I’m not sure how I’m going to convince you to read this book. Most of you will, understandably, want to look the other way. There are details about dying in Being Mortal that will make you shudder and stories about elderly people’s lives that will make you want to cry. But, for me, this book was an eye-opener and surprisingly reassuring, despite it’s grim subject matter.
The Guardian has made a very good list of children’s books that promote tolerance. Authors range from Malala and Amnesty International’s collection of short stories to Michael Morpurgo and Benjamin Zephaniah and there is something for every age range.
I’m a huge admirer of James Wood, the New Yorker’s book critic and one of the English speaking world’s most influential reviewers. His thoughtful and intelligent reviews never disappoint. Here are his top picks from 2014.
What better way to kick off 2015 than with an excellent book by a mysterious writer? Italian author Elena Ferrante, whose real identity nobody knows, creates a perfect microcosm of childhood and adolescence in her book My Brilliant Friend, the first in a quartet. It’s a vibrant and violent coming-of-age story and a portrait of an intense friendship between two girls.
One of my favourite literary awards, the Bad Sex in Ficton Award, was just announced and this year Ben Okri runs away with the prize for the sex depicted in his latest book The Age of Magic.
Don’t you just love it when someone gives you a thoughtful book as a present? Perhaps a book that you have heard about but never got around to buying or an author you’ve never read before who turns out to be your new favourite? I’ve been sifting through new releases and chosen some of my favourites reads from 2014 – fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. The books on this list are books I’ve read and reviewed (click on title for my review) and books I like the sound of that I’ll spend Christmas reading (click on title for newspaper reviews). There’s a lot of great reading out there waiting to be given away!
This museum is unlike any you’ve visited before. Open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, its collection boasts an unrivalled catalogue of the world’s finest and most extraordinary creatures, with each exhibit in immaculate condition and presented in fantastic detail.