The Monthly Booking: May 2020

It appears that this month I am dreaming of far-off places, places that are vast, often inhospitable and to a certain extent unknowable. My starting point when putting together my monthly reading list was ‘desert’, and while a couple of these books have a rather tenuous link to the subject, they have all ended upContinue reading “The Monthly Booking: May 2020”

‘It is not easy to think about translation’. [book review]

A review of This Little Art by Kate Briggs As well as being the home of such literary-fiction luminaries as Olga Tokarczuk and Adam Mars-Jones, independent London-based press Fitzcarraldo Editions has made a name for itself as the publisher of brilliant essayists. One of these white-bound titles (blue covers denote fiction) that I have hadContinue reading “‘It is not easy to think about translation’. [book review]”

‘Hungry for knowledge in all its forms’. A review of Square Haunting by Francesca Wade

Sometimes the right book comes along at exactly the right time – and recently I’ve been lucky enough for this to happen often. The latest example is Francesca Wade’s Square Haunting, a fascinating, in-depth look at the lives of five women who lived and worked in Bloomsbury between the wars. While a couple of themContinue reading “‘Hungry for knowledge in all its forms’. A review of Square Haunting by Francesca Wade”

The Monthly Booking: April 2020

I’m not sure that I even want to mention the dreaded c-word here, but suffice to say that recent events have been playing havoc with my monthly reading plans – not to mention everything else. My reading list for April is less thought-through than it would have been, but I suppose it’s nice to haveContinue reading “The Monthly Booking: April 2020”

‘Sand and courage and bombs and sleep’. A review of In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum

I would love to know what my eighteen-year-old self would have made of this book. At school and university I spent a while thinking that I might like to be a foreign or war correspondent, partly inspired by the work of Martha Gellhorn which I had read for my degree courses. It was a dreamContinue reading “‘Sand and courage and bombs and sleep’. A review of In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum”

The Monthly Booking: March 2020

After having had a Dutch moment in February, this month my reading list is expanding somewhat. Apart from the fact that all of them have been sitting around on my ‘to be read’ list for a while, there is absolutely nothing to link these four books (although two of them did appear on the shortlistsContinue reading “The Monthly Booking: March 2020”

‘Without families you don’t get stories.’ A review of The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es

Around a year ago, Bart van Es won the 2018 Costa Book of the Year award for his family memoir, The Cut Out Girl. (Interestingly, this year’s winner was also the non-fiction category champion, Jack Fairweather’s The Volunteer, another book about the Holocaust. Given that the award is designed to honour the ‘most enjoyable’ booksContinue reading “‘Without families you don’t get stories.’ A review of The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es”

The Monthly Booking: February 2020

Dutch literature is having its day, so I’m beginning 2020 with a heavy focus on translation and a list of books written by Dutch authors. At the end of last year I visited Amsterdam and remembered something I used to do when I travelled a lot for work: wherever I went, I made sure toContinue reading “The Monthly Booking: February 2020”

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