On Angels

This week I am moving away from the pressure of reading this book by that date in favour of more timeless thoughts.  Not mine obviously but those of musicians, philosophers, poets.  A ‘melding of the individual and the universal which is the creation of art, the simplicity after the difficulties. It is a frenetic, fragmented […]

#The Wild Silence. A Review of Raynor Winn’s sequel to #The Salt Path

The Wild Silence is the second book by Raynor Winn, author, naturalist, homelessness expert

First of all a big shout out to Son of Rune (the elder) for the amazing transformation of the design of this blog.  Thank you. The Wild Silence is Raynor Winn’s second book which covers the time from her and her husband Moth’s return home (where is home?) to the writing of the book and […]

Miracles Leave No Trace: A Review of ‘Jack’ by Marilynne Robinson

“Miracles leave no trace.  He had decided, hearing his father preach on the subject, that they happened once as a sort of commentary on the blandness and inadequacy of the reality they break in on, and then vanish, leaving a world behind that refutes the very idea that such a thing could have happened.” Jack […]

Don’t Look for Lemon Trees or Cafe Society in this Wintry Version of Italy

A Review of Grove, by Esther Kinsky.  Trans, Caroline Schmidt.  (Fitzcarraldo Editions) Nothing happens in this book – at least nothing that will not happen to every single one of us at some time in our lives.  Esther Kinsky’s writing underlines the temporary  and porous nature of the divide between those who have passed and […]

It Doesn’t Have To Be the Way It Is – Lessons from Fairytales and Fantasy

Come with me to another place,   a hall house perhaps, where torchlight glances off stone walls hung with scarlet and gold tapestries to keep out the bitter winter draughts;  a world where people are not always kind to each other but they are at least allowed to meet – sometimes next the bridge, on horseback […]

5 Books of Solitude and Isolation

There is a difference between choosing solitude and being forced into isolation.   From the writer’s point of view at least.  But I think for the reader too.  I have struggled in the last week or so to turn to the books on my TBR pile.  My mind is searching for solace. Before all the […]

If you do not like the way we tell our story then you are an enemy of the state…

Who shall have control over the story? The grand narratives.  Who allows or disallows them? Who decides what punishments shall follow on from perceived breaches? Salman Rushdie’s  posed this question in his autobiographical work Joseph Anton (2012) which I have recently re-read.   It is a question that is more urgent than ever.    For the […]

Knowledge is always a kind of magic – but some libraries hold the deepest secrets

Just about everything I thought I knew about this book was disrupted by the end.    I thought there would be bookish secrets from the past, lost keys, messages on torn paper,  appearances, vanishings, learned tomes in chained libraries.  And to a certain extent these things are present.  Books,  libraries and hidden secrets are hardly new […]