Ancient word of the day: Celandine

This pretty yellow star-like flower is from the buttercup family. It is common to see it flourishing at the beginning of spring in new grasses, hedges and in at the banks of rivers. It blankets forest floors. Commonly thought of as being a weed, it is still absolutely beautiful to behold.

Book Review: The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of 70,000 Ordinary Lives by Helen Pearson

Genre: Non-fiction, social sciences, history, public health Publisher: Counterpoint Rating: 🌟 🌟 The Life Project is published by Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books that focuses serious non-fiction from different realms like history, politics, science and philosophy. I really expected a lot from this book and it didn’t deliver. The Life Project is writtenContinue reading “Book Review: The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of 70,000 Ordinary Lives by Helen Pearson”

Ancient Word of the Day: Hell Kettle

Hell Kettle: n. A deep abyss or bottomless pool The deep pools in Darlington, Co. Durham in England are a part of fearsome local legend. These mysterious pools are said to have inspired Lewis Carroll’s endless rabbithole, where Alice tumbles into another world – in his classic book Alice in Wonderland. They are known asContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Hell Kettle”

Book Review: Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

*Contains no spoilers Right from the start I was hooked on this novel by the celebrated author Michael Ondaatje who wrote the classic The English Patient which won the Booker Prize in 1992 and was turned into an equally successful film. His follow up, Anil’s Ghost failed to hit the mark, at least for me.Continue reading “Book Review: Warlight by Michael Ondaatje”

Ancient Words of the Day: Anglii/Angle/Ankle

One of the oldest English words recorded is Anglii used first in the year 98 AD by Roman historian Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56-120 AD) Anglii i.e “the Angles,” literally “people of Angul” (Old Norse Öngull). Tacitus wrote in 98AD in his book ‘Germania’ about the various Teutonic tribes he came into contact with includingContinue reading “Ancient Words of the Day: Anglii/Angle/Ankle”

Seven suspenseful and unforgettable historical novels

Great historical novels are fully immersed in time, place and have a tangible effect of bringing you into a time period that you may otherwise never know. This is what’s truly exhilerating about the historical novel. The setting and surroundings become like a fully formed character in the novel. Whether we’re talking about a BritishContinue reading “Seven suspenseful and unforgettable historical novels”

Book Review: Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky: A London Trilogy by Patrick Hamilton

*No spoilers Patrick Hamilton isn’t really as well known as he should be, which is a crime and a shame. He is a fantastic and yet underrated British writers of the post-war era. You may recognise his work in the play Rope which was turned into a well-known Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name.Continue reading “Book Review: Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky: A London Trilogy by Patrick Hamilton”

Medieval bangers and tavern stompers circa 2020

Treat thine ears and eyes to a new genre of music – bardcore! Perhaps you’re looking for that tavern banger that you enjoyed back in 1365. Or perhaps you want to reminisce on the summer solstice when you gathered with jolly folk at Stonehenge, got wasted on mead and were visited by a strange celestialContinue reading “Medieval bangers and tavern stompers circa 2020”

Book Review: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

This is the first fantasy novel of acclaimed Japanese writer Kazuo Ishiguro. Previously, I have read The Remains of the Day, an incredible book that was turned into a successful film of the same name. Although creating a fantasy novel is a huge departure from his usual setting. In many ways, this book contains theContinue reading “Book Review: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro”

Book Review: Weatherland by Andrea Harris

Weatherland by Alexandra Harris is a sweeping panorama and magic carpet ride through the history of England using a quirky weathervane to measure the changing culture – the weather. Author Alexandra Harris’ debut book won The Guardian’s Book of the Year. It’s no surprise either because this is a far-reaching, expansive book written in anContinue reading “Book Review: Weatherland by Andrea Harris”