From merely annoying to utter tosh

After a long break, I express my annoyance at more books that should have been better. Part of the irregular Duds series (all links at the end). David Abulafia, The Boundless Sea Yes, it won the Wolfson History Prize. Yes, the author is a professional academic, a professor at the University of Cambridge, and a … Continue reading From merely annoying to utter tosh

Bryher (the writer, not the island)

Annie Winifred Ellerman (1894-1983) was a novelist, a literary patron, an heiress, and the devoted lover of the modernist poet Hilda Doolittle (H D). She took the name Bryher to disassociate herself from femininity, one asumes, borrowing the name from one of her favourite Scilly Isles. She married her close friend Kenneth Macpherson, who was … Continue reading Bryher (the writer, not the island)

Believe the hype

In which I agree with the universal acclaim for two hugely hyped books that show no signs of losing any popularity. Mary Beard, Women & Power Mary Beard is doing very nicely out of her television presenting work because (a) she’s being herself, unaffected and normal, and (b) she’s writing some well-received books about that … Continue reading Believe the hype

Three small duds

The latest in a series of unexpectedly popular posts in which I complain about books I haven’t enjoyed, and why. Links to earlier editions are at the end. Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger I’ve had a copy of Lively's Booker-winning Moon Tiger for ages, and had to steel myself to read it, with some reluctance. I don’t usually … Continue reading Three small duds

Ernest Hemingway’s Islands in the Stream

This Really Like This Book podcast scripts catch-up is about Ernest Hemingway's Islands in the Stream. He is a giant of American literature, and of masculine writing. He wrote men’s books about manly subjects: war, bullfighting, deep sea fishing. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. Islands in the Stream was published after his … Continue reading Ernest Hemingway’s Islands in the Stream