Tuesday, 4 October 2011

I have moved

Hello everyone.

I have moved my blogging to www.piecespiecesandpieces.blogspot.com. Please do give me a follow on there. I'll still be blogging mainly about books but pieces and pieces will also have other stuff on it - basically it will be a more personal site, more like a scrapbook, as I've found this is tending to encourage me to post more...

See you over there.


Thursday, 25 November 2010

Christmas Gifts for Book Lovers

It's a month until Christmas! Waheeeyy! I thought I would drop subtle hints to the world and let them know what I think are ideal presents for a book lover. They're very pretty.

Scrabble Cushions

I - LOVE - THESE. They come in sets of words for a slightly discounted price, but I would just buy single letters and throw them around: much more fun.£17.50 is a bit of a rip off, but I'd guess these are easy to make with some iron on sheets and some cheap fabric. 

 Literary T-shirts
Art Meets Matter

Art Meets Matter are the guys who do the Penguin mugs, pencils and tea towels. These tees were first shown off at the Hay festival. Book lovers love showing off their literary superiority. If they've not got a book in their hand, they have to be talking about one. If I was my friend, I'd buy me one of these to shut me up.

Hans Christian Anderson, Fairy Tales.
Luxury edition, Penguin

You know what, I don't even like fairy tales that much. But this book is beeeeauuuutiful. Penguin do some other nice special editions either - get the more masculine the very military blue edition of the Three Musketeers. 

The Literary Map of Britain

This is the best priced thing I've included on this list and I love it so much I've just ordered it for myself. Notice the curious black hole near London: very odd. It's brilliant: beautiful, quirky, informative, makes you look clever. I wish they'd not put William Wordsworth across the Lake District. I know he's the most famous person from there, but I really do just hate him. Stupid old codger.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Literary Landscapes: Daphne du Maurier's Manderley

I wanted to do a quick update and I thought a Literary Landscapes post was the best way to do it. These two houses were Daphne du Mauriere's inspiration for Manderley, the ancestral stately home of the de Winters in Rebecca. In my humble opinion (I read the book for the first time a few weeks ago), Manderley is pretty much one of the novel's most vital ingredients. It's bigger than everyone else in the book, and they almost exist simply to keep it going. Maxim is driven back there despite all logic, purely because he can't really imagine being anywhere else. The protagagonist measures her level of success as a wife against her level of  control of Manderley: Mrs Danvers does almost the same thing: she uses her level of control to measure how successfully she is upholding Rebecca's memory - because Rebecca, really, becomes and  is Manderley. The finale shows who wins.

The house above is Milton Hall in Cambridgeshire and the one below is Menabilly, du Maurier's own home in Cornwall which she rented from the Rashleigh family. They both helped inspire du Maurier's masterpiece; although Milton Hall in particular seems to have a special link with terrifying, horrible women: Margaret Thatcher dined there.

An Update

Wow - it's been a disgustingly long time, really, since I updated this blog. Never fear, my ten followers, there shall be an update soon. Infact, there shall be two: one on the interview between Salman Rushdie and James Naughtie that I saw at the Wimbledon Bookfest a few weeks ago, and another on my experiences at the Frankfurt Book Fair.