An older and wiser Sherlock hits the big screen

11 February, 2015

Can you imagine how the unbeatable Sherlock Holmes will cope as he reaches his elderly years and has to face the mundane battles, such as memory loss and dementia, as well as coming up against the fantastical criminals in his day-to-day detective work? New film, Mr Holmes, directed by Bill Condon offers a vision of Sir […]

Get ready for your favourite books making the big-screen in 2015

28 January, 2015

We’re all aware of the hotly anticipated film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, due to hit screens in February. But what of the other book-to-screen productions coming up in 2015?     A huge fan of Gone Girl, the book and the film, I’ll be saving space in my diary for the next Gillian […]

Perfume psychology with our favourite authors

12 January, 2015

I thoroughly enjoyed Emerald Street’s article last week matching famous authors to their comparative perfumes. Based on nothing more than their writing and a passing knowledge of their lives, here are some speculative suggestions for the preferred scents of our favourite writers. Anaïs Nin Mitsouko features frequently in Anaïs Nin’s writing, including Henry And June. […]

Delectable scenes in children’s fiction

31 December, 2014

As we’re all now feeling rather festively plump having eaten our way through the Christmas week – here’s a round-up of some of the best fictional feasts in children’s books, as featured in the Guardian. Do you have a favourite scene of mouth-watering feasts to add to the list? 1)    The Inspector’s recipe for a […]

Jekyll and Hyde – one not to watch alone

3 December, 2014

Reading Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, alone in a damp student dorm with single-glazed, rattling windows on a Newcastle winter evening, is a thrill I’ll never forget and will soon be reliving (in London this time but still with single-glazing). I’m so excited to hear author and comedian […]

‘Who Are You?’ asks Grayson Perry

10 November, 2014

Grayson Perry’s stunning ceramics and loud, colourful tapestries have always been a favourite of mine. And fourteen of his portraits of individuals, families and groups are currently on display at the London Portrait Gallery in an exhibition that asks Who Are You? I don’t want to give too much away but one of the many […]

Sherrinford Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Ormond Sacker

29 October, 2014

Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? However, an early manuscript of A Study in Scarlet shows its author still sketching out the names for what became the infamous duo, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson . This weekend I stepped behind the wall of books and into the world of Sherlock Holmes […]

Ahead of trend with Forsyth’s fairytale retellings

24 October, 2014

Fairytales with a new twist are still very much in vogue, heightened by the success of blockbusters such as Snow White and the Huntsman and Maleficent. Authors such as Neil Gaiman and Russell Brand are reinventing the fairytale with gangsta rats, werewolves and warrior queens. If you’re looking for an utterly captivating reinvention, check out […]

Have Kindle converts returned to the bookshop?

15 October, 2014

A lover of thumbing through pages of a riveting read, the feel of an embossed cover and the smell of a new book – I never converted to e-book reading. But, with it’s light-weight transportable convenience, many did and for a while it looked to be the end of printed books. However, last November, statistics […]

‘Lost’ Sherlock film discovered

10 October, 2014

A silent Sherlock Holmes film made in 1916, thought to have been lost forever, and featuring the only screen performance by William Gillette with his trademark pipe has been found in the French film archive.     Read the full article here:   Lydia Riddle, Editor

The Adventure Continues for Holmes-ians

3 October, 2014

Fans of our Sherlock Holmes pastiches will be delighted to hear that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original manuscript of the late Holmes story The Adventure of the Illustrious Client will be on display for the first time, at the Museum of London, from 17th October. Famous for never revealing the true identity of the ‘illustrious […]

Which poem do you know by heart?

26 September, 2014

I’m proud to say I can still recite William Blake’s The Tiger on request, thanks to my GCSE English teacher who ruthlessly ordered me and my fellow classmates to stand up in front of the class and deliver it from memory. Over the next year, Cambridge University are conducting a poetry and memory survey, in which academics are going to […]

A library with no books

12 September, 2014

There’ll be no dusty shelves chaotically crammed with books to aimlessly wander along  for these students. Instead, Florida Polytechnic University’s spacious library is entirely digital and provides students access to around 135,000 ebooks. It will certainly mean lighter school bags! Lydia Riddle, Editor      

A serious point on the serial comma

3 September, 2014

As a recent article in TED succinctly states: the serial comma (a.k.a. the Oxford comma) is perhaps the most hotly contested grammatical point of all time. Where do you stand on the issue of the Oxford comma? This picture should help you see why it makes sense to use it . . . Check out […]

Fancy a Pong match?

22 August, 2014

Do you remember Pong, the world’s first arcade video game from the 70s? Try playing it now that we’re used to much more sophisticated software. It’s hard! Don’t believe me? Head down to The Digital Revolution exhibition at the Barbican and have a go on the clunky dials yourself. From Pong to Apple’s huge range […]

Should we be following French law against heavy discounting to help indie booksellers in the UK?

15 August, 2014

‘As booksellers around the world continue to feel the pinch of trying to do business in an online retail climate, the French Parliament has taken action that at least intends to protect bookshops in some small way. The government has now made it illegal to offer free shipping on books in the country.’ Could UK […]

A shelf of a very familiar taste in books

6 August, 2014

It doesn’t take much to guess which part of the world I was lucky enough to spend a few days in last week . . . Yes, Jo Nesbo and Jorn Lier Horst dominate the bestseller shelves in their homeland Norway with a shelf to spare for Danish author Jussi Alder-Olsen too. Locally-based crime fiction […]

A trip to London’s Comic Con – any excuse to promote indie bookshops . . .

14 July, 2014

You’ve spent months carefully hand-making a cosplay outfit to replicate your favourite anime character – what’s the perfect accessory to complete the look? Why, a Books Are My Bag tote, of course! Kathryn and Lydia took a trip to Earls Court on Saturday to check out some of the best costumes the London Film and Comic […]

Dancers, acrobats, mermaids and jazz – a bold and vibrant world according to Henri Matisse

9 July, 2014

I made  my way around the spectacular Cut-Outs exhibition at the Tate Modern on Friday, and I left feeling overwhelmingly inspired by the abundant positivity and energy that beams out of Matisse’s later works. One of the most innovative painters of the twentieth-century alongside Duchamp and Picasso, health problems in the last seventeen years of […]

YA or not, this lady’s all for reading The Fault in Our Stars

2 July, 2014

As umbrellas went up and trendy festival goers assembled onto the muddy fields of Glastonbury this weekend – I chose not to stand in the rain. Instead, I chose the cosy velour of the cinema. Last week saw the UK release of The Fault in Our Stars, the film adaptation of the chart-topping YA novel […]