‘The Dragon on Og’ by Rumer Godden, Illustrated by Pauline Baynes Set in Scotland, this quirky tale is very much about a dragon and its mystery and magic, but even more so about Angus Og and his young wife, Matilda. Angus Og is as stubborn as an ox and as fierce as a dragon in … Continue reading Book Recommendation – The Dragon of Og by Rumer Godden
The (Audio) Books that Got Me Through Busy Days
I love to read and books have always been a very important part of my life. I read to learn new things; sometimes to gain new knowledge but more often to experience a new perspective. I feel like books are also a great way to go on adventures or to take a quick “brain-break” while … Continue reading The (Audio) Books that Got Me Through Busy Days
Reading Inspiration: My 2021 Reading List
It’s fun to look back at the books I’ve read (and listened to) during 2021. I think it’s a diverse list but two major themes are history and nature. No surprises there! I’m glad I read more poetry and I hope to keep it up in 2022. Jamaica Kincaid’s At the Bottom of the River … Continue reading Reading Inspiration: My 2021 Reading List
Sugar Money by Jane Harris – Book Review
Martinique. 1765. Emile and Lucien are given an impossible task. Their French master, Father Cleopas, needs more slaves to manage and work the new sugar plantations and rum distillery. His plan is anything but simple: the two brothers have to return discreetly to Grenada, the island they were born on but that's now under British rule. There they have to convince the slaves, who are now considered British property, to return with them in secret to Martinique to work for their former French masters. The task seems far-fetched and exceptionally dangerous to the older Emile. But Lucien, who is just entering his teen years, looks forward to reconnecting with his brother during what he feels can only be a heroic adventure. Despite their personal feelings and reservations, the brothers have no choice but to obey their master and set off to Grenada…
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke – Book Recommendation
I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get round to this one. I’m often late to the party and the fact that I only read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (JS&MN) by Susanna Clarke (2004) in 2021 is proof of this. Clarke's debut fantasy novel divides readers between those who loved it and … Continue reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke – Book Recommendation
The Hidden World of the Fox by Adele Brand – Book Review
I’ve been intrigued by foxes for many years, my interest and imagination kindled by the mysterious and often mystical representation of foxes in literature. But I wanted to become better acquainted with the animals themselves and Brand’s book, packed with her knowledge and research, was an accessible read. The Hidden World of the Fox briefly … Continue reading The Hidden World of the Fox by Adele Brand – Book Review
The Familiars by Stacey Halls – Book Review
A witch-hunt in Northern England in 1612 led to the accusation and imprisonment of twelve women. One of the women died in custody, ten were found guilty of witchcraft and hanged. Only one was acquitted. The Familiars explores some of the burning questions around this notorious piece of history: why would women willingly admit to witchcraft if the penalty was death? Considering the lack of evidence, and that the main informant was a child, why was only one woman, Alice Gray, found not guilty? The book is a well-researched work of fiction based on these historic events.
The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane – Book Review
Are there any wild places left in Ireland and Britain? In his book, The Wild Places, Robert Macfarlane embarks on a journey through mountains, islands, moors, forests, salt marshes, and more, searching for ‘wildness’. But Macfarlane must revaluate his own ideas and preconceptions about ‘wildness’ as he discovers and maps the so called ‘wild places’ on these islands in this well-researched book. His search takes him to a variety of landscapes, from the hostile pinnacle of Ben Hope to the fascinating Burren in Ireland. Each landscape is unique and layered as natural and human history entwine.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke – Book Review
Clarke creates a strange world and you have to orientate yourself in this labyrinth, but keep reading! Soon I was so intrigued by Piranesi, the House and its mysteries that I didn’t want to stop reading.
Comfort Reading in Uncertain Times – Why We Reread Some Stories Again and Again
I finished listening to the seventh and final Harry Potter audiobook today, written by J.K. Rowling and narrated by Stephen Fry. I hadn’t planned to listen to all seven audiobooks over the past months, but sometimes it's comforting to return to a book or series you love during uncertain or stressful times.