Category Archives: Art

The Ideal Reader Book 5: The Three-cornered World by Natsume Soseki (translated by Alan Turney)

“I wonder how it would be if, while I am on this short journey, I were to regard events as though they were part of the action of a Noh play, and the people I meet merely as if they … Continue reading

Posted in Art, fiction, Japanese, The Ideal Reader | 11 Comments

Known and Strange Things by Teju Cole

There are moments in reading which elevate the experience beyond mere enjoyment to something more. I find in such moments a suspension, a feeling as though I am levitating above a great, vast plain of possibility and I know that … Continue reading

Posted in Art, essays, politics, travel, writers | 2 Comments

The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt

I remember when The Blazing World was longlisted for the MAN Booker Prize and I wanted to read it then, I think I even borrowed it from the library and then didn’t read it which, in my endless questing for … Continue reading

Posted in Art, fiction, gender, Siri Hustvedt | 2 Comments

Books I Ought to Read No. 4: The Awakening by Kate Chopin

“One of these days,” she said, “I’m going to pull myself together for a while and think – try to determine what character of a woman I am; for candidly, I don’t know. By all those codes which I am … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Books I Ought to Read, Classics, fiction | 10 Comments

The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura

First published in 1906, The Book of Tea is a neat little book about the art of the Japanese tea ceremony, as well as the history and philosophies that have shaped it. The tea ceremony is a fascinating aspect of … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Classics, comfort books, non-fiction, Penguin Books | 11 Comments

Autumn by Ali Smith

“’I’m tired of the news. I’m tired of the way it makes things spectacular that aren’t, and deals so simplistically with what’s truly appalling. I’m tired of the vitriol. I’m tired of the anger. I’m tired of the meanness. I’m … Continue reading

Posted in Art, fiction, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Living, Thinking, Looking by Siri Hustvedt

You might be thinking that I’m a little bit obsessed with Siri Hustvedt by now, and you would probably be right. This is how I like to roll with my reading. I read a book and then it reminds me … Continue reading

Posted in Art, essays, health, medicine, neurology, non-fiction, psychology, Siri Hustvedt | 4 Comments

White Sands Experiences from the Outside World by Geoff Dyer

I’m a sucker for a nice looking cover and a bit of canny marketing from Canongate books. Which is how I ended up with this very nice looking book by Geoff Dyer. I’ve never read Geoff Dyer before, I’m sure … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Canongate, essays, memoir, non-fiction, travel | Leave a comment

Tove Jansson Work and Love by Tuula Karjalainen (translated by David McDuff)

You may have gathered by now that I have more than a healthy level of respect for the wonderful Tove Jansson. A recent BBC documentary, coupled with a re-reading of Fair Play and a convenient week’s holiday during which I … Continue reading

Posted in Art, biography, non-fiction, translation | 10 Comments

Fair Play by Tove Jansson

The BBC is currently running a series of documentaries about children’s writers, and there was an episode about Tove Jansson, author of the Moomintrolls. It is a beautiful thing, and if you can I really recommend that you watch it. … Continue reading

Posted in Art, fiction, memoir | 7 Comments