Reviews

Invisible is a great thriller. I can’t say too much more about the plot because the twists and turns are the whole point of reading a book that wrong foots the reader at every turn . . . Christine Poulson kept me reading by giving out just enough information to intrigue and puzzle so that I had to read just one more chapter. That’s why, in the end, I just dropped everything else and read the last half of Invisible in one sitting.’

- I PREFER READING BLOG

Chagrin in Lichfield

Posted on Jun 30, 2014 in Lichfield, Time Was, W. Graham Robertson | No Comments

Last week-end I was at a course at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre. It’s always nostalgic being back in Birmingham. I went there at the age of twenty-two to do an MA on Pre-Raphaelite illustration of Shakespeare’s plays and spent the rest of my twenties there. My mother moved there around the same time and stayed for […]

Crime Fiction Round-up

Crime Fiction Round-up

I’ve decided to have an occasional round-up of crime fiction that I’ve enjoyed and I’m featuring three novels today.I came across a review of The Mangle Street Murders by M. R. C. Kasasian on one of my favourite blogs – http://clothesinbooks.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/the-mangle-street-murders-by-mrc – and thought it sounded worth a look. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is set in […]

Goodbye, Kurt

Posted on Jun 22, 2014 in Krister Hendriksson, Wallander | No Comments

They saved the best until last. Last night’s Wallander was a worthy end to the series. The story was an improvement on some of the previous ones in the series. It had real pace – and a climax that gripped. I won’t give too much away about the plot as not everyone will have caught up […]

On Not Teaching

Posted on Jun 20, 2014 in Ashmolean Museum, Cézanne and the Modern | 2 Comments

Yesterday I went to see the exhibition, Cézanne and the Modern, at the Ashmolean. It’s a tedious journey on the train from Chesterfield to Oxford, involving changing trains at Birmingham (a contender for the dreariest station in the country), but it was worth it. Only three rooms, but some amazing Cézannes, and anyway I like […]

Matisse Cut-Outs

Matisse Cut-Outs

Posted on Jun 16, 2014 in cut-outs, Goya, Matisse, Picasso, Titian | No Comments

This blog is mainly about books, but art means very nearly as much to me. I couldn’t miss the exhibition of Matisse cut-outs at Tate Modern and I got down to see it last week. He is an artist that I love and admire. He said that he wanted his art to be like an armchair […]

It Goes With the Territory

It Goes With the Territory

Some years ago I came across a poem by Elaine Feinstein, ‘Getting Older,’ that I very much liked. When more recently I read a review of her memoir, I thought it was a book I’d enjoy. And I did. Feinstein is a distinguished poet, novelist, biographer, and translator of Russian women poets. She got married […]

Comics Unmasked

Comics Unmasked

Last week I went to see a fascinating exhibition at the British Library: Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK. It covered a lot of ground from Punch in the 1840s up to the present and filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge. It set me thinking about the part comics have […]

Crime-writer Linda Stratmann is my guest

Crime-writer Linda Stratmann is my guest

Linda Stratmann is my guest on the blog today. I got to know Linda when we were both on the CWA committee. It’s not the first time she has featured on my blog. Some time ago I reviewed her fascinating book, Chloroform. She’s also written a lot about true crime. But today she’s talking about […]

Watching Wallender

I’d been looking forward to watching the Swedish version of Wallander on Saturday evening on BBC 4 and there was a lot to enjoy. I love the setting: the rolling landscape, the coastline and the old parts of Ystaad. It’s beautifully filmed. The acting is excellent. Krister Henriksson is a fine actor and though he wasn’t […]