Category Archives: Shena Mackay

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

Posted in Ali Smith, Colin Barrett, Lara Williams, Shena Mackay | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday reading

After finding this glorious postcard in a charity shop, I realised it was time to set about one of my favourite pastimes: deciding on my holiday reading, a task fraught with risks and encumbered with rules. The first point I need … Continue reading

Posted in Barbara Comyns, Gordon Burn, Hanya Yanagihara, John Fowles, John Kennedy Toole, Katherine Mansfield, Margaret Drabble, Marita Sturken, Shena Mackay, Simon Raven, Tony Warren | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shena Mackay: myrmidon of melancholy

‘There is…one amongst us who can write about blear and drear and perform some kind of magic on them that turns Tippex to liquid gold. This alchemist’s name is Shena Mackay and she is probably the best writer in the … Continue reading

Posted in Julie Burchill, Saint Etienne, Shena Mackay | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments