Six Degrees of Separation: From Rules of Civility to A Pair of Blue Eyes

A very Happy New Year to everyone. And what fun to be able to kick off our 2022 Six Degrees adventure on the very first day of the year.

Hosted by Kate, this is a monthly meme where participants all start with the same book and choose six more linked titles. It’s always fascinating to see how the different chains take shape.

We start this time with a book which fittingly opens on New Year’s Eve: Amor Towels’ Rules of Civility. I haven’t read this yet, but have heard people absolutely raving about it, so will check it out some time.

Continue reading “Six Degrees of Separation: From Rules of Civility to A Pair of Blue Eyes”

Goodbye Fyodor (for now); Hello Leo #KaramazovReadalong #WarAndPeace2022

From July 27 to 30 October this year, I had the great pleasure of celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Fyodor Dostoyevsky by reading The Brothers Karamazov via the #KaramazovReadalong hosted jointly with Becky and Elisabeth. Joining in with us were many other friends who took the opportunity to read, or re-read, one of the great works of world literature.

It was an amazing experience. I am quite sure that I would not have got through the book without such a marvellous community of readers to hold hands with. Not that it is difficult to read, far from it. But there is something about such a large book which seems daunting and off-putting. This is why my copy sat sadly unread on my shelf for many years. But the camaraderie, the posting of daily quotes, the discussions about different translations, all contributed to a shared project which was a joy to be part of. I send a huge bundle of thanks to everyone who participated.

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Reflections on Reading Dante’s Divine Comedy via Tea, Toast and Trivia

I recently wrote about my reading of Dante’s The Divine Comedy as part of Nick Senger’s readalong. My dear friend Becky very kindly invited me to talk further about this adventure on her marvellous podcast Tea, Toast and Trivia.

It is always a huge pleasure to be part of Becky’s brilliant podcast conversations and I really enjoyed this opportunity to look back on my experience of reading one of the world’s great masterpieces of literature.

Continue reading “Reflections on Reading Dante’s Divine Comedy via Tea, Toast and Trivia”

What Is Literature For?

A belated Happy World Book Day 2017 to everyone!

As an avid bibliophile, I love anything which promotes and celebrates the value of reading.  But, some may ask, why on earth should we care about books?  Surely life is too busy to fit in reading on top of everything else?

In other words, what is literature for?

Check out this short clip by The School of Life which answers this important question.  It is pretty quirky to look at, but the underlying messages are interesting and relevant.  Listen without the pictures if need be! 🙂