Thursday, 27 December 2012

Tickets going very fast - please make sure you buy early - we don't want any tears! Thriller writers Tom Bale & Julia Crouch *SCREAM* January 16th. Doors open 6.45. The Barn, Ditchling. Nearest train station: Hassocks. Tel (01273) 719719 to buy tickets

Book Lovers' Supper Club

BOOK LOVERS' SUPPER CLUB What is it? Well, it has the glorious advantage of doing exactly what it says on the tin.... If you love books, and enjoy good food and wine then this is for you. We hold the event (which is about once every six weeks) in the gorgeous vintage barn in Ditchling, East Sussex. It starts at 6.30 and you arrive and are welcomed with a glass of wine. Grab a seat at the tables and enjoy your Sussex based tapas style supper (the menu changes seasonally) but to give you a taste of the menu from last time we had: High Weald Dairy Sussex Cheese, homemade green tomato chutney, mushroom & walnut pate, courgette & lemon croquette, roasted butternut squash and spicy winter coleslaw, followed by homemade chocolate gingerbread and a nip of damson vodka. We then have a reading from a couple of best selling authors, followed by an interview with them and a chance to ask questions (as well as getting books signed) We have some truly amazing authors lined up for 2013 - so do come and join us, either on Facebook - Book Lovers' Supper Club or on twitter @ Bookloverssupper Tickets are available either in person from The Post Office, Ditchling, or The Mint House Hurstpierpoint, or from Brighton Dome Ticket Office on (01273) 719719 Look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Isabel's Skin by Peter Benson published by ALMA What a treat. And the perfect weather to read this gothic tale of misty haunting horror in. Perhaps horror is too strong a word - but certainly low level menace and mystery. Stylish, sharp and memorable. I urge you to give it a go. Especially if you are curled up infront of a fire with a glass of red wine. Enjoy.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Book Doctor

April 23rd. World Book Night. And where else would I be other than the local library - offering my services as The Book Docotor. Bored with your bookshelves? Hacked off with your holiday reading? Then come and talk to me.... I've done this a few times now, and it always starts off the same. People are a little shy, then they notice the home made Madelaines and the bottle of Maderia ( a nice Proustian touch I thought) and then pretty soon there's a queue. First up was a charming woman who just lost her sparkle with reading. "I regularly go to Waterstones, but I look at all the covers on the 3 for 2 tables and I end up buying stuff that I just know I'm not going to like" A common problem madaam, and one I can sympathise with. We had a chat about older books and she went off clutching a prescription for some Angela Thirkell, Sylvia Townsend-Warner and Molly Keane. Next up was an Irish girl who only really enjoyed science-fiction and "nothing with monsters in" Marge Piercy it is then... An elderly woman who wanted something modern. A Visit from The Goon Squad was soon on loan from the library. Two very assured teenage girls who 'rather enjoyed speculative fiction'. Gulp. And loathed Harry Potter AND Twilight were given I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith and the woman who was splitting up from her partner and needed a joyous good read - well - there's was only one choice really - Nancy Mitford. Natch. The queue was now out of the door and I had great fun writing prescriptions for some classics, some moderns and some mates books too.... especially Every Vow you Break by Julia Crouch - now THAT should help the insomnia (evil laugh) Really looking forward to the next time - perhaps by then I will have got myself a white coat.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Things that you make go hmm

I don't know what's wrong with me.  Every new book that I pick up I feel like hurling across the room. Admittedly I did set myself the onerous task of reading Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell over the holidays. - three hundred characters.  Yes.  Three hundred.  Then there was The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst.  And someone who was raving about it gave me The Rules of Civility....oh dear.  Well, let me say that Dance to the Music (12 volumes.  Yep, 12) is going to have to dance on without me and Alan Hollinghurst who is a fabulous writer lost me on that one too... As for Rules of Civility - well, I don't feel like being very civil about it to be honest - Dominick Dunne dun it better guv.  Honest. Oh yes, and I read Pure which won plaudits and prizes galore and I was like - meugh...I've read better. So it's not that I haven't been reading (frankly that will never happen) but it's just that I haven't been inspired.  AT ALL. I even in a moment of desperation picked off the shelves an old Iris Murdoch - The Philosopher's Pupil. Crikey.I gave that a miss, too.
Then - thank goodness I went to swish bookish party at Waterstones in London and in my goodie bag was a freebie proof copy of My Policeman by Bethan Roberts. Hoozah and Hoorah! Finally - a great book.  One worth reading.
It's set in Brighton in the 50's and is an absolute corker. I don't want to give anything away - but do urge you to read it.  You'll LOVE it.