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.
At first sight this looks like a lightweight school story about a single 45-minute Greek class at a German Gymnasium in 1928.
The school director comes into the classroom and takes over from the usual teacher, Kandelbinder. He proceeds to test, torment and humiliate not only the students but also Kandelbinder.
It took me a long while before deciding to cave in and read this book because I was convinced that it would turn out to be over-hyped and a disappointment.
This has been on the increasingly towering to-be-read pile ever since Barack Obama’s inauguration in January this year but finally got bumped up the list with his recent Nobel Peace Prize win.