You know that feeling you sometimes get when you step off an aeroplane in a Mediterranean country? When the warm air envelops you like a deep sigh? Your whole body relaxes and that’s the moment when you realise that you’re in a foreign country, and now properly on holiday. That’s how it feels to open the pages of Like Bees to Honey and start reading.
Chance. Luck. Fate. Destiny. Choices. Reactions. Timing. Much like Jack’s coin, my head is still spinning days after reading Nicola Morgan’s excellent Wasted. But this is a good thing. The book throws up a lot of questions and ideas and it’s made me look at some of these with fresh perspective.
I always thought one of the benefits of becoming proficient in a foreign language would be that I’d be able to read another country’s literature in the original language, rather than in translation. (In fact, if I chose the language wisely, I’d be able to read that of more than one country.) I never thought for a moment that it would enable me to read a novel set in England, originally written in English by an English author but which has, so far, only been published in translation.
Please see pic for Exhibit ‘A’ – Della Says: OMG! – a book that I would not normally pick up to read the blurb on the back cover, let alone buy and read cover-to-cover in one sitting. Why? We-ell, there’s shocking pink and fluorescent green on the front cover, for starters, the book title contains text speak (even though, yes, I use it myself. Guilty as charged) and it’s a book aimed at the teen market.
I’m hoping that Bernhard Schlink’s thought-provoking novel The Reader doesn’t become a footnote to Kate Winslet’s Oscar success in the film adaptation. It is a book that deserves far more that the sorry footnote of simply becoming the book of the film.
I don’t know about you but I’ve always wished there was a little bit more magic and some of that ever-so-helpful fairy dust in my life from time to time. But Catherine Ryan Howard had bigger dreams than this.
I am fast coming around to the idea that I should either get my book recommendations from Twitter or work my way through the Avon Imprint titles for the foreseeable future. So far this year, I’ve read two of their books found through the social networking site (the first of which was Miranda Dickinson’s Fairytale of New York, reviewed here)…
Jeremy Northam is proving to be an interesting travelling companion. In 2008, after first splitting our time between languidly idling among the dreamy spires of Oxford and staying at an imposing stately home in the English countryside, we flitted off together for a brief sojourn on the Venetian lagoon, before later wandering the souks of Morocco.
I was fortunate enough to win a signed copy of Miranda Dickinson’s wonderful debut novel Fairytale of New York. The author herself ran a competition on Twitter – I’ve alluded to the wonders of social networking in an earlier post – and, just before Christmas, it arrived, together with a lovely card and some yummy chocolate, which I think ought…
This is a beautifully written book that vividly imagines the extraordinary life of a remarkable man.
Owen Sheers finds a book in his father’s study which puts him on the trail of one of his distant relations, Arthur Shearly Cripps, also a poet. The journey takes him from the Rhodes Library in Oxford to modern-day Zimbabwe to London as he traces the life of his missionary ancestor, who left England at the turn of the twentieth century for what was then Southern Rhodesia.