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About brightphoebus

  • Rank
  • Birthday December 29


  • Location
  • Interests
    I love indie and folk music, hillwalking and birding and, oh, READING!
  • How did you hear about this site?
    Came across it on Google when looking for a review on a book and found Stewart's erudite post.

Profile Information

  • Location
  • Current Book
    Lincoln In The Bardo - George Saunders
  1. what is everyone doing?

    Momac and meg, I'm sorry for the worry and pain that has just ocurred for you both. I do hope your daughter improves every day, Momac, and her medication stabilises everything again. Meg, there is quite a bit of genetic disability in my family and I know the feeling when you get a diagnosis that confirms what you already know - it comes as no great surprise, but you are still shot through with anxiety and uncertainty as your world shifts. My thoughts are with you and I wish you and your close family all the best.
  2. Currently Reading

    Assymetry by Lisa Halliday. What a fab piece of writing. Sad to be finishing it.
  3. Patrick Melrose

    Oh, the books are great! Highly recommended.
  4. Book Chain

    Dragon Teeth - Michael Crichton (I cheated)
  5. Definitely. I've just finished Frances Hardinge The Lie Tree, aimed at CYA and enjoyed it very much. On the radio recently I heard someone bemoan the loss of plot in novels other than crime novels, but in the best CYA you get all the characterisation and atmosphere but with great plots too.
  6. Book Chain

    To The Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
  7. Book Chain

    Stranger In A Strange Land - Robert A. Heinlein
  8. Book Chain

    Love In A Cold Climate - Nancy Mitford
  9. what is everyone doing?

    Don't leave education, Hazel! It needs people like you more than ever. Find a place where you will be appreciated and where you will be able to set the agenda now you are so well qualified. Good luck.
  10. Narrator or First Person?

    There's a very illuminating chapter in James Wood's book How Fiction Works called Narrating on just this topic. He examines first person and third person - free indirect style- narration with loads of examples. It helped me see how an author inhabits and conveys character. I can't recommend this book highly enough, though I have to re-read it often to re-grasp what lies behind the alchemy that happens in a well-written book (and why awful books grate). It's dead easy to read but harder to retain.
  11. Book Chain

    Have The Men Had Enough? - Margaret Forster
  12. This novel by newcomer, Australian Sarah Schmidt spotlights the murders of Mr and Mrs Borden in the USA in 1892. The rhyme "Lizzie Borden" might jog your memories, but did she or didn't she do it? It's an honourable debut, and worth a read, just about. It's terrific at helping you feel the claustrophobia of family life, the sisters bound by the death of their mother, the love and hate felt by turns towards each other, their father and stepmother. The physicality of life held in the opressive heat of summer trapped in the house. Schmidt doesn't spare you details of the stench of people, food and animals living and dead, and indeed eventually you tire of the overblown and hyperbolic descriptions of smell however much you welcomed them at first as an antidote to 'clean' and unrealistic historical accounts. There are some annoying red herrings too, the introduction of a spurious character who ultimately has no bearing on the story. Still and all it was a good read, especially the first half and if you canter towards the end you won't miss much. ***(*)
  13. Book Chain

    A Long Way From Home - Peter Carey
  14. Are audio books the same as reading print?

    Thanks, second operation since last July and cross fingers it will all be in the past soon!
  15. Are audio books the same as reading print?

    I would normally say I prefer reading to myself, but I was recently in hospital and listened to James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man when unable to read. It was the BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime, very sensitively read by the actor Andrew Scott. It was a revelation, and I honestly feel I had never properly understood the novel until it had been read aloud to me. Maybe Joyce's prose, poetic and lyrical, lends itself particularly well to being spoken aloud?