Oh, Mr. Neville…

One of the blessings of my enforced by MS flare-up idleness is that I have been able to plunge myself into a myriad of books, to wallow in lives not my own, to lay on my patented "chaise short" (an antique chaise with the merit of being less than 5 feet long and thus fitting…

Statute of Limitations

I've just read Nuala O'Faolin's "Almost There", a book of the second half of her life, after the success of part one of her memoir. I love her writing and she makes me want to go live in Ireland forever, but in this book, I found myself irritated by her perspective. She spent the book…

On being ravished, or why the Iceland Writers Retreat is simply perfect

And now for the other side of the story, and why it is so likely that I will be going to the IWR again. It's hard to encapsulate this event. To say it was life-changing sounds trite and overblown, but it was so for me. When I went, it was with a mind set of…

Stardust

There are times, frequently, when I wonder if the world really needs another book, especially one written by my clumsy creative heart. After all, there are so very many BAD books out there, killing trees by the thousands. I really wonder about this, though, when I read something so marvellous, so heart-changing that I am…

Am I ignorant? Dim? Or why can’t I enjoy prize-winning books?

I read. A lot. I have authors I love, I have ones I can't dig through. Colm Toibin is impenetrable. Jane Urquhart makes me want to weep, and not in a good way. Even Tom Hardy gets into the story faster than these two. I need a long time in the quiet of a soundproofed…

So impressed…

I had the very good fortune to meet Judy Penz Sheluk some years ago at the fabled  (and sadly, deceased) Bloody Words Mystery Writers Conference. We've kept in touch since and I always like to hear from her, but lately she has zoomed on, winning all sorts of awards for her second novel, and I…

On Olympics coverage, or how I am becoming a rabid feminist

There's a phrase rumbling around the inter webs lately, something like, "When you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression." I've seen it here and there and it resonates with me, with the ENDLESS whining of white men about how hard done they are by having to compete with women for jobs (tho still…

Just that kind of summer…

I'm sitting here in the kind of heat that reduces me to tears anyway, but what IS is about this summer? It's hot, even for the climate change deny-ers. It's stormy. Animals are being fried in closed up cars again, and I have no doubt babies are as well. People are shooting people. People are…

“I don’t read fiction”

 "I only read non-fiction", some people say, as if there was only truth in history or political analysis or science. They refuse to waste their time on fiction. More's the pity, for that's where truth REALLY hangs out. I'm reading the wonderful stories of Dorothy Parker and I have to say her understanding shines brighter,…

Olive Kitteridge, or, honestly, how many horrible people can you fit into a book….

Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout, tells the life of a difficult woman and her life in a small town in Maine. Olive is unlikeable, changeable, with a horrid temper, but who is given to flashes of wisdom. Her husband is weak, happy, bland. Her son hates her. All other mothers in the book are a.…