I loved everything about the BBC adaptation of North and South (especially Richard Armitage as Mr. Thornton!) so I was very eager to read the book by Elizabeth Gaskell. Possibly watching the series first was a mistake, as it definitely made me biased towards certain characters. I believe that I would feel very differently about the book if I had read it first.
Margaret Hale, who has spent much of her life in London is returning to her family home in Helstone. When Gaskell describes the southern hamlet that Margaret loves so much, it sounds like heaven. Unfortunately for Margaret, her stay in Helstone is not to be permanent due to her father, the local pastor, refusing to renew his vows. The family leave behind their peaceful life in Helstone and move to the grimy, dirty and noisy industrial town of Milton, where Mr. Hale plans to become a tutor. Continue reading
Last spring I spent two weeks in London for a work experience placement at Slightly Foxed: The Real Reader’s Quarterly. While I was there, I took the opportunity to invite myself for a meal at the lovely flat of a busy copywriter and mother. Lots of good food was had, including a very tasty cheesecake made by the eight-year-old son, and the wine flowed freely. But one of the reasons for the evening, was to talk about writing.
As many of you will know, getting any sort of work as a writer is very difficult with or without the relative experience. My host, having been a copywriter for about 12 years, is the perfect person to give advice about how to make it in this competitive industry.
I was pleased to discover that not only is this fab mother good with words, she also enjoys reading them. So while she was clearing away the remains of our delicious Coq au Vin, I sneaked off, wine glass in hand, to check out her bookshelves.
The fun began in her son’s bedroom, which is creative, colourful and, as every kid’s room should be, absolutely crammed with books!
Bundle of Books is two years old today! Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun and reading fantastic books!? It seems like only yesterday that it was birthday number one. Find out about some of the exciting things that have happened over the last year and some of the great books that I have devoured here.
About fourteen years ago, my dad took me to see a stage production of The Hobbit. I enjoyed it so much that we went out the very next day to buy the book. I distinctly remember browsing through all of the different copies trying to decide which one to get. Eventually I went with the most expensive copy. The front cover and beautiful illustrations throughout the story were too special to say no to! I have never regretted my choice and my book is only a little battered, but still just as bright and bold as when I first read it. Continue reading
I came across this review of True Pleasures: A Memoir of Women in Paris at Alex in Leeds’ blog and immediately thought it sounded like something I’d be interested in. Luckily for me, I then won a copy!
I spent a very lovely weekend curled up with this book, dreaming of Paris. I’ve been to Paris a couple of times, but simply haven’t spent enough time there to know my way around. Lots of people (including members of my family) fall passionately in love with Paris, but I have never had a chance to share that passion – Italy is my love! Lucinda Holdforth, however, is one of those people. Like many before her, she is attracted to the city and is full of admiration for the women that live there.
I was not blown away by The Casual Vacancy and hadn’t expected to be, even though there’s (obviously) been a lot of interest surrounding J.K. Rowling’s first book since the Harry Potter series. The plot summary sounded dull and most of the reviews seemed a bit disappointing. I was still very happy to receive a copy for Christmas, because even if I wasn’t expecting great things, I was still curious. Continue reading
This review at Iris on Books caught my eye a few months ago and the book was added to my wish list straight away.
I read Kissing the Witch in two sittings because, although it’s a collection of short stories, I found it hard to put down. Reading this chain of stories is like opening a Russian doll. The further in you get, the more surprises you find. Each story is connected to the one before, with the secondary character from the first story telling her own story, and then the secondary character from that story having a chance to pass on their story. The readers are kept interested because they want to learn more about the character and understand why they have become a witch, a fairy Godmother or how they came to live a secluded life in a cave. Continue reading
I feel as though I have known the story of Pip for most of my life. I have vague memories of listening to audio books and watching adaptations. Maybe that is why I have never felt a real need to pick up the actual book and read it.
The beginning is pretty much exactly how I expected it to be. All the characters seemed to be just as I had seen them before; the scary convict, the kindly Joe Gargery, the nasty sister, stuck up Estella and timid little Pip. Even Miss Havisham didn’t seem any different to how she has been portrayed. It’s not until half way through that I began to feel as though I was coming to the story for the first time. Possibly I’ve not paid as much attention to that part of the story when watching adaptations? Continue reading
Try as I might, I find it hard to stay away from this series for long. It’s especially difficult not to move on to A Dance with Dragons after A Feast for Crows because many questions have been left unanswered! (NOTE: If you have not finished A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm if Swords Part 1: Steel and Snow or A Storm of Swords Part 2: Blood and Gold you will find some spoilers in this post). Continue reading
This is the tenth book I read for the Pay It Sideways Challenge. I was hesitant to read The Weird Sisters, but this review at Reading with Tea persuaded me to give it a go.
Ever since I studied it at school, Macbeth has been the only Shakespeare play that I’ve felt I can get on with, (not that I’ve given his others much of a chance) and the three weird sisters were immediately my favourite characters. That’s why I was slightly reluctant to read this book, I didn’t want my idea of them to be turned into something sappy. Continue reading