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Spring cannot be cancelled

This is a joyful, uplifting book particularly during the pandemic and lockdown. David Hockney chronicles with art historian and writer Martin Gayford the former’s decision aged 83 to move to Normandy to depict the spring by drawing this on his iPad. To make such a decision at that age and to [...]

April 11, 2021 // 0 Comments

V2/Robert Harris

Popular historical fiction writer Robert Harris spent the lockdown researching this novel about the V2 rocket. There are two strands to the narrative. The novel begins with a V2 rocket hitting Warwick Court in London where Kay, a reconnaissance analyst for the RAF, is having an affaire with one of [...]

March 30, 2021 // 0 Comments

Project library

My main project for Lockdown 3 was to overhaul my library. This proved both rewarding and challenging. I located books I never knew I had and a few I never wanted. I found some old favourites – like a beaten up paperback of Keith Waterhouse’s Our Song, a humorous bittersweet account of his [...]

March 23, 2021 // 0 Comments

On Chapel Sands/Laura Cumming

Laura Cummimg’s non-fiction book is the story of the abduction of a three year old girl from the beach at Chapel Sands, Lincolnshire. To say more would be a spoiler as Laura Cumming is the narrator and at the beginning of the book the relationship between her and the abducted girl is unclear. [...]

March 16, 2021 // 0 Comments

Presumed Innocent/Scott Turow

Scott Turow is an American best-selling author and this is his first novel published in 1987. It draws from his experience as a Public Attorney in Chicago and is very much a book by a lawyer for lawyers.  This said he has a gift for characterisation and writing. He was described to me by the [...]

February 25, 2021 // 0 Comments

Blood Orange/Harriet Tyce

This debut novel has been hanging about on my Kindle for some time. Harriet Tyce (author) It was recommended both by a good friend who is an art tutor and The Richard and Judy Show.  I fancied a page-turner after some demanding reading. My critical assessment is that it is indeed a page-turner but [...]

January 22, 2021 // 0 Comments

The Infiltrators /Norman Ohler

I have always been interested in the degree of complicity of the German people – das Volk – in Nazism and its crimes and conversely the resistance domestically to the regime. This readable and well-researched account of two such resistants – Harro Schultze-Boysen and his wife [...]

January 19, 2021 // 0 Comments

British Football Greatest Grounds/Mike Bayly

When it comes to visiting new football grounds I’m something of an anorak so this compendium of 100 ‘must visit’ grounds was of enormous appeal. As a Fulham supporter for over 50 years, watching my boys in 4 divisions, I must have visited over 70 stadia and have my own preferences and [...]

January 5, 2021 // 0 Comments

Have yourself a Vermeer Xmas

For this most bizarre of Xmases I have taken Johannes Vermeer the Dutch master of the seventeenth century for company. A good friend gave me his complete works a sumptuous publication by the Art Publisher Taschen for Xmas. I have just read Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier and am now [...]

December 25, 2020 // 0 Comments

A review of a book that took three years to read

Since the beginning of December – with some unexpected spare time on my hands – I have turned to a pastime that frankly I do far too little of … reading. Quite without justification because, of course, “if you want something done, give it to a busy person” – or, in this context perhaps, [...]

December 19, 2020 // 0 Comments

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