All Wound Up

There are many different types of books out there, including the ones I feel I should read. I’m sure most serious readers have such a list of books lurking in the back of their minds. Big books. Important books. Challenging books. Like David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest’ (1996). (Which I mention in jest – it has … Continue reading All Wound Up

Readers Writing About Reading

I happened upon a wonderful distraction. As the world outside burns (and there is too much to think about that), the London Review of Books has launched a new website and left their entire archive open for free. Issues from 1979-2020 are a click away. But only for the month of January. As it indicates … Continue reading Readers Writing About Reading

A further instalment in writers writing about writers writing

Seriously, when I’m deciding on the next book to read, I don’t go searching for novels about writers writing. And yet, so often in the last couple of years these stories just keep turning up. The latest novel to fall in with the theme literally arrived on my doorstep in a box with a bunch … Continue reading A further instalment in writers writing about writers writing

What a Novel Can Do

‘The Hamilton Case’ (2004), an early novel from the phenomenal Michelle de Kretser, is an extraordinary evocation of place. I came to it expecting a murder mystery – the one in the title – and instead went on a journey along the city streets and jungle paths of Ceylon. The first section is presented as … Continue reading What a Novel Can Do

In Between Are All the Stories

The beginning is the word and the end is silence. And in between are all the stories. Kate Atkinson, ‘Human Croquet’ Kate Atkinson has been unexpectedly at the centre of my reading life so far this year. Reading her latest novel ‘Transcription’ (2018) sent me to my shelves to find Penelope Fitzgerald’s ‘Human Voices’ (1980) to … Continue reading In Between Are All the Stories

Less is More

I really should just settle into an esoteric niche with my reading and give up the rest. Without specifically searching them out, so many books I pick up turn out to be about writers. Writers, it seems, like to write about writers. Just in the last year I read Richard Flanagan’s ‘First Person’ (2017), Miriam Toews … Continue reading Less is More