It’s been three months since I posted on this blog. Yes, I did move house at the end of September, but I’ve also been struggling to focus, to invest the continued energy which is necessary… More
Why I shouldn’t read (for hours) before bed
When I was ten or eleven years old, if we were going on holiday, I would pack a book for each day we were planning to spend away from the house. We were going away for ten days? I packed ten books. I spent hours absorbed in fictional stories, and it was hard work getting me to take a break. I wanted to stay with the book, to finish it in one sitting if I could.
Nowadays, although I’m still a fast reader, I don’t have this kind of time to devote to reading (adulthood, eh?). I read less, and my reading patterns have become erratic; I spend a day or two with a book, stop halfway, come back to it a week later. There are, however, exceptions to this rule, as was the case recently with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.Continue reading “Why I shouldn’t read (for hours) before bed”
Book Review: The Shapeless Unease
I didn’t have any expectations when I opened The Shapeless Unease: A Year of Not Sleeping, by Samantha Harvey. I had not previously read any of her novels. I simply heard Harvey talking about the book on a podcast (available here if you’re interested) and decided that I would give it a go. The book, described by the London Review as a ‘philosophical memoir’, revolves around the author’s struggle with insomnia, which began suddenly and lasted over a year. It is about many other things – a ‘startingly insightful exploration of memory, writing and influence, death and grief, and the will to survive’, according to the book jacket – but insomnia is the central motif.Continue reading “Book Review: The Shapeless Unease”
From Book to Film: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
As far as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in film adaptations of books. I will walk into a cinema (or, more recently, open a streaming platform) full of expectation, convinced – although the evidence suggests otherwise – that the film will somehow reflect exactly my own understanding of the book. Maybe it will even transcend it.
I have, on occasion, been proven right (Joe Wright’s adaptation of Atonement is an all-time favourite, and don’t get me started on the BBC’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice) but more often than not, I am disappointed. I have a vivid memory of sitting in the theatre for the first Harry Potter film, having made the mistake of re-reading the book a short time before; I was in a perfect position to notice every difference, every detail that had been changed, every funny line of dialogue the writers had decided, for some incomprehensible reason, not to include. Why? I wondered disconsolately as we left the cinema. Why would they do this?Continue reading “From Book to Film: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”
As a writer, there are a few questions I often get asked. I thought that, compiled, they would make a good introduction.Continue reading “FAQ”