Monthly Archives: November 2010

Top ten books set in Rome

Book Depository used to have a weekly post called Tuesday Top Ten. I thought it would be fun (and useful) to pick out my top ten books set in Rome. Unfortunately, Book Depository decided to discontinue their Tuesday Top Ten, … Continue reading

Posted in book depository, henry james, italy, pasolini, review, rome, shakespeare | 10 Comments

Keith Ridgway, Horses

No, not the Patti Smith début album, much as I love it, but a long story by the Irish writer Keith Ridgway, unknown to me until a few weeks ago, when I read a typically perceptive review by John Self of a … Continue reading

Posted in review, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sing Sorrow Sorrow

My earliest holiday memories are of Wales, of a caravan behind the dunes of Abersoch, of wind lifting the sand and throwing it, stingingly, against my goosebumped legs. During the night, the same wind would rock the caravan. I was … Continue reading

Posted in review | 2 Comments

Red Plenty and The Lazarus Project

I’ve been interested in Ukraine these past few weeks, for reasons that will soon, I hope, become apparent. Francis Spufford and Aleksander Hemon have also been interested in the country recently, obliquely and in very different ways. I came across … Continue reading

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My new tee-shirt

C/o Threadless

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The Empire Trilogy

The Man Booker Prize may not always shift as many units as its shortlisted authors and publishers would like, but it does occasionally have the virtue of introducing readers to writers they might not otherwise have met, providing a sort … Continue reading

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What people read

We’re coming to that time of the year when people are asked about what they’ve read during the previous twelve months. Well, I say people. Nobody’s asked me so far. Normally this wouldn’t bother me at all because the thing … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Goodbye Hello

This is my first official post on my new blog and, would you believe it, I’ve gone all shy. Give me an hour or two and I’ll try to compose myself. In the meantime, if there’s anything you’d like to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments


If I had a thousand pounds for every time I’ve heard people complain that the use of the word ‘gay’ to describe what these same people tend to refer to as the ‘homosexual life style’ had deprived them of the only … Continue reading

Posted in bigotry, politics, USA, very dark cave | 1 Comment