REVIEW: The Philosopher's Daughters, Alison Booth #BLOGTOUR

Monday, 30 March 2020


London in 1891: Harriet Cameron is a talented young artist whose mother died when she was barely five. She and her beloved sister Sarah were brought up by their father, radical thinker James Cameron. After adventurer Henry Vincent arrives on the scene, the sisters' lives are changed forever. Sarah, the beauty of the family, marries Henry and embarks on a voyage to Australia. Harriet, intensely missing Sarah, must decide whether to help her father with his life's work or devote herself to painting.
When James Cameron dies unexpectedly, Harriet is overwhelmed by grief. Seeking distraction, she follows Sarah to Australia, and afterwards into the Northern Territory outback, where she is alienated by the casual violence and great injustices of outback life.
Her rejuvenation begins with her friendship with an Aboriginal stockman and her growing love for the landscape. But this fragile happiness is soon threatened by murders at a nearby cattle station and by a menacing station hand seeking revenge.

Lockdown Recommendations: Movie Musicals

Sunday, 22 March 2020


I assume that, by now, most of you are starting to catch a slight case of cabin fever. As someone who is chronically-ill, I am well aware that staying in the house all of the time is difficult - even without the stresses of a global pandemic and the government forcing you to do so. 
So, in this time of great uncertainty, I urge you to follow my lead and turn to things that never fail to make you smile: movie musicals. This list is compiled of six ├╝ber-amazing, non-animated (because, of course, that will be a separate list) movies with not a depressing theme in sight (sorry, Moulin Rouge, etc).
Well, apart from Danny being a dick but that's par for the course.

Popular Books I Hate

Saturday, 14 March 2020


These were the worst of times, these were the worst of times.
How are we all? Panicking, screaming, crying, all of the above?
To be honest, I have ticked all of those boxes at some points over the last week and, five days in and no end in sight, things are probably not going to change anytime soon. But, I thought one positive at least could come out of all of this (well, two actually, because I am writing my dissertation on the sociological implications of contagion): getting my old blog schedule back on track.
It might seem pretty trivial right now but, for the time being anyway, I think focussing on the small things is the way to go.
Manageable chunks and all that, right?
So, here we go with my first (and potentially most controversial) blog post of the pandemic.

REVIEW: Coming Up For Air, Sarah Leipciger #BLOGTOUR

Wednesday, 11 March 2020


On the banks of the River Seine in 1899, a heartbroken young woman takes her final breath before plunging into the icy water. Although she does not know it, her decision will set in motion an astonishing chain of events. It will lead to 1950s Norway, where a grieving toymaker is on the cusp of a transformative invention, all the way to present-day Canada, where a journalist battling a terrible disease, drowning in her own lungs, risks everything for one last chance to live.

Women's Prize for Fiction 2020 - Longlist (& Plan of Action!)

Sunday, 8 March 2020


Happy International Women's Day everyone! I know this is coming to you a little late - I had a foray into London (be on the lookout for the return of my once-in-a-blue-moon travel posts!) and, as more days passed, I thought it only apt to wait and schedule this post today instead of any other. So, let's get to backseat-judging...

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara
Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
Actress by Anne Enright
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee
The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
Girl by Edna O’ Brien
Hamnet by Maggie O’ Farrell
Weather by Jenny Offill
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Of the sixteen, I have only read two: A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes and, of course, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. But, contrary to popular opinion, I didn't actually... love them. I know, I know - I am sorry! Admittedly, there was not any outright hate going on, but that does not mean that I am not going into the rest of this list without an overriding sense of trepidation.


Interested
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Actress by Anne Enright


How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee
The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
Hamnet by Maggie O’ Farrell
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Wow, what a selection! A lot of these seven are heavy-hitters, whilst the others are as-yet unknown gems that I am sure will pack a punch. And, I already know that, like so many other people, I will be doing all that I can to get my hands on them. I just wonder how the long the respective waiting lists are going to be...

Apathetic
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie
The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
Girl by Edna O’ Brien

Alligning with the overriding feeling that I have about the entirety of this year's list, I have absolutely no opinion one way or the other about these four. Like, none whatsoever. And, who has ever heard of an instance of that happening with me?

Dreading It
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara
Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Weather by Jenny Offill
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Whether or not my feelings derive from the books' covers (I am looking at you, Djinn Patrol), synopses or the very little I have heard about them, something has been stirred up that makes me genuinely not want to read these four. Let us hope that I can fight through it and find some wonder.


Let me know which books you think are the highs and lows of the longlist, and if you are planning to try and cram all sixteen into the next two months like I am.