Above Sugar Hill

0992765528.01._sx142_sy224_sclzzzzzzz_

Read 17/02/2019-19/02/2019

Rating 4 stars

Above Sugar Hill is a collection of short stories by Linda Mannheim, set in the Washington Heights area of Upper Manhattan. I picked it up from the Influx Press stall at the Manchester Indie Book Fair at the start of the month because I have a good friend who used to live near Sugar Hill, in Hamilton Heights, and I visited her twice when she lived on St Nicholas Ave. Continue reading

Advertisements

Towards Mellbreak

b01gh07d8i.01._sx142_sy224_sclzzzzzzz_

Read 13/02/2019-16/02/2019

Rating 4 stars

Towards Mellbreak is Marie-Elsa Bragg’s first novel. It’s set in a part of the Lake District that we love to visit, by Crummock Water and Buttermere.

IMG_20171105_161811783_HDR
Crummock Water November 2017
IMG_20180324_154844006
Buttermere March 2018

Continue reading

Black Tudors: The untold story

178607396x.01._sx142_sy224_sclzzzzzzz_

Read 25/01/2019-03/02/2019

Rating 3 stars

Miranda Kaufmann’s re-examination of Tudor society in relation to the place black people occupied in it is described on the cover, in a quote from David Olusoga, as cutting edge as well as accessible and human.

I didn’t get off to a great start with it. It certainly had an edge to it that threatened to cut my willingness to engage with it, as well as an aspect of accessibility that grated. I considered abandoning it after the first chapter and again 60 pages from the end, when it sent me to sleep three times in as many paragraphs. I did finish it, but not soon enough. Continue reading

BRIT(ish)

1911214284.01._sx142_sy224_sclzzzzzzz_

Read 17/01/2019-26/01/2019

Rating 4 stars

In BRIT(ish), Afua Hirsch has written a sort of memoir, sort of political appraisal, sort of social history of race and racism in the UK. There’s a bit of travelog in there as well. I struggled to get to grips with it at first, finding it a little piecemeal in its approach, jumping from personal experience peppered with historical context to historiography peppered with personal experience to journalistic investigation of specific aspects of racism in Britain. Each piece had its merits, but for me they didn’t always hang together as a whole. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. It’s articulate, it draws out different strands of the issue, there were lots of things that I learnt from reading it. Hirsch clearly has something she wants to say, and has struggled to understand her own existence, and there is value in what she extracts and shares from that personal struggle. Continue reading