Books. And Stuff.
Films of Books. Author Events.
Because ‘The Book Is Always Better!’
Stephen Hawking. Versus My Mum. To See Who Has....
The Theory Of Everything
Bookish things on Inside A Dog’s horizon……..
……..Who am I kidding – the dog isn’t interested in any of these unless they give out dog treats!
SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO – PART ONE!
One advantage of living and working in London is there is always so much going on. At the beginning of October, I’m off to the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster to listen to Salman Rushdie talking about his life in writing. Obviously timed to coincide with the recent publication of his latest novel, Golden House, it’s a chance for me to see and hear one of my favourite writers – in any top ten list I think I’d have both Midnight’s Children and The Moor’s Last Sigh – so this is a bit of a dream come true!
SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO – PART TWO…..
One of the best books I read over the summer was Ali Smith’s Autumn, which is of course still in there with a shout for the Booker Prize. But on the horizon at the beginning of November is her next novel, Winter, which will be the second novel in what’s to be a seasonal quartet. While there’s a little blurb in advance here on the Penguin site, it’s not giving much away yet – so a case of wait and see!
SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO – PART THREE
At the beginning of next month I’ll get the chance to listen to Edward St Aubyn discuss his new novel Dunbar, when he appears at a Guardian Live event in Islington. On the back of recommendations from others I’ve not that long finished his Patrick Melrose novels – and I loved them. So if Dunbar is half as good…….!
SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO – PART FOUR
A very rare thing happened recently – my beloved home nation actually WON two international football matches in a row. Scotland doing two great things one after another in football is virtually unheard of!!But what we lack at times in footballing ability we more than make up for in the talent of our Scottish authors – so not only will I have that new Ali Smith novel to look forward to in November, but published on the same day will be the new book from William Boyd, a short story collection titled ‘The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth’ – apparently centred around a year-long voyage of self-discovery for the aforementioned Bethany….. so Ali Smith AND William Boyd – all we need now are more Scottish football victories and life will be complete!
In September 2015, I went to a Guardian Live event to see Orhan Pamuk In Conversation With Mark Lawson – if you’re interested here’s a selection of what the Great Man had to say!
A Strangeness In My Mind
An Idea Whose Time Has Come
‘All The Forces In The World Are Not So Powerful As An Idea Whose Time Has Come!’ Victor Hugo
From The Outset...
Three Little Things To Get Off My Chest On This Film
Is Russel Crowe Any Good?
I thought he was great. His singing isn’t the best but he does a sort of Maximus the Gladiator in a French Revolutionary Frock Coat – and it works!
Is It Better Than The Musical?
I think it actually was in some ways. While it lacks the atmosphere of the theatre and that ‘live’ feel the ability to use close up in particular made some of the scenes more atmospheric and emotional – I admit that when Eponine died I wept bucket loads!
Is It Better Than The Book?
It’s a long film but it would need to run for days to do justice to the sweep of the book. So on this one the book wins – but the film is so good it made me want to re-read the book!
A Weekend At……
………………………..The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2016
WHY IS SEBASTIAN FAULKS SO SAD?
I had a few things on my list but at the top was going to see Sebastian Faulks in the Times Forum Arena at the festival. He’s long been a favourite author of mine – and even though I’ve read stuff in the press suggesting his time has come and gone and he’s on the slide…..I thought his most recent book ‘Where My Heart Used To Beat” was great – so a weekend at the festival coinciding with a Sebastian Faulks sessions was too good a chance to miss!
MARY’S ROMAN PRAYER….
Not much further down my list was the chance to go see Professor Mary Beard, talking about her fabulous book ‘SPQR’ and generally about what a fascinating lot those Ancient Romans were……..and she did not disappoint. As well as a fascinating mix of her thoughts on Ancient Rome and its relevance and significance to this day it was interspersed with those gems which she’s made her own – at this one she labelled a succession of Roman Emperors as ‘a long line of shaggers!!!!!”
POLITICS, STRONG WOMEN AND OFF SHORE TRAWLING FROM HULL
Much of the festival was good but largely living up to expectations. But a Sunday afternoon chat by Alan Johnson MP exceeded expecations and then some! I went in part because I’ve actually passed him at Victoria Station quite a few times and he’s always seemed to me to be one of the genuine politicians of our hero – geneuine in the sense that I think he’s one of those who’s not in it for himself and hasn’t got his nose in the proverbial trough. So interest piqued I went to see him – and he was a revaluation. Engaging, clever and erudite……and very very funny!