Author Archives: bookbii

About bookbii

I'm an ordinary woman living an ordinary life in an ordinary place, and it is quietly wonderful

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

“I celebrate myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” As I mentioned in my meditation on my library blog I want to approach my reading towards the end … Continue reading

Posted in poetry | 2 Comments

Meditating on my library

A while ago we converted what was a mostly disused dining room into a library. It was my husband’s idea. We took down our dining table and removed the clunky sideboard; my husband fitted some boxy shelving units from Ikea … Continue reading

Posted in personal reflection | 7 Comments

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