Monthly Archives: August 2017

H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker

Nicola Barker is never predictable, or, wait a minute, that’s not quite true. Nicola Barker is predictable in her unpredictability, the unusualness of her work, the sheer blinding extraordinariness of it. You never really know what to expect. Consequently there … Continue reading

Posted in fiction | 6 Comments

Books I Ought to Read No.5: Old Goriot by Honoré de Balzac

I have, for the longest time, been intending to get around to reading Old Goriot, but as usual never quite got around to it. It seems I am not alone. When I took my secondhand copy, an old Caxton Edition … Continue reading

Posted in Books I Ought to Read, Classics, fiction | 6 Comments

Reflections on my slow reading experiment

We’re nearly two-thirds of the way through the year and it feels like a good time to take a step back and reflect on how my experiment with slower reading is going. When I set out on this enterprise at … Continue reading

Posted in personal reflection | 7 Comments

The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich (translated by Pevear & Volokhonsky) #WITMonth

  “There can’t be one heart for hatred and another for love.” A while ago I read Svetlana Alexievich’s extraordinary Chernobyl Prayer, her account – by collating lots of witness accounts – of the Chernobyl incident, the meltdown and the … Continue reading

Posted in #WITMonth, history, non-fiction, translation, war | 11 Comments

The Murder of Halland by Pia Juul (translated by Martin Aitken) #WITMonth

I’ve been reading a fairly heavy-going book, something that can only be read in short bursts however attentive or determined a reader I might be, and whilst I have been avoiding simultaneous readings whilst I have been trying to focus … Continue reading

Posted in #WITMonth, fiction, quick reads, translation | 4 Comments

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I’ve been thinking about and reading a lot about ‘minimalism’ recently, the idea of minimising your possessions and living more intentionally. I watched a documentary about the movement a while ago, right at the beginning of my reading fewer books … Continue reading

Posted in non-fiction, self-help | 4 Comments