Tag Archives: Shena Mackay

Beautiful Books 16

‘Old Crow’ by Shena Mackay; Jonathan Cape 1967, Jacket Design by Bill Botten This wonderful cover perfectly sums up the off-kilter country life detailed within: the story of Coral Fairbrother’s descent from village beauty to reviled outcast, a fate cast … Continue reading

Posted in Beautiful Books 16, Shena Mackay | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Hothouse by the East River – Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark is a tonic. Her books may be slender but what they lack in heft they more than make up for with a huge compression of the blackest of humour, the sharpest of prose, the cleanest of styles and … Continue reading

Posted in Muriel Spark, 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

Posted in Beautiful Books 04, Shena Mackay | 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 , , , , , , | 1 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 , , , , | 12 Comments