• Tales from the Reading Room

    Book reviews, posts about writers and writing and occasionally, about theories, artistic movements and ideas.


  • The Norwegian Proust

    Norwegian Proust

    Saturday was a day of filthy weather here, and by the time I had battled my way through the endless rain from sepia skies and the Christmas traffic to the town... Read more

    Posted on 25 November 2012 BOOKS, CULTURE
  • Dream Story

    Dream Story

    Years ago I saw the film Eyes Wide Shut directed by Stanley Kubrick. It was a dreadful film, publicised on the fact that Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise were... Read more

    Posted on 22 November 2012 BOOKS, CULTURE
  • Loving Colette

    Loving Colette

    I came across Colette quite by accident. I was sixteen, on a family holiday in France, and my aunt bought a copy of Chéri. It was a fantastically ugly copy, too. Read more

    Posted on 20 November 2012 BOOKS, CULTURE
  • The Misfit


    I seem to be determined to read books from 1926 lately. First there was Lolly Willowes, then I’ve just finished Arthur Schnitzler’s Dream Story, and at the... Read more

    Posted on 18 November 2012 BOOKS, CULTURE
  • In Which I Am Annoyed With Mr Litlove

    Which Annoyed With Litlove

    When loved ones suffer unexpected delays, I have to admit I am the kind of person who imagines they are dead in a ditch, rather than simply late. Of course,... Read more

    Posted on 16 November 2012 BOOKS, CULTURE
  • Loving Rilke

    Loving Rilke

    A little while back, I reviewed the book by Pico Iyer in which he explored his obsession with Graham Greene, a man whose novels gave him uncanny insight into... Read more

    Posted on 14 November 2012 BOOKS, CULTURE
  • Lolly Willowes

    Lolly Willowes

    I would in any case have loved Sylvia Townsend Warner’s decidedly subversive first novel of dawning feminist consciousness and witchcraft, Lolly Willowes. Read more

    Posted on 12 November 2012 BOOKS, CULTURE
  • The Liebster Award

    Liebster Award

    The charming and hugely talented Andrew Blackman tagged me for this meme: 1. What’s your favourite memory? It was early one morning and I was lying reading in... Read more

    Posted on 09 November 2012 BOOKS, CULTURE
  • In Good Company

    Good Company

    ‘There is always a moment in the life of young people,’ Colette wrote, ‘when dying is just as normal and seductive to them as living, and I hesitated. Read more

    Posted on 07 November 2012 BOOKS, CULTURE