The Weekly Reader: 15/01/14

Happy Wednesday, my lovelies!

I hope that you are all having a fabulous week. I am once again immersed in the world of the PhD which is, at least, a distraction from the rain. Still plenty of reading time, however, and I am currently on my third run-through of George Orwell’s fantastic 1984. Review upcoming, of course. For now I leave you with this week’s edition of The Weekly Reader.

Wishing you all a fantastic few days ahead.


‘1984: The Romantic Film. Love The Idea?’ – The Guardian

Now, you all know my feelings about Twilight star Kristen Stewart. I hardly believed that a further deterioration in opinion was possible. But the news that she is to star in a “romantic remake” of Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984 (yes, you read that correctly) has left me virtually flat-lining. While I always approach literary film adaptations with a certain amount of scepticism, the notion of a romantic re-imagining of this groundbreaking work sparks new levels of personal indignation. It does a disservice to Orwell’s genius and totally violates the spirit in which the novel was intended. Definitely a step too far from Hollywood, I think.

‘Renowned Argentine Poet Juan Gelman, 83, Dies In Mexico’ – BBC

One of the most spectacular literary talents died today. Juan Gelman, recipient of the Cervantes Prize in 2007 and author of some of the most emotive poetry in the Spanish language, was known also for his political stance. A former-guerilla and stringent left-wing activist, Gelman lost both his son and his pregnant daughter-in-law following their abduction by the military-led government. A remarkable life and a remarkable gift, Juan Gelman’s loss will resound.

GOTAN (an English translation)

by Juan Gelman

The woman was like the word never,

a special charm rose up from her neck,

a kind of forgetfulness where her eyes were safe,

the woman settled in my left side.


Watch out watch out I’d scream watch out

but she possessed me like love, like the night,

and the last signals I made that autumn

settled down quietly under the surf of her hands.


Sharp sounds exploded inside me,

rage, sadness, fell down in shreds,

the woman came down like a sweet rain

on my bones standing in the solitude.


She left me shivering like someone condemned

and I killed myself with a quick knife-thrust,

I’ll spend all my death laid out with her name,

it will be the last thing to move my lips.

 ‘How I’m Repairing My Reading Habits’ – Book Riot

This is an article that, once again, offers something of a stepping stone from my post regarding reading goals for the new year. In this piece, Peter Damien reflects upon the ways in which he is trying to streamline and refine his reading habits. The deficiencies that he is attempting to address (including little time spent reading, difficulty choosing new books to read, and reading multiple books at one time) are problems that I have heard told from avid readers, on many occasions. The new year presents an ideal opportunity for us to revise those habits and routines that are preventing us from getting the most out of our reading time. This article is a useful starting point.


‘Nanny Knows Best: The History Of The British Nanny’, 17 January – Foyles Bookshop, Bristol

Who doesn’t love Mary Poppins? Combined with the overwhelming influence of the global phenomenon, Downton Abbey, it is perhaps little surprise that the literary world has been inundated with books pertaining to the lives of ‘them downstairs’. Katherine Holden’s new book delves into the lives of British nannies of the 20th century, both in fact and fiction.


One holiday done, and yet still more impending. I speak, mostly, of Valentine’s Day. And with that day fast approaching, here are some gift ideas for your literary lover.

‘BookBook Laptop Case’ – TwelveSouth

Surely the most stylish way to carry your laptop? Plus, for those as accident prone as myself, an absolute necessity!

‘Pride and Prejudice Darcy And Elizabeth Proposal Necklace’ – GlamorousGlueDesigns

How could we possibly discuss literary-inspired Valentine’s gifts without some reference to Pride and Prejudice? Perhaps the greatest quote of all time, and in necklace form. What more could your loved one require?

‘Romeo and Juliet Notebook’ – Bellecardsandgifts

Stationery themed on Shakespeare’s greatest lovers. Perfect.


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