“I wish I had a more reliable way of figuring out how to write. It’s all just intuition and waking dreams.” – Robbie Arnott
Posts tagged "reading"
“With affection, wondrous sensible” – a life of reading Shakespeare

“With affection, wondrous sensible” – a life of reading Shakespeare

For Leonard Barkan, even the littlest things can mean the world. It is not size, but substance that truly matters. Readers of his (many, and “wondrous sensible”) books should take good note of this, and never skim, skip, or, worse even, skivvy, over his words or pages, for nothing in them is a mere “mouthful...
from Mother, Nature

from Mother, Nature

Aoife Lyall’s debut collection Mother, Nature explores the tragic and tender experiences of pregnancy and early motherhood, from antenatal complications and the devastating pain of miscarriage to the overwhelming joy of healthy delivery and healthy infancy. “Nothing prepares you for the loss of a child,” she writes in her prefatory note. “I turned to what...
Cathy Rentzenbrink: Book whisperer

Cathy Rentzenbrink: Book whisperer

“When I make a friend I wonder what sits on their bookshelves,” writes Cathy Rentzenbrink, ex-bookseller, bestselling author and amiable bookworm. I smile as I read this. Yes, me too. These last few months of lockdown, forcing so many of us to work from home and Zoom with colleagues, has brought that to the forefront....
Petina Gappah: Follow the body

Petina Gappah: Follow the body

When British explorer David Livingstone died in 1873 in a small village in present-day Zambia, he was accompanied by an entourage of around seventy African guides, porters and helpers, who came to the remarkable decision to carry his remains over 1,500 miles to the coast at Bagamoyo to be transported home for burial. In Out...
Nile madness

Nile madness

Petina Gappah reads a chapter from the first part of Out of Darkness, Shining Light, narrated by David Livingstone’s cook Halima. In the wake of the famous meeting with American journalist and explorer Henry Morton Stanley, Livingstone and his companions prepare to press on with the hunt for the source of the Nile – despite...
Reading art

Reading art

David Trigg’s Reading Art: Art for Book Lovers is an enchanting compendium of artworks that celebrate books and reading through 2,000 years of art history. Featuring almost 300 artworks from museums and collections around the world, it is an inspiring homage to the written word. A stunning survey of painting and sculpture, photography and installations,...
Daydream believer

Daydream believer

Salley Vickers’ latest novel The Librarian is the story of Sylvia Blackwell, a woman in her twenties in the 1950s who moves to the quaint Wiltshire market town of East Mole to work in a library. When she falls in love with an older man, her interactions with his precocious daughter and her neighbours’ son...
Why read a book (let alone write one)?

Why read a book (let alone write one)?

There is a YouTube clip called Medieval Helpdesk, in which a monk is showing another monk how to read a book. It reminds us that every innovation is a new technology at first. The video underlines for me the specificity of the technology of words grouped together and between covers. It’s about the words themselves...
Reading and righting

Reading and righting

Ben Ambridge’s Psy-Q is a mind-bending miscellany of psychometric puzzles, quizzes, jokes and visual illusions that help us to understand and appreciate the workings – and occasional failings – of the human brain. Topics include whether eye colour denotes trustworthiness, if Rorschach’s famous inkblot tests really work, what your musical preferences say about you, how psychology...