Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris

Me Talk Pretty

It was the Meet David Sedaris programme on Radio 4 that first brought this funny man to my attention. I like to listen to it when I’m cooking and often annoy my boyfriend with my constant laughing.

David Sedaris on the radio is hilarious. It’s not just what he says, it’s how he says it. He pauses in the right places and emphasises words to create maximum hilarity. His delivery is flawless.

Reading Me Talk Pretty One Day was a completely different experience to listening to Sedaris. He’s still humorous, but I’m sure it helps that in my mind I can imagine him speaking his essays word for word. His distinct, girlish voice is the perfect way to imagine his observations.  Continue reading

Moondial – Helen Cresswell

Moondial

I loved Helen Cresswell’s writing when I was younger. She writes in a non-patronising, matter-of-fact way and understands what children want. Her thrilling stories are so full of suspense and her characters are so refreshingly realistic. The protagonist in the Moondial is no exception.

Minty is staying with her aunt Mary for the summer. While she is there, her mother is in an accident, leaving her in intensive care. Minty struggles to come to terms with her mother’s condition and buries herself in the mysteries of the haunted Belton House opposite her aunt’s cottage.

The setting is based on the real Belton House in Lincolnshire. Minty, who has always had a sixth sense for ghosts, immediately begins to feel the prickle of something mysterious in the air surrounding the house. This feeling is especially apparent in the gardens, where she finds a sundial.  Continue reading

Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin

Tales of the City

My mum has been telling me for years to read Tales of the City. When I finally got round to it last year, I loved it just as much as she had promised!

The ‘city’ in Maupin’s tales is San Francisco, where we dip into the lives of a number of characters, starting with the naive Mary Ann Singleton. Her eight day holiday turns into her new life when she quits her job in Cleveland and finds herself an apartment at 28 Barbary Lane. It sounds like a dream come true, but as is often the case, this new and exciting life in the vibrant city is not all it’s cracked up to be.

The book was originally serialised for a local newspaper, so the short ‘chapters’ are often only a couple of pages or less. It’s extremely readable – you can read it in small chunks little and often or, like me, accidentally race through it without realising!

Continue reading

Top 5 Feisty Females in Literature

It’s International Women’s Day! And to celebrate, I would like to share some of literature’s feistiest women. I love reading books with a strong female character, even if not all of them are that likeable. My five choices are varied – some are brave and adventurous, others materialistic and selfish, but they are all feisty and great fun to read!

Vanity-Fair Continue reading

Limbo Lodge – Joan Aiken

Limbo Lodge

Once again Dido Twite’s journey back to her beloved England has been delayed (you must be wondering whether she will ever make it home!). This time it’s because of an order from the King to find Lord Herodsfoot, who is travelling the world in search of new and interesting games. He is much needed back home to help cure the King of a mysterious illness.

So we begin the book with poor Dido preparing for yet another adventure. Although not quite as creepy as The Stolen Lake, the setting of this book is also full of strangeness and magic. Dido learns which creatures to avoid, but the deadly pearl-snakes and killer sting-monkeys turn out to be the least of her worries in Aratu.  Continue reading

Slightly Foxed: The Real Reader’s Quarterly

Almost exactly two years ago, I quit a job that I hated and had the very good fortune to fall directly into a work experience position at Slightly Foxed. I wrote about it at the time, but for some reason never published the post! Seeing as it’s their tenth anniversary this year, I thought I’d finally share my experience…

In the last two weeks of February (2012) my reading habits changed drastically. This is because, instead of reading The Tiger’s Wife, I spent all of my reading time devouring as many back issues of Slightly Foxed: The Real Reader’s Quarterly as I possibly could.

Continue reading