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

Borrowed fire at sea: Mark Twain and Arthur Ransome

Missee Lee (1941) is an adventure novel in Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series, one of the two novels in the series whose extraordinary places and events really could not have happened. I don’t know how the Arthur Ransome Society would feel about this theory, but I’ve always held that Missee Lee, like Peter Duck (1932), … Continue reading Borrowed fire at sea: Mark Twain and Arthur Ransome