After Kafka on the Shore was released, Haruki Murakami's publishers offered readers the opportunity to ask the author questions about the book - like what on earth does it all mean? There were 8000 questions and he answered 1200 of them (which is no mean feat in itself!). Murakami says "Kafka on the Shore contains several … Continue reading Bewildering and Bewitching
The Pocket Bookclub celebrates the year's end with the usual wine, cheese, food, and swimming. Each member votes for their favourite and less favourite read of the year. January: Some people liked this, it has green dots, though I was somewhat ambivalent. The Silence of Water, Sharron Booth Cunttail: The Bloody Silence March: remembering when … Continue reading Pocket Bookclub 2023
You can read Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica Au in one sitting. Then you might have to read it again. It is short, carefully worded, and elusive. A daughter and her mother are meeting in Japan for a short holiday, the daughter hopes to build their relationship, but as the title suggests there is … Continue reading Short and Careful
I quite like unlikeable characters but I may have met my match with these despicable people. In The Dinner by Herman Koch, we have a narrator, somewhat sympathetic, who slowly emerges as unreliable and less and less likeable, as do the people around him. The more you learn, the more bitter the taste in your … Continue reading Don’t invite me to this dinner
The first pages of Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart will fill you with dread. Peril drips from every word, the two men with 'slitted eyes' itchy to be leaving 'hands ferreting inside their trouser pockets as they peeled their ball sacks from their thighs'. Mungo looks up at his mother waving from their tenement window. … Continue reading Young Mungo: Not for the faint-hearted
Anonymous viciously murdered women are strewn throughout Evie Wyld's The Bass Rock. The characters are unnamed as they would be in a fairy tale; the girl, the master, the footman... “It’s just a feeling I have all the time that I’m walking in and out of these deaths and I should at least notice. I … Continue reading Are you a wolf or a fox?
It never occurred to me that women were the first brewers of beer. Yet, so obvious. They were the bakers of the bread and the stokers of the fire, the homemakers. Beer was an integral part of the families' diets. Women were making alcohol all over the world. Then men realised there was money and … Continue reading Women who drink: feminism and alcohol
The Pocket Bookclub celebrates the year's end with the usual wine, cheese and food, and each member votes for their favourite and less favourite read of the year. The year is bookended with joint-favourite reads in January and November (blue dots). There was a reluctance to place the (orange) less favourite dots, indicating a good … Continue reading Pocket Bookclub 2022
It is nearly 100 years since Aldous Huxley envisaged a dystopian world of promiscuity, consumerism and genetic engineering. How much like today is the world he built? Fun fact: Huxley was into psychedelic drugs and Hindu philosophy. Less fun fact: Huxley died on the same day as CS Lewis, the same day John F Kennedy … Continue reading Do we live in a Brave New World?
My entry to Nick Cave's music was the Murder Ballads album, specifically the duet with Kylie Minogue, Where the Wild Roses Grow. By its very name, it is clearly an album chocker block with narrative songs. I love a song with a narrative. My first loves were songs like Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the … Continue reading The Cave of Nick: Grief, Optimism and Creativity