Monthly Archives: October 2021

Ursula K. Le Guin – Always Coming Home

Now the year is wearing on and we are coming to the end of October, I am able to report I have completed my tenth Great Book for the year, and a complex and challenging work it is. Always Coming Home is the story of the Kesh people, their culture and customs, and incidents from the lives of some of its people. We are also taken into its antithesis, the Condor world, a world of war, cities, and machines, where women are completely subjugated. Continue reading Ursula K. Le Guin – Always Coming Home

Cosy Crime for Every Taste

In the beginning Cosy Crime was the province of British writers. Agatha Christie, Marjorie Allingham et al, but it has come to my notice that American writers are now getting in on the act and I do wonder if they are taking it seriously. There are many series of so called ‘ cosy murders,’ set in bookshops, libraries, coffee shops, and cake shops, mostly with punning titles.  Continue reading Cosy Crime for Every Taste

Anthony Burgess – Beard’s Roman Women

Anthony Burgess met his first wife Lynne at University and they married in 1942. They lived in England and Malaysia and Brunei, and a great deal of their leisure time was devoted to drinking and partying. Lynne became known for her outrageous and flirtatious behaviour. She is said to have insulted the Duke of Edinburgh at an official function. Burgess liked women and had discreet affairs (Lynne had indiscreet affairs) and five years before she died in 1968, he had met the Italian woman who became his second wife.  It is said he would not divorce Lynne because he did not wish to offend his cousin George Dwyer the Roman Catholic Bishop of Leeds. Continue reading Anthony Burgess – Beard’s Roman Women

Marilynne Robinson – Gilead

Marilynne Robinson’s first novel Houskeeping, a story of the lives of three women, was published to general acclaim in 1980.  It was twenty-four years before her next book, Gilead, was published. Houskeeping was a finalist in the Pulitzer Prize and was listed as one of the 100 greatest novels of all time. Gilead won the Pulitzer in 2005. What is it about the work of Marilynne Robinson that has seen her work described as having meditative calm, spiritual intensity, simplicity and mesmeric power? Continue reading Marilynne Robinson – Gilead

Simon Brett – English Crime

This week I have taken a break from literary reading and dived into the world of crime via the writing of Simon Brett. In case you’ve never heard of him you will be reassured to know he has first class degree in English from Oxford and has worked as a TV producer and writer for the BBC. He wrote sitcoms like After Henry and Smelling of Roses. He has written plays for stage and radio and has even written a four-part radio series about a middle-aged Nigel Molesworth. (I’d love to hear this one.) Continue reading Simon Brett – English Crime