Friday, 28 October 2011


Firstly I need to apologise for never putting up my Classics Circuit post on The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This past couple of weeks it’s felt like if it’s not one thing, it’s another. We’ve been going through a bit of a stressful time, and the blog has (as usual) suffered because of it. I know I keep saying I’ll stop letting it happen, but I think that I probably need to accept that, for the moment at least, this is just the way I operate. That said, I have got a little way into The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and while I’m not loving it like I expected to, it is definitely getting more gripping, so hopefully I’ll be able to stick with it and let you know what I thought of it when I eventually reach the end! People have asked me why I don’t like it as much as I thought I would, and if I’m honest, it’s probably mostly down to the rambling pages of descriptions of Paris, which feel fairly similar to all the interminable descriptive passages in Frankenstein, which are still the one thing I despise about an otherwise awesome book, and which my first inclination is still to just skip over. That, and the fact that it’s not a Disney movie. There are no songs, and I know this is horribly blasphemous of me, but I sort of feel that so far, the story suffers from the gargoyles not talking back to Quasimodo. I am sure that by the time I finish the book I will have re-evaluated and retracted most of these opinions. Anyway!
In other exciting news (for me, anyway), after nearly a year of hearing me talk about my blog, and seeing how much keeping it has helped and inspired me, my wonderful husband has finally caved and started a blog of his own! He’ll be talking sporadically about music (he’s a singer and music graduate), drama, and all theatre related things, at If it sounds like the kind of thing you’d be into, go visit him, I know he’d appreciate it! J
I’ve been reading a lot lately, but not quite finding the time to write about it, and I really do hope to be rectifying that soon, but for now, here’s a quick update of my recent reading life:
Last weekend I took part in my first ever 24 hour readathon! Despite work and family commitments keeping me from a lot of it, I still managed to read for 7 hours, enter two mini – challenges, win a prize, and finish three books! Reviews of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (which was good), Whip It by Shauna Cross (which was very good), and Franny & Zooey by J.D Salinger (which I’m still trying to figure out..) will be forthcoming, and I will most definitely be participating in the next one, in April!
In the last couple of weeks I’ve been doing my annual Christmas pre-reading of people’s presents before I give them to them thing (I know people think this is cheeky, but in my defence, I’m always very careful with the books, and I do need to make sure they’re suitable for the person receiving them!). Every year I buy my mum a new Elizabeth Peters, Susanna Gregory, Alexander McCall Smith, or (if such a thing still exists!) an Agatha Christie she doesn’t already possess, because these are the things she likes. This year, it was A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters, which I read in two days and thoroughly enjoyed, as always. It’s the latest in the Amelia Peabody series of detective novels, and if you’re into either detective fiction or historical fiction (they’re all set late 19th/early 20th century England and Egypt and are about archaeology and feminism), I’d recommend checking them out! For my dad, it’s always the latest Terry Pratchett, and Snuff arrived in the post today, so I’ll be starting that next and I’m excited. Sir Terry has never let me down yet!
Lastly, I just wanted to share something I’m super excited about! A couple of weeks ago I was sent a gorgeous hardback copy of The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry by the lovely people at Penguin. The anthology is gorgeous, very informative, and contains a host of poets I’ve never read. I used to read a lot of poetry when I was a student, but since then, not so much, so I’m hoping that the arrival of this beautiful book will help to rectify that! The book is out in the States pretty much now. As some of you may know,  I have been trying for a while to get a regular poetry feature going on the blog, so maybe this is my chance to do that! Watch this space!
That’s all for now. It’s getting colder here by the sea, winter is most definitely on its’ way, and I’m off for a big hot chocolate and to curl up in a corner, under my first (ever) knitted blanket, with a book. Hope your last few weeks have been less stressful than mine!!


  1. I think I got about twenty pages into the Hunchback of Notre Dame before giving in. In fairness, I was about 15 but I'd already read Les Miserables and loved it. I might download it on my Kindle and give it another go though. Haha, I felt like a philistine when I preferred the Disney version but I think we just have to accept you can't go wrong with Walt!

    I have The Particular Sadness to read too, but the lack of speech marks REALLY winds me up so I haven't quite convinced myself to start it yet.

    Let me know what you think of Snuff - I'm dying to read it :)

  2. I'm excited about Snuff so far, but it's slow reading as I'm not taking it out of the house because books tend to get a bit scuffed up in my bag and it's a present...

    I wasn't particularly bothered by the lack of speech marks to be honest, but it is a bit of a quirky book, which isn't necessarily a bad thing :-) And yes, Disney all the way! Did you see The Princess and the Frog?

  3. @Bex - I did! Several times, in fact. It instantly became one of my favourite Disneys, even disregarding the fact that I have a weird love for frogs :)

    I can't get over the lack of speech marks. Seriously. I'm like a snooty old lady looking down her nose at a tattooed ruffian!