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.
That night, I delved into Middle Earth and never looked back! I have read The Hobbit a number of times since and loved it just as much every time. It’s been a few years since I’ve read Bilbo’s tale though, and recently, in a bit of a book slump, I suddenly felt an urge to pick it up again. 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.
The Casual Vacancy is a bit like a boring soap opera that is trying to be edgy. The book follows the lives of several residents of the small town of Pagford, with the central plot being the recent death of Barry Fairbrother and the space on the local parish council that has opened up because of it. I’m not interested in small town politics at the best of times, but add petty gossip into the mix and I can be quite put off. Continue reading