What a wickedly delightful novel. Who’d have expected it from a book about the devil? Dougal Douglas, a Scot claiming to be one of the devil’s minions, shows up one day in the village of Peckham Rye. Insinuating himself into a carefully balanced society, he quickly but stealthily begins pulling strings… Read More The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark
2018 marks not just the 100th anniversary of Scottish writer Muriel Spark’s birth, but also the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s science fiction classic Frankenstein. Time flies, friends. Spark admired Mary Shelley. Extra exciting for me, her biography of the English novelist is where both my Muriel Spark project and participation… Read More Frankenstein 200: Muriel Spark on Mary Shelley
I’ve just finished Spark’s second novel, Robinson. Still reeling. I want everyone who picks up this book for the first time to be as shocked and riveted as I was; so much depends on not knowing the next twist. Brilliant as her first novel was, she blows away all competition with her second. Anyone else writing… Read More Robinson by Muriel Spark
Starting out 2018 with fantastic reads, coming into my year of Muriel Spark with gusto. Having finished her first novel, The Comforters, I see great joy lies ahead – not that I doubted that one second. Muriel Spark was brilliant. I don’t just say that because she was Scottish, native to my beloved Edinburgh.… Read More The Comforters by Muriel Spark
David Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones, is embarking on a project to read his father’s top 100 favorite books. Kicking off on Twitter February 1, the first discussion will be on Peter Ackroyd’s novel Hawksmoor. I’m not sure exactly how he plans to carry it out, if he’ll just be tweeting out thoughts… Read More Reading David Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books: A Son’s Tribute
Hardcover: 256 pages Publisher: Harpercollins; 1St Edition edition (1999) Language: English ISBN-10: 0002570068 How long have I had this on my TBR list? Can’t say for certain, but through at least a decade, and ownership of two physical copies of the book; I own so many books I couldn’t find the blasted thing when… Read More The Lighthouse Stevensons by Bella Bathurst
I don’t know if there’s a better assertion of my rediscovered reading freedom than returning to the Victorians. I’ve had this book in my collection at least a decade, a volume I picked up at the now-defunct annual book sale sponsored by Brandeis University. Tens of thousands of books, such an unfathomable number you owed… Read More Not afraid of Virginia Woolf. Or the Brontes.
Never mind a few years ago I thought making any plans beyond the end of the week was silly and misguided. That was before I hit 40 and was slapped in the face with the spectre of my own mortality. An unpleasant experience that was, in more ways than one. First off, ever been slapped… Read More Benefits of planning one’s reading
Alrighty! Here we go. Two books by Canadian authors read over the course of the last month or so, and I'm here to talk briefly about them. These aren't proper "reviews," but rather thoughts on the two books as I explore the literature of Canada. I've previously read at least one book by… Read More Canadian Book Challenge – August report
1). Miriam Toewes – A Complicated Kindness (Governor General's Award for Fiction – 2004) 2). John Bemrose – The Island Walkers (2003) 3). Giles Blunt – Forty Words for Sorrow (2000) 4). Robertson Davies -? 5). Penguin History of Canada, OR Desmond Morton – A Short History of Canada 6). Susanna Moodie –… Read More Tentative Canadian reading list.