Category Archives: Shena Mackay

‘My Year of Rest and Relaxation’ Ottessa Moshfegh

‘Oh, sleep, nothing else could ever bring me such pleasure, such freedom, the power to feel and move and think and imagine, safe from the miseries of my waking and consciousness.’ I recently wrote about Sayaka Murata’s charming ‘Convenience Store … Continue reading

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Books of the Year 2017

The Ali Smith Book of the year: ‘Winter’ by Ali Smith Is this the most enjoyable book of the year? No. But, like last year’s ‘Autumn’ it is possibly one of the most pertinent and timely of books and is … Continue reading

Posted in Adelle Stripe, Ali Smith, Andrea Dunbar, Beth Underdown, Claire Louise Bennett, Emma Flint, Gwendoline Riley, Ian Waites, John Grindrod, Jon McGregor, Lydie Salvayre, Shena Mackay | Tagged | Leave a comment

Music Time: Saint Etienne

Summer’s here, so who better than Saint Etienne, the best band in all the world! And… I’ve finally(!) finalised my holiday reading (I am a natural ditherer): So, alongside Merce Rodereda and Elizabeth David which I wrote about earlier, I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Claire Louise Bennett, Elizabeth David, Gwendoline Riley, Merce Rodoreda, Music Time: Saint Etienne, Shena Mackay | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beautiful Books 4

or, ‘You can(sometimes!) judge a book by its cover’ Shena Mackay writes about the grit and grot of daily life like no other and this cover, from the 1968 Panther  paperback of her 1965 novel ‘Music Upstairs’, captures perfectly the everyday tedium of … Continue reading

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Something to look forward to…

Little Deaths – Emma Flint (Jan 12) It’s the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York shimmer in a heatwave. One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young … Continue reading

Posted in Andrew O'Hagan, Beth Underdown, Camille Paglia, Emma Flint, Gwendoline Riley, Hannah Kent, Ian Sansom, Jake Arnott, Louise Welsh, Ottessa Moshfegh, Shena Mackay | Leave a comment

If only…

On those days when I’m between books and can’t quite settle on something new, I often think about those ‘if only..’ books which I long to read but know that they will only ever exist in my imagination. Here are … Continue reading

Posted in Alexandra Artley, Bob Stanley, Garry Mulholland, nell dunn, Shena Mackay, Tony Warren | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Treats -Lara Williams

When shopping in Waterstones, have you ever stopped to read the little cards which stand before certain books, resplendent with artfully cultivated handwriting which says ‘I’m interesting, me!’ and exuding gushing praise with today’s most overused (and inapproriate) adjectives: ‘Adorable!’, … Continue reading

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