Jan Morris is one of the most familiar names in British travel writing, so I was surprised to find a new work by her that I did not know, Last Letters from Hav. The New York Review Books Original edition - Hav - has a stupendous cover image that relates to the sequel, Hav of … Continue reading Jan Morris, Hav
I read this in a Dial Press edition of the Virago reprint, with Nicola Beauman's sound introduction from 1981. It is the most satisfying English society novel I've read in a long time, yet is also flawed in its last third with too much exposition, as if Kennedy (this was her first novel) did not … Continue reading Margaret Kennedy, The Ladies of Lyndon
Poised as I was to fly to Scotland for a pre-Christmas visit, this was an excellent guidebook to dip into. Sara Sheridan decided that a new guide to Scotland was needed, that included all the women who have not been celebrated as they should have been. She was inspired by Rebecca Solnit's map of the … Continue reading Where are The Women? A Guide to an Imagined Scotland
If the sign of a good book is that, while partway through it, you buy your own copy and take the library copy back, wondering whether to slide a post-it note inside urging the next borrower to do the same; and that you are mentally raking through the names of friends and family who would … Continue reading Alice Jolly: Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile
The subtitle of this impressively large group biography makes a big claim: 'How Dorothy L Sayers and her Oxford Circle remade the world for women'. The publishers have latched onto the most obviously marketable aspect of the book - the selling power of Dorothy L Sayers' name and life - and thus skewed the reader's … Continue reading Mo Moulton, Mutual Admiration Society
These two books about European natural processes are curiously connected, though I had no suspicion of this when I bought them. I was obviously in the mood for a sustained period of browsing on ancient species ecology and the prospects for reversing the mass extinctions caused by people. Looking for hope in the face of … Continue reading Isabella Tree’s Wilding and Tim Flannery’s Europe
Another in my popular series of mini reviews in which I grumble about books on a scale from furious bitterness to indifference. You can read more of these, and find links to others, here. Today I clear out the books on the meh end. Susan Schwartz, Byzantium's Crown I enjoyed the premise for this fantasy … Continue reading To the recycling!