Apologies for my disappearance. I am in the midst of exam mayhem and my posting schedule will be pretty haywire until I finish up next Tuesday. But I wanted to seize this window of opportunity to update you on the world of things literary!
‘Tom Sharpe dies age 85’ – The Guardian
Starting off with some sad news, as the world loses great British comic novelist Tom Sharpe. Best known as author of The Porterhouse Blues, a satire of life at Cambridge University, Sharpe wrote 16 books over the course of his career. He drew inspiration (unsurprisingly) from the fantastically funny works of P.G. Wodehouse and undoubtedly provides an insight into the very core of English culture. He will be missed!
‘Our Reading Lives: Confessions of a Reluctant Poetry Convert’ – Book Riot
Giving voice to my own experience, this is a great little piece on the process of poetry conversion. Poetry is certainly something I found forced on me intermittently throughout my school life, typically by an applaudably ambitious English teacher. Mostly this left me with a deep-rooted impatience with poetry – ‘WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY?’ being my most standard reaction (and yes, this truly coming from a devoted fan of Shakespeare). My moment of conversion was virtually instantaneous. After reading Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits, I was left curious about the identity of the mysterious and unidentified Poet. One Google search later and I stumbled upon the work of Pablo Neruda. I read Because Love Battles and have not looked back since.
‘British Booksellers Seek Amazon Curb’ – The Guardian
This is an extremely interesting story and, I think, the most recent manifestation of a conflict that has been growing for the past few years. After the French Government’s decision to give £7.7million to its bookshops in a fight against Amazon’s market dominance, British booksellers have issued a call to the UK Government to follow suit. Amazon has an undeniable monopoly on the book market, and with statistics suggests that Britain’s independent bookshops are closing at a rate of more than one a week, steps are obviously in order to support the bookselling industry. While I would not do you the injustice of pretending that I do not purchase books from Amazon, I have always made an effort to balance this with purchases from local independent bookshops whenever possible. But this article has provoked me to reassess my priorities. To say that Amazon does not provide a great service would be an obvious lie. Who doesn’t love waking up to a delivery of new books and at cheap-as-chips prices? But I think we have to face the fact that this comes at a cost, even if not with regards to our personal finances. I love independent bookshops and would hate to see them disappear from our streets. I mean, what would we do without the fantastic Foyles? As such, I have decided to go Amazon-free. Cold turkey. As painful as it may be, it is for a greater good!
‘Sunday Night Live with John Cooper Clarke’ London Palladium – 9 June
If you haven’t heard of John Cooper Clarke, your life is just about to get so much better. The original punk poet and owner of the world’s best hair, Clarke revolutionised the world of poetry through his performances. If you can’t make Sunday’s performance at the amazing London Palladium, enjoy this video of Chickentown.
Top Book Fetish Items
‘Neville’s Remembrall Necklace’ – Sawyer and Scout
Since my purchase of Elise’s amazing Snitch necklace (and my subsequent Giveaway), I have been seriously tempted by the rest of her literary-themed items. Her Neville’s Remembrall Necklace is next on my list (although the priorities shift daily). If you’re a Harry Potter fan, there really isn’t anything better.
‘Charles Dickens Vintage Art Print’ – Owl Studio
I am in the process of giving some thought to redecorating my study and have been spending a few revision breaks searching through wall prints. I think this print – an illustration on a vintage dictionary page – is such a clever idea. Plus it looks really good!
‘Wall of Books Library Wallpaper’ – Kathy Kuo Home
On a similar theme of redecoration inspiration, this wallpaper is AMAZING. Not, I hasten to add, to be used in lieu of buying some actual books.
Anyway, wonderful people, I will be by tomorrow for Just For Fun Friday – because if there was ever a need for laughter, it’s now.
Have a lovely evening!