus- Gabrielle totally brought Cambodia alive. Loved the mix of fantasy and realism and learnt quite a lot about Buddhism along the way. This was a good read.
I like Richard Osman and looked forward to reading this. You could definitely hear his voice in the writing. I loved the characters, but got a bit muddled with the plot. Still not really sure who killed who and why. But I definitely want to live in a retirement village with loads of quirky people to drink wine with and socialize. Look forward to the next murder solved by the Thursday Murder club.
From Good Housekeeping magazine February 2021.
Listen to Stories (Gaby Huddart, Editor-in- Chief).
Opposite ends of a table. Both working at home. His reading material football stadiums and walking guides. Her’s travel book and the Avon catalogue. Both with reading glasses strategically placed. Couple of a certain age.
A Christmas favourite. After a night of heavy snowfall, a boy plays in the snow, eventually building a large snowman. At the stroke of midnight, he sneaks downstairs to find the snowman magically comes to life.
They play in the snow and then take flight, flying over the South Downs towards the coast, seeing the Royal Pavilion and Brighton Palace Pier and north along the coast of Norway. They continue through an arctic landscape and into the aurora borealis. They land in a snow-covered forest where they join a party of snowmen. They eventually meet Father Christmas along with his reindeer.The snowman returns home with James before the sun rises and the two bid farewell for the night.
The film is as magical as the book with an emotive score. The first page of the original score of The Snowman, signed by composer Howard Blake, is due to go to auction in aid of the Journalists’ Charity.
I will never tire of this timeless book and film. I am Sussex born and bred and the fact that both Briggs and Blake have Sussex Connections and the book a Sussex backdrop, is what makes it even more delightful.
Weather by Jenny Offill
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I was expecting a narrative with a beginning, middle and end. It wasn’t. I nearly gave up and then I settled in and accepted it for what it was. It was a book for a voice- Lizzie Benson’s. Her life, job, family, her affair- her stream of consciousness. Like living someone’s day to day life with them.
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John le Carre, whose novels include The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The Little Drummer Girl and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy died on Saturday 12 December. For his novels he drew on his experience working for the British Intelligence Services, including MI6 during the Cold War. Born in 1931 he studied at Bern and Oxford universities and taught at Eton. He then became a Junior Diplomat at the British Embassy, thus starting his Intelligence career.
The publication of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold brought him worldwide literary acclaim, when he left the Service to persue his literary career.
This is a book about war- about Palestine; about the divisions between the Jewish and Arab communities; about divisive families within those communities; it is about love and loss. Ishmael’s Oranges follows the story of two families spanning the crossroad events of modern times. In the swinging sixties Jude (Jewish) and Salim (Arab) fight against the legacy of their difference. They promise to each other that, unlike their parents, they can conquer the differences between their religions and cultures. Only they can’t and their children, in turn, inherit the same legacy of hatred.
It was a thought provoking and a brilliant take on age old issues that will never go away. I was hooked from page one.
Found an article in a National Newspaper a month or so ago. We are familiar with the war poets such as Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen, but I was interested to read about other writers that saw active service.
Tolkien: served as a lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers and saw action at the Battle of the Somme. He was hospitalised with trench fever.
CS Lewis: saw action in the trenches arriving in 1917 aged 19. He took German prisoners and was wounded by a shell blast.
AA Milne: Winnie- the- Pooh creator. The famous bear was named after a real bear that had once been the mascot of a Canadian Infantry that Milne joined up to in 1915. He was injured at the Battle of the Somme.
Ernest Hemingway: was wounded by mortar fire as an ambulance driver on the Italian Front, where he fell in love with a nurse.
We tend to forget our famous writers have lives apart from their books, so I was really interested to read about these classic authors in the Great War.
The Salt Path
Raynor and Moth lost everything, including the roof over their heads- they decided to walk the South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall while they took stock. At the same time Moth is diagnosed with a terminal illness. With their possessions in backpacks they battled the elements, walking and living the Path. The Salt Path is about the resilience and resourcefulness of human nature. It is also a story of loss, courage, hope and love.
The winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2020 has been announced as Grigory Rodchenkov for ‘The Rodchenkov Affair: How I Brought Down Putin’s Secret Doping Empire’. Rodchenko was the former head of Russia’s national anti-doping laboratory and he is in hiding ever since he helped expose the true levels of Russia’s doping problem. His book tells of his childhood in Soviet Russia before moving onto his time with the Russian Olympic Committee and his role in the scandal that has led to his country’s continued exile from many international sporting events including the Olympics. He wins a prize of £30000.
How many have you read?
Douglas Stuart has won the 2020 Man Booker prize with his debut novel Shuggie Bain– about a young boy growing up in 1980s downtown Glasgow with a mother battling addiction. Stuart was the only British author on this year’s shortlist, scooping a £50000 payment for his win.