Month: September 2016

Elephant Hills

From Karon Beach, Phuket it was a 3 and a half hour journey by minibus up to the Khao Sok National Park where Elephant Hills, Thailand’s first luxury tented camp, is located. We arrived in time for lunch before checking into our accommodation for the night. Although remote, the camp has all the facilities – ensuite permanent tents, a swimming pool, wifi, bar and shop. The … Read More Elephant Hills

Karon Beach, Phuket

The best time to travel to Phuket is during the dry season – November to April. However, work trips tend to be off-season and so I am here in September, the height of the monsoon. As I type this it’s actually dry and sunny, but it has rained during my trip quite a lot. I have been told though that this is the rainiest September … Read More Karon Beach, Phuket

Keeping Up Appearances – Part Four

Maria was taking tea with Celine in the morning room when Sam arrived home. ‘We decided to call upon one another since we are both now social pariahs and no one else would care to visit,’ Maria told him. ‘Well, I’m sure that Celine’s company is preferable to those prissy ladies we used to encounter at those dull dinner parties,’ Sam replied, sitting and … Read More Keeping Up Appearances – Part Four

The Strangler Vine – M.J. Carter

  The Strangler Vine is the first novel in the Blake and Avery series (two currently published, with the third due out next month). Historical crime is huge at the moment, and this novel shows why. We meet Ensign William Avery in Calcutta. The year is 1837 and he is working, rather unhappily, for the East India Company. Apart from the friendship of fellow … Read More The Strangler Vine – M.J. Carter

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

I thought that I was going to hate this book, having read mixed reviews, but I have to say that I ended up enjoying it. Perhaps it helped that I read the interview with author Ottessa Moshfegh (click here) from the Guardian last week. It is an interesting read to say the least, but coming to the novel with a different perspective made me … Read More Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem – Peter Ackroyd

This is a book that I first came across some time ago and had on my TBR list of novels set in Victorian London. I was reminded of its existence last week when I saw that it has been made into a film, The Limehouse Golem, which has just been shown at the Toronto Film Festival. From reading the review of the film, it … Read More Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem – Peter Ackroyd

Keeping Up Appearances – Part Three

Missed Part Two? Keeping Up Appearances – Part Two Sam was glad for the opportunity to hide away at the Olympia the next day. He had forced himself to go and congratulate Maria the day before, and had been surprisingly cheered by her contagious excitement. It was better than David’s continued sulking but the theatre accounts held a strange attraction today that he had … Read More Keeping Up Appearances – Part Three

Do Not Say We Have Nothing – Madeleine Thien

Let me begin this review by stating that I am so pleased that this book has made the Man Booker shortlist. There have been a few comments bandied around on certain social media sites (Twitter) that the books that are shortlisted for accolades such as the Man Booker are ‘worthy’ and ‘challenging’ rather than ‘fun’ and ‘entertaining’, that these books may celebrate the written … Read More Do Not Say We Have Nothing – Madeleine Thien

Keeping Up Appearances – Part Two

Keeping Up Appearances – Part One ‘Those letters won’t read themselves,’ David warned. Sam had sought sanctuary in his study, away from Daniel and Celine who were in the throes of their first marital disagreement, and Maria who was feeling unwell yet again. He sat at his grandfather’s desk, shipped over from America at great cost, a stack of correspondence before him. He was … Read More Keeping Up Appearances – Part Two

The Tale of Mary Prince

On the wall of the University of London’s Senate House is fixed a bronze plaque, commemorating a woman who lived in a house on that site in 1829. That woman was Mary Prince, the first black woman to publish an account of a life in slavery. Mary Prince was born into slavery in Bermuda in the late eighteenth century. Her early childhood was spent … Read More The Tale of Mary Prince

Books – Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

Deborah Levy is yet another author who I have been meaning to read for ages. Already shortlisted for the Man Booker for her 2011 novel Swimming Home, her latest book is tipped to make this year’s shortlist also. Sofia Papastergiadis considers herself  a failure. She still lives with her mother (although at the age of 25, that isn’t as unusual as she  makes out), … Read More Books – Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

Keeping Up Appearances – Part One

Sometimes over the past weeks it had seemed that almost every little thing Maria said annoyed him, irritated him like a persistent fly constantly buzzing around him. He wished once that he could swat her, then felt terrible for the rest of the day, making it up to her by showering her with attention, though of course this just encouraged her behaviour. It was … Read More Keeping Up Appearances – Part One