Category Archives: Writing & Reading

What I Read In April

Cixin Liu: The Dark Forest This is the sequel to The Three-Body Problem, which I read last month. In that book, astrophysicist Ye Wenjie sends a signal into space that alerts another species to human existence. The species inhabits a … Continue reading

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What I Read In March

Austin Wright: Nocturnal Animals Teacher Susan Morrow used to be married to a failed writer called Edward. Twenty years later, divorced with two children and comfortably re-married to a physician, she receives a manuscript from Edward, from whom she hadn’t … Continue reading

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What I Read In February

Barbra Streisand: My Name Is Barbra I first came across Barbra Streisand with a fluffy comic song in my parents’ record collection. It was ‘Second-Hand Rose’, which I now know was written in 1921 and originally performed by the music-hall … Continue reading

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What I Read In January

Geddy Lee: My Effin’ Life Frank Zappa once quipped (and I am working from memory here) that rock journalists are people who can’t write interviewing people who can’t talk for the benefit of people who can’t read. I am mostly … Continue reading

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And Now, From Norwich

Someone (probably the notoriously acerbic conductor Sir Thomas Beecham) said that one should try anything except incest and morris dancing. The latter was certainly in evidence in Norwich earlier today (please, no jokes about what’s Normal for Norfolk), in the … Continue reading

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What I Read In January

Penelope Fitzgerald: The Bookshop It is 1959, and widowed Florence Green opens a bookshop in the sleepy Suffolk town of Hardborough. Discovering a strain of quiet obstinacy she doesn’t know she has, she ignores or attempts to sidestep the ¬†polite … Continue reading

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My Reads of 2022

In 2022 I consumed devoured read 62 books of various sizes, from slim novels to the multi-volume epic that is Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (which I counted as one book). I haven’t read as many books … Continue reading

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What I Read In December

Richard Fortey: A Curious Boy It was the author himself who recommended this book to me, as he said — and I hope, if he reads this, he won’t mind my saying so — that aspects of his book reminded … Continue reading

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What I Read In November

Frans de Waal:¬†Different A salutary and timely corrective to all those engaged in debates about sex and gender that nothing makes sense except in the light of evolution. Humans are animals, and so are our various itches and scratches. The … Continue reading

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Incompletion

I regret to say that today I have had to do something I almost never do, mostly because I really hate doing it – and that’s abandon a book I had been reading. And I had got almost all the … Continue reading

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