Saturday 22 January 2011

Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany

Happy weekend, one and all. Col and Mum were here today, so we were a vicar and a cat away from being a whole family reunion. But I'll whip out a quick weekend miscellany, and wish you well for Saturday and Sunday.

1.) The link - is to the South Bank Sky Arts Awards website. Leanne has sent me a nice email and asked me to ponder (and I in turn shall ask you to ponder) who I think should be awarded a South Bank Sky Arts Award for Literature.

Well... as you probably know, most of my favourite authors are dead, so this is tricky. The nominated authors are Edmund De Waal, Barbara Trapido, and Candia McWilliam. From that list, I'd give Trapido the award - not least (perhaps solely) because she's the only one I've read.

Hmm.. do you know, I can't think of any novel published last year that I actually thought was really great? I know I only read a handful... Well, I'm going to be controversial and award the prize to Debo Devonshire. Over to you...

2.) The blog post - is Lifetime Reader's great review of Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One, one of my favourite books read last year. Do pop over and have a gander.

(And if you're in the mood to read a review of an Elizabeth Taylor novel, you're rather spoilt for choice this week - see what Harriet has to say about
At Mrs. Lippincote's and Simon S's thoughts on Blaming.)

3.) The little bit of info. - comes courtesy of David Nolan, a blog-reader who has his eye on the pulse and often spots little gems. He emailed me to let me know that Radio 4 will be playing three of Tove Jansson's short stories. They're on at 3.30pm Tues-Thurs (and afterwards, of course, on iPlayer). More info here. Thanks, David!

4.) The book - is a kind gift from Deanna, who got in touch to say she had a Muriel Spark going spare. It's flown across the Atlantic, and is now sitting in my tbr pile, waiting for my next novella reading weekend. 'Curiously disturbing' (as the cover proclaims) doesn't sound like something I'd leap at, but in the hands of Spark, I know I'd find it enthralling. Thanks so much, Deanna!


  1. Loved Not To Disturb and posted on it last year. My whole Muriel Spark discovery thing in recent months. Just finished Loitering with Intent today which was also a yummy, wicked little book. Spark is simply brilliant. I want to read everything she has written.

  2. Thanks for the link. I enjoyed the Waugh so much and loved reading your post about the book.

    Spark is on my read-very-soon list. The more I hear, the more excited I get. Nothing like a wicked little book to cure one of too many ancient Greeks, eh?

  3. Thanks for the links, have a good family weekend!

  4. "Curiously disturbing" is exactly how I would describe Spark; I think I have used "deliciously cruel" as well as disturbing. Memento Mori and The Driver's Seat are most definitely curiously disturbing.

  5. Happy to be of service. Thrilled to get a mention outside of the comments section too. I'll try not to let it go to my head!

  6. Frances - I'll make sure to find your post once I've read the book - don't want to spoil the plot for me! I'm so glad you liked Loitering With Intent - like you, I want to go on a Spark binge now!

    LR - do let me know which Spark you choose, and what you think of it!

    Yvann - thank you :)

    Claire - I haven't read Memento Mori yet (although my book group is reading it later in the year) but I think it's definitely an apposite description of The Driver's Seat. Disturbing, but not scary.

    David - surely not the first time, David?? Apologies if so, you're such an invaluable SiaB reader!


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