From: A little Bristol bookshop called Bloom and Curll that ticks all the good independent bookseller boxes – I picked this book up for the cover but was pleased to be told the author is a local!
Read: On a Sunday morning before getting out of bed – as in, I refused to get up until I’d finished it.
Felt: impressed. This had neatly avoided the standard pitfalls that can make young adult fiction hard to get into – kids were credited with enough intelligence and individuality to make them and the plot interesting. The story was told from a young girl’s view point and felt new and interesting. There was no ‘good and bad’ divide – which I really liked. Everyone felt very real.
Would recommend: as a quick read – I probably won’t re-read this book but I would definitely pick up anything else she wrote.
The reading room
the top of the marble staircase
Gallery in the lobby
As much as I love bookshops and well stocked bookshelves, this year I am going to try to make the most of my local library. Public libraries are under threat with swathes of local library buildings and services being closed over the last few years and library jobs being lost or replaced with volunteers .
So here are just a few reasons to love your library:
Continue reading “Loan Shark”
There is no doubt that Fitzgerald has a wonderful way of laying words on the page. The first few pages of this book are sheer eloquence. This excerpt perfectly captures that delightful happy wriggle of getting into cool water on a hot day:
Rosemary laid her face on the water and swam a choppy little four-beat crawl out to the raft. The water reached up for her, pulled her down tenderly out of the heat, seeped in her hair and ran into the corners of her body. She turned round and round in it, embracing it, wallowing in it.
It’s not that the rest of the book is any less eloquent, only that I find the poetic
summations a bit wearisome after a while. It takes me longer to work out what is actually going on and feels a bit like wading through mud and poking around with a big stick, trying to find the point. I, shockingly, felt the same about ‘The Great Gatsby’. Continue reading “Tender is the night – F. Scott Fitzgerald “
A French patisserie with Scandinavian decor with friendly staff, varied selection of teas and an open kitchen that fills the café with the smell of fresh baking. There are examples of their beautiful wedding cakes on show and the whole place channels the Dutch concept of ‘gezelligheid’ – one of those wonderfully untranslatable words of which the closest, yet still inadequate, English equivalent is an atmosphere of contented coziness of a place or gathering. Visiting feels like a real indulgence even before you start on the cake, and it’s always nice to find somewhere that doesn’t mind you taking up residence in a corner for a good few hours with a book.
Sat reading Terry Pratchett who needs no introduction or review. His books are comic genius (for those who appreciate the wry ridiculousness of very British humour – which should be just about everyone). He left an amazing legacy, as well as a huge void, when he passed away last year.
This place is an oasis. All calmness and serenity in the centre of the city. Reading in the café with an amaretto and sea salt hot chocolate feels just as therapeutic as any spa package going. The tapas is excellent, the staff are friendly and its easy to forget you’re in town (or in the UK)!