Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

I think if I knew more about Greek mythology, anthropology, medusae, father-complex and cultural memory, then Deborah Levy’s Hot Milk would be even better, and more layered with meaning, than it already is.

As it is, I understand enough about hypochondria and passive-aggressiveness to know that what Levy has created in the characters of Rose and Sofia is truly excellent stuff.

“Hello Sofia. I can see that you’ve been having a nice time at the beach.”
I told her the beach was desolate and that I’d been staring for two hours at a pile of gas canisters. It was my special skill, to make my day smaller so as to make her day bigger. Continue reading

I want…

i-want-it-now

This week’s TTT topic is ‘Ten Books You’d Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed You A Fully Loaded Gift Card’ but really, ten is stupid when what I actually *need* is at least a hundred.

How about we make this the first week of Top One Hundred Tuesday? Continue reading

What’s new?

ttt-new-releases-2016

I haven’t been shouting from the rooftops about new releases this year – not because there’s been a lack of ace new books but because I’ve been focusing my reading on what’s been languishing in the TBR stack.

But thanks to the magic that is NetGalley, a few have come my way… This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about the 2016 new releases that have made my heart sing. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from My Brilliant Friend to Swimming Home

six-degrees-my-brilliant-friend

It’s time for #6Degrees (and as the new-ish host, I’m asking you in the loveliest possible way to join in!).

We begin this month with the first book in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet, My Brilliant Friend. I’ve only just started reading it, but the story focuses on two young girls who remain friends until adulthood. Continue reading

They should make a movie of that…

BookFiend-etsy

First book, then movie. I miss lots of new-release movies because I haven’t read the book. In fact, my chief-movie-going-pal often gives me advance warning of movies she wants to see with a simple “Read the book now because the movie is out in a month.” I have lovely, considerate friends.

Even though the book is nearly always better than the movie (nearly), it doesn’t stop me imagining the movie version of books I’ve loved. Some books just scream ‘screenplay please’. This week’s Top Ten topic, hosted by The Broke and Bookish, is Books I Would Love To See As A Movie.

1. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles – the first thing I thought when I finished this glorious book last week was – Film. Stat. Continue reading

Swimming… Deserves a good book

That’s one of my favourite songs, predominantly because it’s about one of my favourite things – swimming.

I could have made a list of ten words that instantly make me pick up a book (this week’s Top Ten topic, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish) but it seemed like I was repeating what I’d done here. So instead I thought of the one single word that is a sure-fire winner for me. No prizes for guessing what that word is…. But if you haven’t, you ought to go back to the start of this post). Continue reading

‘Swimming Home’ by Deborah Levy

How’s this for a killer opening line?

When Kitty Finch took her hand off the steering wheel and told him she loved him, he no longer knew if she was threatening him or having a conversation.”

Set aside an afternoon’s reading time for Deborah Levy’s gripping Swimming Home.*

Swimming Home is the story of poet, Joe, his wife, daughter and friends Mitchell and Laura. The group has rented a villa in the hills above Nice, France for the summer –

“…the nights were always ‘soft’ in the French Riviera. The days were hard and smelt of money.”

However the holiday gets off to a strange start when they discover a girl in the swimming pool. The girl is Kitty Finch, a self-proclaimed botanist with a stutter and green-painted fingernails, walking naked out of the water and into their holiday.

“Standing next to Kitty Finch was like being near a cork that had just popped out of a bottle. The first pop when gasses seem to escape and everything is sprinkled for one second with something intoxicating.” Continue reading