Lady Susan

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Read 26/10/2016-27/10/2016

Rating: 3 stars

For such a short novel, Austen packed a lot into Lady Susan. I saw this year’s film adaptation of it, Love & Friendship, so knew what the crux of the story was. Although I really liked the film, and thought Kate Beckinsale was great in the role of Lady Susan, I found the book different to the adaptation in a number of ways, and preferred the book. Continue reading

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Just Kids

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Read 11/10/2016-23/10/2016

Rating: 4 stars

I admire Patti Smith as an artist. I love her albums Horses and Easter, and her collaboration with REM on the song E-bow The Letter. I didn’t know much about her as a person, other than impressions from articles she’s written and interviews with her in the press. I had a picture of her as difficult. Reading this book has changed that picture. Continue reading

Written on the Body

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Read 06/10/2016-11/10/2016

Rating: 4 stars

I’ve never read a Jeanette Winterson novel before. I read her autobiography. I didn’t like her. I haven’t felt compelled to read any of her fiction, but a work colleague convinced me to give it a go. Written On The Body is on the 1001 Books list, so I thought why not?

I wish I hadn’t read Winterson’s autobiography. I don’t care who she is as a person, other than that it informs her fiction, her turn of phrase, the beautifully cynical outlook of her characters. I don’t want insight into where she is from, the struggles she’s had in life. I don’t want that knowledge because, for me, it diminishes her as a writer. Those whose talents we love should remain mysteries. Continue reading

Hot Milk

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Read 02/10/2016-04/10/2016

Rating: 3 stars

I’d read a couple of reviews of this book because of its longlisting for the Booker. When it was shortlisted, I decided to read it. I liked its dreamlike nature. The way Sofia retreated from reality in her role as carer to her mother. The way, in the Almerían heat, she cracked and burned until a different Sofia emerged. The way she embraced boldness and allowed herself to be set free from responsibility by the doctor she had brought her mother to see. Continue reading