Wednesday, October 17, 2007


oops- over 2 weeks without a post
As mentioned before this post is mostly written at home where the computer has been constantly hogged by my very busy civil servant partner. Trying to do anything at work has been tricky as this is the big month of selling books at launches. We've been to Max Hastings, Ken Follet, Simon Sebag Montefiore (twice) John O'Farrell, John Simpson (twice) and a Gyles Brandreth event with Piers Brendon and AA Gill still to come as well as selling bocks at the ever interesting Battle of Ideas.
but it's not all about glamour, last night I could have gone to the Booker parties but, sadly, my diary just said- 'pick up kids.' Embarrassingly this was not due to Kirsty having important civil servant things to do- she was at Crystal Palace High Street having a massage- now I'm not sure if this just further underlines my already impeccable new man credentials or just goes to show what a crap negotiator I am.
It does, however, bring me on nicely to the ManBooker- and congratulations to Anne Enright. I must admit that I have not read any of her novels but they do always look intestring and there is no doubt that she can write- I glean this information from her book 'Making Babies' possibly the best and certainly the best written book on becoming a mother.

Monday, October 01, 2007

what's in our windows (and an apology)

There is or should be soon a new feature on our website. It's called 'what's in our windows'- ok so the title errs on the side of boredom but the site is still in development. The idea is that the window books are so new that even we haven't read them yet- as opposed to the 'recommends' where we have, all of them. This does involve a certain amount of guesswork and reliance on the publisher being honest about the contents for my little reviews but I hope they give an idea of the books in question. The aim is just to highlight around 10 titles a month and that they should run from the well known to the quixotic.
The last time I mentioned the site I didn't give the address- this was particularly remiss as we can not easily be found via Google or other search engines (still in development), but the address is the easy to remember

our windows today..

The Age of Conversation
Benedetta Craveri
Who says the art of conversation is dead ?
Fascinating social and cultural survey of the French Salon, with its contribution to the Age of Enlightenment.

Graham Greene: A Life in Letters
edited by Richard Greene
Wonderful collection of correspondence spanning seven decades. Essential reading

Shakespeare’s Wife, Germaine Greer
Much has been written about
Stratford’s Bard, yet little about his family life. Greer’s fascinating research into Ann Shakespeare’s life further enlarges upon the roles and position of Elizabethan women.

Mummy ?
By Sendak, Yorinks and Reinhart
What a great pop-up book for kid’s !!! Sendak and friends at their most inventive.

The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
Epic novel with Howard Roark at its
Centre, in his battle against the establishment to build on his own terms.
An unashamed celebration of Capitalism in the pursuit of excellence.

David Golder, Irène Némirovsky
Grim but beautifully wrought character
study of a businessman, whose ambition and greed exact a harsh price on his failing health. Very moving.

Daughter of the Desert: The Remarkable
Life of Gertrude Bell, Georgina Bell
Who doesn’t want to be a polymath (even an archaeologist)? Excellent account of an extraordinary woman who lived life on her own terms.

God’s Architect:
Pugin and the Age of Romantic
Britain, Rosemary Hill
The first authoritative biography on Pugin for seventy years. Hill’s research illuminates the importance of this pioneer of British Romanticism.

1080 recipes
Simone and Ines Ortega
It is truly beautiful, looking at the inside you realise why Phaidon are one of our finest Art publishers and reading the recipes you realise why this has been Spain's best-selling cookbook for over 30 years.

The Golden Age of Couture
Paris and London 1947-57
Edited by Claire Wilcox
Accompanies the exhibition at the V&A. Sumptuous.

and now the apology..

Reading the Bloomsbury party entry it seems a little churlish, moaning about the food and the use of the word ‘bothered’. All I can say is that it was written under extreme circumstances (a brute of a hangover). I also completely accept that, as Stuart has pointed out, the condition of inebriation is not caused by lack of food but by the (willing) consumption of alcohol. Also any party that consists of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, meeting old friends some of whom I have not seen for a decade, dancing (albeit in, possibly embarrassing but fun circumstances) and saying goodbye to your host at 1.30am, is a pretty good party. Thank you Bloomsbury.