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The Glass Pearls/Emeric Pressburger

This novel is absorbing but troubling. The writer Emeric Pressburger was a distinguished film maker who, with Michael Powell, made such classics as Colonel Blimp, Black Narcissus and A Matter of Life and Death. He wrote this novel in the 1960s and it has just been republished by Faber. The subject [...]

February 3, 2024 // 0 Comments

Monet (The Restless Vision)/Jackie Wullschlager

This is a comprehensive account of the life of artist Claude Monet (1840-1926). He was born in Paris. As his father Alphonse’s business was supplying ships the family soon moved to Le Havre. As a youngster Monet, known then as Oscar, was a talented caricaturist and – only after meeting [...]

January 30, 2024 // 0 Comments

Ajax, the Dutch and the War/Simon Kuper

British football reporters – with the exception of Ian Hawkey and before him Brian Glanville of The Sunday Times – are noted for their insularity. There is little coverage of the game outside Britain. One writer I like is Simon Kuper of the Financial Times. Born in Johannesburg, [...]

January 12, 2024 // 0 Comments

Great Collectors of Our Time/James Stourton

Published in 2007 and covering the post-War period this is a thorough account of the Great Collectors. Many – like Paul Getty, Paul Mellon,  the Rothschilds and Giovanni Agnelli have huge wealth – others like Peggy Guggenheim a brilliant eye but less funds to acquire, although she was [...]

January 5, 2024 // 0 Comments

Watford Forever/John Preston

This is an illuminating account of the rise of Watford, focussing on Elton John and Graham Taylor. The relationship between the owner and manager is the key one in any club. There were few better than that between Elton John and Graham Taylor despite the fact the two were polar opposites. Elton [...]

November 29, 2023 // 0 Comments

Jilly Cooper/Tackle!

My first boyfriend Nick was an aspiring journo and Fulham fan. One day Jilly Cooper then a witty columnist for The Sunday Times granted him an interview in her Fulham home. She was pleased to hear that Fulham had won. I read that she is a football fan now supporting Leeds United. Now aged 86 she is [...]

November 18, 2023 // 0 Comments

Vintage Crime: A Short History Of Wine Fraud/Rebecca Gibb (book review)

This morning, on my habitual overnight “tour” of the British national newspapers seeking items or stories of potential interest to Rusters, on the website of the Daily Mail I came across this review by Constance Craig Smith of a new book on the subject of wine called Vintage Crime: A [...]

November 17, 2023 // 0 Comments

Venice: City of Pictures (Martin Gayford)

As one might expect from such an eminent art historian Martin Gayford’s latest work on Venetian art and architecture is a thorough, well-researched study with beautiful images. He covers the ‘Big Four’ of Venetian art – Titian, Tintoretto (the only artist born in and of Venice) [...]

November 11, 2023 // 0 Comments

Olive Kitteridge (HBO)

It’s always an interesting discussion as to whether the book – or the film of it – is better. I reviewed Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stroud on this website in May 2017. It’s a collection of short stories set in Maine which won the writer the Pulitzer Prize. The HBO film version [...]

November 3, 2023 // 0 Comments

Desert Star – Michael Connolly

Desert Star is the latest Michael Connolly novel in the Harry Bosch series. Harry Bosch was in previous novels a left-field Los Angeles police detective.  Now retired, aged 70, he joins the unsolved crime unit run by current detective Renee Ballard. They investigate two crimes. One is the murder [...]

October 4, 2023 // 0 Comments

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