Author: Diane

The Revenant by Michael Punke, USA, 2002

The Revenant by Michael Punke, USA, 2002

This is the story of Hugh Glass. In 1823 he is a fur trapper, but over the course of the book we learn a little of his past as a ship’s mate, how he was attacked by pirates and his life in an Indian village. His experiences have made him the man he is, and …

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Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin, USA, 1952

Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin, USA, 1952

Baldwin’s novel Go Tell it on the Mountain is autobiographical in the sense that Baldwin, like the central character, John Grimes, grew up in Harlem without ever knowing his biological father and had a religious fanatic as a stepfather – in Baldwin’s case, a Methodist minister, in John’s case, a Pentecostal preacher. There are even …

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The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, UK, 1989

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, UK, 1989

This is a brilliant book, beautifully written and intelligently executed. On one level it is about a road trip around the south of England, taken in 1956 by Mr Stevens, the butler from Darlington Hall. On other levels it is about class, the years between the wars, suppressed feelings and, most of all, ‘dignity’. As …

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The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino, Italy, 1957

The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino, Italy, 1957

  I launched into this book by Calvino with much enthusiasm, having read and enjoyed If on a winter’s night a traveller. Unfortunately the first pages are filled with reference to a creature to which I have a very real and paralysing phobia. I skimmed those pages, but the word, popping up as it does …

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Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, UK, 2009

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, UK, 2009

  This is an amazing book: Mantel’s research is overwhelming to say the least, and the book is filled, not only with facts and historical characters but also with hundreds of small incidental details that set the book well apart from many other books on the subject.  The main subject is Thomas Cromwell and the …

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The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum, USA, 1990

The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum, USA, 1990

    Like the previous two books about Jason Bourne, the third, and final, book in this series does not disappoint. It is fast-paced, intelligent, well researched and difficult to put down. Bringing the story of Jason Bourne and the Jackal to a close was no mean feat with characters flung between the United States, …

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Winter by Christopher Nicholson, UK, 2014

Winter by Christopher Nicholson, UK, 2014

        This beautifully written novel about a few weeks in the life of the author Thomas Hardy is a work of fiction based on fact. The story itself concerns Hardy, his second wife, Florence, and an amateur actress, Gertrude Bugler; the background is Dorset; and the season is winter. The style itself …

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En droppe midnatt by Jason Timbuktu Diakité, Sweden, 2016

En droppe midnatt by Jason Timbuktu Diakité, Sweden, 2016

  As it says on the front cover, this is an important book. Not only does it look at the black/white situation in America, it also examines the same situation in other countries, more specifically  Sweden. In translation the book could be called ‘A Drop of Midnight’, though I am not sure that it has …

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