Tag: books

The Weekly Report

The Weekly Report

Watching New season Archer, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion and EDL Girls, which opened my eyes to a whole range of arguments I couldn’t quite believe existed. 

Listening to The new Correspondents album – it’s the first time in ages that I’ve actually bought an album. It made me realise that whilst I wanted to buy the real life copy, I don’t even have a CD player any more. A Saturday night out that consists of getting down to Kanye (this is today’s dance in the kitchen tune too), wailing Bittersweet Symphony, screaming out Wonderwall and holding hands to One More Time is pretty good for the soul.

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Reading Cookbooks, everything I can find about the Crimea, Choose Yourself and I’ve started The Men Who Stare at Goats for work book club. It was also Observer Food Monthly so everything is great.

Writing This week I added whole pages to my novel and my journal. It was great.

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Eating Tacos, noodles, curry and pecan pie from the Farmers Market, a homemade Chinese feast, 2 o’clock breakfast at Leaf, bagels at Home and a little roast.

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Lusting after Space prints, bread, cream and foliage.

Talking about How weird it is that I can go for lunch with ‘uni friends’, and no longer be at university; applying to university and personal statements; whether a CV means a thing; transatlantic relationships; Amsterdam; The Defining Decade; where we’ll be in a year or five or ten; plants; the merits of a good jacket; what to wear to a wedding; finding time for all the projects; productivity; Kenya; surprising girlfriends; and dream dates.

The weekly report

The weekly report

Watching Hardly anything. Somehow last week I just wasn’t particularly bothered by tv or films.

Listening to Lots and lots of Radio 4. It’s about time you knew that I’m an Archers addict, and discovering I could get the podcast on my phone means my morning walk into work is now spent trying not to laugh and gasp on the street. It also means I can listen to audiobooks and The News Quiz, which make me very happy. For musical sustenance, some Levellers, a little bit of Disclosure and a lot of Mac

Reading I’m back to reading The Secret History and over the weekend I started What we talk about when we talk about love, which I picked up on a whim after meaning to read it forever. It’s just perfection. I love the distilled nature of short stories (and if you have recommendations I’d love to hear them!). In the same bookshop I opened a poetry anthology onto one of my favourite poems; one of life’s lovely coincidences.

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Eating  Tart and lots of salads, an incredible soup and tartine at Le Pain Quotidien, chocolate coated peanuts and some Monday blues blasting fajitas.

Lusting after Old glass bottles and my own garden (or at the very least a window box).

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Talking about Books, University, if it’s really PhD time, pizza – “now I like pizza as much as the next teenager”, Palestine, the UN, poor Leo, how nobody tells me anything and Lent. As usual, I want to take up something for Lent – 40 days is enough to form a habit and really change things. Last year I took up daily yoga and not only has it stuck with me but it really changed my health and routine for the better. This year I’m going to do a couple of things – first, write every day in some form (whether that’s in my journal, blogging, adding to my novel or working on a biography). I probably do this most days anyway, but I want to commit to it being a part of my routine in a new way. Second, I’m going to do a little bit of my Feminist Politics course every day. I’ve fallen a little bit behind and I want to get back into the habit of learning, even if it’s 10 minutes reading before bed or watching a lecture when I might normally be watching Netflix. I’m probably going to give up chocolate and Lucozade too, because my sugar addiction is something else. March is definitely for challenging myself. 

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Book review: The Oscar Wilde Mysteries

Book review: The Oscar Wilde Mysteries

Oscar Wilde is one of the most celebrated literary figures of the 19th century and, in this series by the well-known Giles Brandreth, he takes on the role of detective.

Brandreth takes us to the London Wilde knew, complete with members’ clubs, secret societies and the other literary doyens of the day; Arthur Conan Doyle, Walter Sickert and Bram Stoker all feature. Narrated by Robert Sherard, grandson of Wordsworth and Wilde’s biographer, the books are quick to read and pull you along at quite a rate. Whilst Arthur Conan Doyle is one of the characters, his writing style is evident in Brandreth’s, with Wilde and Sherard forming a detective pairing similar to that of Holmes and Watson. Brandreth has clearly researched the books well, with real elements of Wilde’s life woven into the narrative alongside phrases that he is known to have written or said. This adds to a rich sense of Victorian London, alongside wonderful descriptions of travelling by carriage and long lunches with champagne.

Having read the first three books out of six, I would recommend these to anyone looking for a quick and lighthearted read with added literary merit. Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders focuses on the murder of a young boy, whilst Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death sees a dinner party game go wrong when those named begin to die in mysterious circumstances. Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man’s Smile is a little different, with the story taking place years before Oscar was married, using a manuscript written by Sherard as its framing device. Whilst this opening is a little less engrossing, the mystery itself is just as gripping. There does not seem to be a specific order to the books, and Brandreth’s website suggests reading whichever comes to hand first.

I will definitely look forward to reading the other three!

World Book Day

World Book Day

It’s World Book Day! With this in mind, I wanted to share a few of my favourite books, all of which have changed my life in some way.

I love so many books so it was hard to choose, but these are some that are stuck in my mind at the moment. The power of reading is something that never ceases to amaze me, and I’m grateful every day for the books I have the opportunity to read, especially when many in the world are not so lucky.

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

Orlando, Virginia Woolf

I haven’t included links to buy the books because I would strongly recommend that you support your local book shops, charity shops and libraries if you can.

Now I’m off to finish the day with some yoga and reading – currently What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami.