I could easily have written a post about twenty suggestions for gripping summer reading, or even thirty, but I thought it best to keep it short. Each of the novels listed below has been selected either because of its beautiful writing, its compelling storyline, or in some cases, both. So here you are then, my [...]
School reunions: why are we suckers for them?
A year and a half ago I came back from an international school reunion in Vienna and felt so deeply affected, I wrote a blog post about it. Now, eighteen months on, I’ve just come back from a smaller but equally moving reunion (same school, different location) and ... well, here I am again, writing [...]
A Grumpy Christmas Eve
Thinking of going to Budapest? Think again
Imagine this scene. You’re in beautiful, historic Budapest with three of your mates on a pre-Christmas weekend break. You’re all male; you’re bright, cool, fun-loving, young English lads. You enjoy a night out: drinking, meeting new people, eyeing up the talent. You also enjoy sightseeing in the afternoons, after you’ve sobered up and arisen from [...]
It’s Halloween, the end of the half-term holiday, so their huge Art Nouveau flat is not infested with the usual chaos and commotion of their new private school. Just her two children and her husband. She’s looking forward to seeing all three of them again, after her weekend away in the Tatra mountains. Forgiveness is still rife [...]
The Silent Patient: Great book; mediocre writing?
I thought I’d have a blog-chat about something completely different this week. Namely, about a novel that everyone in the bookish world appears to be talking about of late: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelikes. I’ve read a lot of books this summer holiday, but The Silent Patient is one that I have found almost impossible [...]
Rain, Mosquitoes and Power cuts in Corfu
Island of mists and mellow fruitfulness ... That's by Keats, not me, and it's about England, not Corfu, and the first word has been hijacked. Just to be clear. I don’t normally write about holidays, other than in my good old diary. But there was something about this latest holiday from which my daughter and [...]