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Natty knits for Christmas

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Christmas, a good cause, knitwear and a man called Darcy. That’s a pretty irresistible combination, I’m sure you’ll agree. I spotted the other day that Save the Children have launched a perfectly festive fundraising campaign: Christmas Jumper Day. On Friday 13th December, they are encouraging us to wear a suitably Yuletide-emblazoned jumper and to give […]

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DIY Sushi

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Being a bit of a foodie, I was excited to be invited to a sushi making class last week, at Sumosan. The evening started with a shining example of what we were attempting to make- delicious crab, and salmon and avocado rolls, as well as salmon and prawn nigiri. Appetites satisfied and inspired, we set […]

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Wednesday Cover story: Iconic covers…and soup

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

I spotted the other day that Campbell’s, purveyors of fine soups, had decided to celebrate the 50 years since Andy Warhol incorporated the brand into his artwork with a set of limited edition tomato soup cans. Pretty nifty eh? It made me think about those images in the world of books that are iconic, absolute […]

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Have your cake and eat it.

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

There’s a National Day of Something for every day of the year.  And we’ve come to the point where we’re doubling up – there aren’t enough days in the calendar to give a National Day to all the Somethings we want to dedicate a National Day to. And half the time we get confused with […]

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From the Page to the Screen

Monday, November 25th, 2013

While most people dread January as it means the end of the holidays, I am quite looking forward to the New Year because with it comes the film release of one of my favourite books: The Book Thief, by Mark Zusak. The book follows nine-year-old Liesel in Nazi Germany, who lives with a foster family as […]

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Time for some Literary Bling…

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

I’m a little bit of a self-confessed online shop-o-holic (Big Lie Alert…I’m a massive online shopping addict!) So imagine my heart palpitations over this little number that I treated myself to earlier this year. This beautiful handmade necklace is a miniature replica of my all time favourite novel, The Great Gatsby. Given the convenience of, […]

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The Lavender Keeper and other wartime reads…

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

I can’t believe it’s nearly a year since I was enjoying cosying up to Restless– the BBC’s adaptation of William Boyd’s great espionage novel. Since then Hayley Atwell, who played headstrong Eva, has become something of a rising star, and I’ve skipped through fantasy (finally watched a bit of Game of Thrones) and French zombies […]

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Wednesday Cover Story: The Hungarian Fountain…

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

You can usually tell if a book if a UK or foreign edition. There are certain styles or designs that you simply wouldn’t see on a UK cover. As diverse as book covers may be, there is something that tells you (aside from the English text) it’s a UK or at least an Anglo-version. Author […]

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The Power of the Song…

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

So this week everyone’s talking about the Christmas adverts starting on television. Although they do stir some sort of childhood nostalgia, I think the music accompanying the adverts is what makes it special for me. Last year John Lewis gave us Gabrielle Aplin’s The Power of Love cover and the nation melted. For the rest […]

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A Cocktail of Literary Puns…

Monday, November 18th, 2013

The nights are drawing in, that bitter north wind is finding all the chinks in your coat and at some point in the next month you have to do Christmas shopping for the world and his wife. It’s enough to drive you to drink, isn’t it? Well, my eye was caught the other day by a […]

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Friday Fun: Alternative Book Titles…

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Oh, the little pleasures in life.  Hearing a robin sing, kicking up a pile of crunchy autumn leaves, sipping the perfect cup of tea, coming across an accidental renaming of  a book title… You know what I mean – when someone  refers to a book, say, called The Yellow Dog, when it’s actually The Yellow […]

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Christmas is a time for tradition, nostalgia and tear-jerkers…

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

The highly anticipated John Lewis chrimbo advert, featuring a bear that befriends a hare at Christmas, aired on our screens this weekend. It reminded me of one of my all time favourite children’s books and a certain Little Nut-brown Hare, from the charming storybook, Guess How Much I Love You, written by Sam McBratney. I […]

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Wednesday Cover Story: Discovering Rushdie

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Salman Rushdie: great author, figure of controversy, one whom I have been guided to read since early days of study. We finally meet. …And I’m ‘shamed’ (sorry!) to say that it’s down only in part to former post colonial studies and three rounds of Booker awards, and rather more because LOOK AT THESE COVERS! These […]

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Bah humbug

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

If you are a sucker for more commercial / soulless Christmas traditions then you probably think your Christmas season has now kicked off. You can pick up caffeinated and no doubt excessively calorific drinks in cups of a certain colour. And a bear and a hare have tried to teach us the true meaning of […]

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Book Spying…

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Whenever I am on public transport I always have a quick look around the carriage to see what everyone is reading. Those people with pesky E-readers deny me the knowledge so I simply assume they are reading Fifty Shades of Grey and would rather not have the knowing glances. There’s often a lot of variety, […]

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Fancy a bit of Rioja this weekend?

Friday, November 8th, 2013

A couple of weekends ago, I decided to up-sticks from the miserable London weather and head off for a girly weekend to Rioja in northern Spain with my best friend, her mum and sister. A ‘Rioja Road Trip’ so to speak. As seasoned (some might even say, expert!) drinkers of the stuff, we felt it […]

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Live Theatre: Frankenstein

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Earlier this week I saw a wonderful bit of theatre at the cinema. Yes, theatre at the cinema. As part of their 50th anniversary the National Theatre are showing Encore screenings of their best productions at cinemas around the UK. I went to see Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. Every […]

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Wednesday Cover Story: Why mess with a classic…

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

In our weekly office meeting today, we discussed the fact that we will soon be needing a reprint of the wonderful book War in Val D’Orcia, by Iris Origo – a captivating diary in which Iris recounts a year of wartime occupation living on her Tuscan estate, La Foce.  She never left her estate, hiding […]

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Christmas comes early…

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Forget Halloween, while much of London was walking the streets bespattered in fake gore last Thursday night, I decided to get a head start on Christmas at the Country Living Christmas Fair. I wandered through the surprisingly large Business Design Centre making mental notes for Christmas presents (80% for me rather than my nearest and […]

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Homework-free reading at Richmix

Monday, November 4th, 2013

  I first heard of Rich Mix as the venue for a DocHouse documentary screening (more of that here) and was keen to learn more about the charitable/social enterprise, which offers a range of creative activities for people of all ages and from all backgrounds. It’s the kind of place that reminds me of why […]

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