Back to blogging…

Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut

You may (… or may not) have noticed that I’ve been gone for quite a while! It has been a weird and yet wonderful summer; some dramatic moments coupled with some life-affirming moments, which then resulted in plenty of happy … Continue reading

The Scottish Book Awards 2011: The Breakfast Room by Stewart Conn

Stewart Conn’s poetry collection, The Breakfast Room, has been shortlisted for the 2011 Scottish Book Awards (you can vote for it here!). The book is inspired by and titled after the Bonnard painting of the same name (which features on the book cover).

I thouroughly enjoyed The Breakfast Room, and visual inspiration really helps to create an atmosphere: it’s humorous, warm, moving, and above all, extremely clever. For a taste of the collection, who better to intorduce and read The Brekfast Room than Stewart Conn himself: Continue reading

The Scottish Book Awards 2011: Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay

The Scottish Book Awards 2011So let’s kick things off! In July I will be giving away the four titles that have been shortlisted for The Scottish Book Awards 2011 – find out how to enter the giveaway here! In the non-fiction category, Jackie Kay’s Red Dust Road is one of these titles and I reviewed it a couple of months ago…

Jackie Kay‘s writing oozes ‘normality’, it’s unashamedly honest and at times unapologetically simple. But her personal life has been neither normal nor simple, and her identity has very much influenced her work; a Scottish poet and writer, Kay was born in Edinburgh to a Nigerian father and a Scottish mother. She was adopted at birth by a communist white couple and was brought up in Glasgow.

In Red Dust Road: An Autobiographical Journey, Kay tells us about the journey she took to trace her birth parents. Her journey is a metaphorical and physical one: from Glasgow to Milton Keynes to Aberdeen to Nigeria and back again, to the forked roads and the roads not taken and the long winding roads. Emotionally, the journey is a difficult one, and Kay doesn’t take the easy route. Continue reading

The Scottish Book Awards 2011 Giveaway

To celebrate the 39th year of The Scottish Book Awards, hosted by Creative Scotland, I will be hosting a giveaway!

In the month of July, you will be given the chance to win all of the four titles shortlisted for this years award. Each of which exemplify Scottish literary excellence:

The Scottish Book Awards Creative Scotland 2011

  • Leila Aboulela, Lyrics Alley (fiction)
  • Jackie Kay, Red Dust Road (non-fiction)
  • Stewart Conn, The Breakfast Room (poetry)
  • Sue Peebles, The Death of Lomond Freil (first book)

The winner of the The Scottish Book Awards will have their book named Scottish Book of the Year, and the author will win a whopping £25,000. What’s more, for the first time in the history of the awards, you will be responsible for choosing a winner. The public vote will commence on the 16 May and end on 31 July 2011. So get voting here!! Continue reading

Guest review: The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

This week, I’m letting my mum loose on Little Interpretations, as she reviews the second book in Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy…

Wow! What a fantastic late-into-the-night page turner. The Girl who Played with Fire is the second book in Millennium trilogy. While I am not a crime / thriller fan, I was encouraged to read Steig Larsson‘s series by my daughter Marie, and I have to say, this book is fantastic.

I had very much misunderstood the concept of the trilogy by making assumptions of what it was about without actually having read a page. I had no interest in it partly because it is based on murder (not my genre of choice) and also because it is set in Sweden. The  translated text and Swedish names and places put me off slighty, but how wrong I was.

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Carole Ann Duffy & the royal wedding

I know, I know, I’m so off-trend with this post (the royal wedding? Pfft, so last season). But did you know that our very own Poet Laureate Carole Ann Duffy, who once claimed that “no self-respecting poet” should have to write verse about Prince Edward’s marriage, penned a poem for last months royal shindig! She must have a soft spot for Wills and Kate.

Obligatory photo…

It has been said that the poem was penned reluctantly, and in a way, it shows. The poem, Rings, isn’t exclusive to Wills and Kate; it could have been written for any old couple. The universality of it makes it accessable to everyone, which is exactly what Duffy would have been striving for, she never has been about grandeur. True to her style, it also has an air of equality about it: “for both to say:.

Have a read – love it or loathe it?

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Review: Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut

“you’ll either love it, or push it back in the science-fiction corner”, says the 1969 New York Times review of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5. When I purchased it on a whim, I wasn’t even aware that it possibly belonged in … Continue reading

Review: The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

I found Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea quite dull. Well, at least until page 57. I finished it almost two weeks ago, but I choose not to review it straight away, as I knew I couldn’t give it … Continue reading