20th Century & Contemporary BritLit

Literature Music Reviews

May 2021 Reading Recap

Still a lot of work on the back end of the blog, including on my “featured authors” pages (see the right column on the main Literature page and the introduction of my April 2021 recap post).  So, contrary to plans, still no new posts in my alphabet blogging series in May.  However, the time-consuming back end […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Daphne Du Maurier: My Cousin Rachel

Oh, I wanted to like this so much better than I ultimately did; for its glorious Cornish and Italian (Florence) settings alone, as well as for the fact that Du Maurier (as she herself insisted) apparently identified so much with this novel’s first person narrator, Philip Ashley, that at times she almost felt like she […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Arthur Conan Doyle: Sir Nigel

I didn’t quite want to limit my “birthday boy” look at Arthur Conan Doyle’s work to the predictable Sherlock Holmes binge, so I decided to take a look at one of his historical novels in addition.  Well, I suppose I have to hand it to Sir Arthur for mastering, with panache, genres as diverse as […]

Read More
Cats Literature Reviews

April 2021 Reading Recap

First things first: The persistent bug preventing followers / readers to comment on my posts straight off the post (i.e., other than by using the WP Reader) has finally been weeded out, thanks to my hosting service’s IT team … so you can, at last, comment even if you’re not using the WP Reader.  (I […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Georgette Heyer: The Grand Sophy & Sylvester

I am, so far, not overly convinced that Georgette Heyer’s historical romances are for me: Not only as a general matter (I am not a major romance reader to begin with), but more specifically, because this is essentially Austen fanfic … and as with all fanfic and pastiches, give me the original rather than the […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Ngaio Marsh: The New Zealand Books, plus Grave Mistake

The first book by Ngaio Marsh that I ever read happened to be her very last one, Light Thickens, which is as much concerned with a production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth as it is with the murder of one of the cast members.  To a mystery fan without any Shakespearean inclinations, this might have proved fatal, […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Terry Pratchett: Eric & Moving Pictures (and a Reprise of the 2019 Good Omens Screen Adaptation)

In the good old BookLikes days (when they really still were good days), we used to have a Discworld group and associated book club, which had committed to reading the entire series in publication order, by way of bimonthly reads.  We had gotten as far as Guards! Guards! by the time the site went down […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

John Mortimer: Murderers and Other Friends

This book is the second part of Mortimer’s autobiography — or rather, his chapter-long essays on life, society, politics, the theatre and movie industry (with guest appearances by Gielgud, Olivier, Niven, Harrison, Guinness, and plenty of other luminaries), the law, justice (not the same thing at all), family, friendship, education, travel, and a whole host […]

Read More
Lifestyle Literature Movies Music Reviews

February and March 2021: Reading Recap

Well, go figure.  The first quarter of 2021 is already behind us, never mind that I’m still having to remind myself on occasion to write “2021” instead of “2020” … (and we’re even a week into April already, but let that go). Anyway, since I never got around to doing a “February in review” post, […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Zadie Smith: Feel Free

I’ve had several books by Zadie Smith sitting on my TBR for a minor eternity; oddly, when the moment came to finally pick one of them, I didn’t select one of her novels but this collection of essays — which didn’t turn out to be a bad choice, however, as the essays included here did […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Olivia Manning: The Spoilt City

The second volume of Manning’s Balkan Trilogy, which in turn forms the first part of her Fortunes of War story arch (whose second part, equally consisting of three installments, is known as the Levant Trilogy).  The hexalogy is based on Manning’s own World War II expat experience; it was adapted for the small screen in […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Patrick Leigh Fermor: The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos

The third and final part of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s narrative of his three-year trek on foot, begun more or less spontaneously at the tender age of eighteen, from the Hoek of Holland to Constantinople.  Unlike the first two parts (A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water), which cover his wanderings in […]

Read More
Literature Movies Reviews

Graham Greene: The Third Man (and The Fallen Idol)

If you’re coming to this book from having watched the movie starring Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli and Trevor Howard (as you arguably should — Greene wrote the novella as a preliminary exercise for the screenplay), probably the first thing that is going to stand out to you is the changed perspective:  Whereas the […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Shaun Bythell: Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops

Shaun Bythell: Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops This was actually a holdover from February — I had already started the book once but stopped reading after chapter 1, teetering on the verge of a DNF, before ultimately deciding “just finish it; it’s short, what the heck” one Sunday morning in early March […]

Read More
Linked Items Literature Reblogs

LitHub: 50 Very Bad Book Covers for Literary Classics

Source: lithub.com/50-very-bad-book-covers-for-literary-classics/ When a book passes into the public domain, it means not only that it’s available for adapting and remixing, but for reprinting and reselling with a brand new cover. Some of these covers are … pretty bad. Which, obviously, makes them very fun to look at. [Continue] ________________________________________ Here are some of my personal favorites from the […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: The Lie

This play, even to longstanding fans of Agatha Christie, must necessarily come as at least as great a surprise as to writer and director Julius Green, who discovered it in 2018 (apparently, along with a number of other plays — though at least those listed HERE were in fact already known and available in print […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

January 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

I only finished eleven books in January, which isn’t a lot by my standards as of the last couple of years, even taking into account that two of the books were decidedly on the long side (all the more as I balanced out the two long books by two extremely short ones).  But I decided […]

Read More
Blog Literature

2020 in Facts and Figures

I already posted my main 2020 in Review and Looking Ahead to 2021 posts a while ago — only on my new blog (separate post to come) –, but I held back on my 2020 reading statistics until the year was well and truly over.  And for all my good intentions when posting my mid-year […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

Terry Pratchett: Hogfather (Annual Holiday Read)

24 Festive Tasks: Door 24 – Hogswatch, Book: Read any Terry Pratchett book or a book with a pig on the cover. So, I listened to Hogfather today … and that’s my Festive Task reads done and dusted! (I may do another couple of non-book tasks tomorrow, though.)     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Other Hogfather-related Posts: 16 […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

Festivus Scale of Strength: Weighty Books

  24 Festive Tasks: Door 20 – Festivus, Task 2: The Scale of Strength: Pick 3 of your weightiest tomes and place them on a scale.  Tell us the total weight. I used Shakespeare’s Complete Works, my copy of the illustrated guide to Houses of the National Trust, and Eye to Eye, a collection of […]

Read More