Month: June 2016

The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

I realise that I’m the last person to read this book but nevertheless, here’s my take on it. The Girl on the Train has been a stupidly massive success globally, with a movie on the way. So my question was, does it live up to the hype? You don’t know her. But she knows you. Our lead protagonist is a woman called Rachel. Far … Read More The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

Novel London – 1 July @ Waterstones Islington

For anyone who loves historical fiction I’ll be reading the first chapter of my novel at this event this Friday. Click the link at the bottom to get your free tickets. The other readers are: Guinevere Glasfurd, author of The Words in my Hand, set in 17th century Amsterdam (which I reviewed here: Books – The Words in My Hand – Guinevere Glasfurd). Kay Seeley, … Read More Novel London – 1 July @ Waterstones Islington

The Comedian – Part Four

The Comedian – Part One It took another three weeks and a decent amount of gin for Ned to tell Maggie how he felt. He had suffered in silence throughout, watching her giggle at Ulysses’s terrible jokes, letting him paw her during breaks in rehearsal, and spending a suspiciously long time in his dressing room with the door closed. Everyone was gossiping about her … Read More The Comedian – Part Four

Black History Walks in London

Last weekend I went on a guided walk with Black History Walks. These guys run several tours around London, from Elephant and Castle to St Paul’s, each taking around two hours. I did the Secrets of Soho walk (though most of it is actually in Bloomsbury, finishing at Soho Square). There is so much forgotten and hidden black history around this area which neither I … Read More Black History Walks in London

Books – The Words in My Hand – Guinevere Glasfurd

I first came across Guinevere Glasfurd via the TLC (The Literacy Consultancy) website. She won their Pen Factor competition in 2014 and I heard her read from her debut novel as part of the TLC’s Writers’ Day on June 11th. I loved the section that she read aloud, enough to buy the book on the day, and so here is my review. The Words … Read More Books – The Words in My Hand – Guinevere Glasfurd

The Comedian – Part Three

The Comedian – Part One The Comedian – Part Two The Crown and Anchor tavern was only a little out of the way home, and Ned made his way there as soon as the curtain fell each night. After his successful comic turn in the pantomime, he was in favour and secured a small part in the farce that followed. When the curtain fell … Read More The Comedian – Part Three

London, Sugar and Slavery

I’ve been to the main Museum of London site several times but this was my first trip out to Docklands. It’s well worth a visit – entrance is free and it’s great for families (I went on a Sunday afternoon and there were lots of family friendly activities taking place). For adults, many of these activities take place away from the main galleries so … Read More London, Sugar and Slavery

Books – My Name is Leon – Kit de Waal

My Name is Leon is the long-awaited debut novel from Kit de Waal and I’m pleased to say that, for me, it lived up to all the hype. Unless you have a heart of stone this book will make you cry (commuters beware!) but, although Leon has it tough, this isn’t a harrowing read. Leon is loved and for all the heartbreak he suffers, … Read More Books – My Name is Leon – Kit de Waal

The Comedian – Part Two

The Comedian – Part One 1829 had been a wonderful year. The best year. A year when Ned Bennett had let himself dream that he could just be the next Edmund Kean. Halfway through a run of Cinderella at no less prestigious a house as the Theatre Royal, he returned each evening to Lambeth with more money in his pocket than he’d ever had … Read More The Comedian – Part Two

Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds

The first day of this exhibition was rather eventful, the British Museum having to close for several hours after Greenpeace activists climbed the columns to hang banners in protest at BP’s sponsorship. Since then, all has been peaceful and, whether you agree with the source of funding or not, the exhibition is definitely worth a look. We’ve all heard the tale of the mystical … Read More Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds

Books – A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara

I made it! This was the last book on the Baileys shortlist and I finished with a day to go before the announcement. So – is A Little Life a contender for the prize? This is a weighty book even in paperback form, 720 pages. I don’t mind that. I quite enjoy a longer book as long as it can justify its length. And … Read More Books – A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara

The Comedian – Part One

Time had slowed, so much so that he really should have been able to put out a hand, stop his face from hitting the road with enough force to burst his lip open like a rotten piece of fruit. The sheer quantity of gin that Ned had consumed in the hours leading up to his eviction from the tavern near the Thames prevented him … Read More The Comedian – Part One