Books. And Stuff.
Author Events….. The Film of the Book………….
Stephen Hawking. Versus My Mum. To See Who Has....
The Theory Of Everything
Bookish things on the horizon for the dog and I……..
……..Well for me anyway… the dog’s horizon is more about bones from the butcher and sticks!
SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO – PART ONE!
One advantage of living and working in London is there is always so much going on. Towards the end of January I’ll be at Waterstones in Gower Street to listen to Mohsin Hamed talking about his most recent novel Exit West. It was one of the best books I read in 2017 and comes on the back of absolutely loving The Reluctant Fundamentalist so am looking forward to hearing what he’s got to say about the novel and those wonderful ‘doors’ that are asuch an integral part of it!
SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO – PART TWO…..
One of the best books I read last year was ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman’. So much so, I made it my choice of the novel for our book club at work. Now I’ve found out that Gail Honeyman will be one of the authors appearing at the 2018 Essex Book Festival. I don’t yet know where exactly in Essex she’ll be appearing but if there’s any chance of getting there, I don’t intend to miss this!
SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO – PART THREE
I’m a bit of a latecomer to the novels of Julian Barnes, but I loved Sense of an Ending when I read it a couple of years back. Now, to promote his new novel ‘The Only Story’, Julian Barnes will be in conversation with Professor Hermione Lee at the Royal Institution in Albemarle Street towards the end of February.
SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO – PART FOUR
A somewhat unexpected pleasure a few years ago was the novel ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows. And later this year, it will be on general release at the cinema. The reports I’ve read so far make a big thing of the number of actors from Downton Abbey who are in the film – but as I’ve never watched Downton that doesn’t mean much to me! But I did enjoy the book so will definitely make a trip to the cinema to see this when it is released at the start of April this year.
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!