Smile Please: An Unfinished Autobiography by Jean Rhys (1979)

I first read Jean Rhys at university when her novel Good Morning, Midnight was on the reading list for a course about the 20th century novel. Since then she has been on my radar and I have kept most of her books on my long term TBR. I read Wide Sargasso Sea a few years… Continue reading Smile Please: An Unfinished Autobiography by Jean Rhys (1979)

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Looking back on the books of 2016

This is another overdue blog post, but one that I've really been looking forward to writing. I read 31 books in 2016, of varying quality, but overall it was a good reading year. I tried to branch out, accepting a total of eight review copies from publishers - which is a lot for me these… Continue reading Looking back on the books of 2016

Overdue update on Christmas and birthday books

As I said in my last post, life has rather gotten in the way of blogging over the last month or so (probably more than that), so I am only just getting around to organising posts I meant to write and publish a while ago... First I must ask you to cast your mind back… Continue reading Overdue update on Christmas and birthday books

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson (1949)

I've read three of Shirley Jackson's novels, so it only felt right to try some of her short stories; and after all, The Lottery is heralded as one of the most brilliant (and controversial) in the genre. At first, some of these stories reminded me Truman Capote's with their edge of uncertainty and fear underlying… Continue reading The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson (1949)

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (1962)

I had been wanting to read this for a while and finally got round to it last week... and it was just so brilliant. So weird. So good. Suffice to say, I gave it five stars on GoodReads. Even before reading I loved the premise, what I knew of it, and as with The Haunting… Continue reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (1962)

In Praise Of: Horror!

Yes, horror. As in the genre, not the feeling in real life. When I think of the horror genre, I think first of movies. I have always been a bit a scaredy-cat with them and let them get into my head, and find it hard to sleep after watching them. But this has begun to… Continue reading In Praise Of: Horror!

Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson (1951)

I had never read anything by Shirley Jackson before this, and I don't know what it was specifically that made me choose this book, Hangsaman, over her others. Possibly because it was just not the one that everyone has been talking about recently (that would be We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which honestly… Continue reading Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson (1951)

Sweet Francoise 

I don't remember the impetus behind my finally buying a copy of Bonjour Tristesse, but I'm glad I did. Honestly it sat on my shelf for a long time - there are too many new books! - but deciding to do TBR20 made me pick it up again. I have a beautiful PMC edition whose… Continue reading Sweet Francoise 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (Part of the Capote Readathon)

Like most people, I think, I saw the film version of Breakfast at Tiffany's before I read the book. The film itself is so famous, so remembered for the iconic images of Audrey Hepburn with her pearls, and her sunglasses, and her cigarette in its holder, that I think sometimes the details of the story… Continue reading Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (Part of the Capote Readathon)

The Grass Harp by Truman Capote (Part of the Capote Readathon)

This post is part of the Summer Capote Readathon with The Literary Sisters. Feel free to join in!   I first read this novella in 2008 when I was in the midst of an obsession with Capote and his writing. I tore through his books and declared him to be one of my favourite writers.… Continue reading The Grass Harp by Truman Capote (Part of the Capote Readathon)