‘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…
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
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.
The Sea by John Banville – Book Recommendation
As a child, did you imagine you would be the person you have become? Do you believe memories, especially childhood memories, are like a collection of “polished tiles” that would “someday be the marvellously finished pavilion of the self?” How much of what we remember is true and when does memory give way to fantasy? John Banville explores the unstable qualities of memory and grief in The Sea , a novel awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2005. When we look back at our memories we are confronted with uncertainty, blurred details, figments of imagination, unreliable emotions and doubtful truths about the very events that shape us as adults.
Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood – Book Recommendation
Humans strive for perfection and optimisation. Better skin, better bodies. More efficient cars, more efficient farming. But how far is too far... When dangerous crossbreeds escape labs? When chicken meat is grown without chickens? This is just the tip of the iceberg when Atwood explores these uncomfortable questions in Oryx & Crake .
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – Book Recommendation
Wilde’s only novel is a complex labyrinth about art, corruption, morality, sin, and society’s idolatry of the sensual world. The young and beautiful Dorian Gray, like Narcissus, falls in love with the power of his own beauty after seeing a portrait of himself. He uses his supernatural charm and influence over people to live life to the fullest: he denies himself no earthly pleasures, regardless of the cost to himself and others. Like Dorian, we love a good filter on reality. Read why Wilde's novel still resonates with us today.