Showing posts from March, 2018

This is not a book! #1

This is not a book, true, but a book is the reason why I am showing this to you today! I am talking of The Weaning by Hannah Vincent , which I have recently reviewed on this blog . In the book, childminder Bobbi has a tattoo of a Russian doll on her wrist, which – for   her – comes to signify motherhood and loss at the same time. It is an extremely poignant symbol; one that I somehow wanted to bring to life. And this is where Lynn from Pomelo Crafts comes in with her exquisitely handcrafted pouch. Look at how splendid this is! Lynn started using her mum’s old sewing machine to create practical and yet beautiful items while on maternity leave with her second daughter. When I found Lynn’s shop on Etsy, I felt that this maternal central thread was a sign and I was incredibly happy to collaborate with her. Her attention to detail is amazing and I can’t help but mention that even the packaging is beautiful: a sheet of delicate tissue paper and a tag with the shop’s logo and a c

Books through my lens #30

I love bookshops! Yes, no surprise there, I imagine... Anyway, this is the lovely Berliner Büchertisch in Berlin!

Book review: The Weaning + competition

By Hannah Vincent Published by Salt Synopsis: When professional couple Nikki and Rob uncover their childminder Bobbi's secret everything changes. Bobbi has a child-shaped hole in her life that her 'silver fox' lover can't fill. Now she is seeking out children once more. Troubled young couple Kim and Connor are battling with social services to keep their baby, Jade - but they needn't worry, Bobbi soon arrives to help solve all their problems. How did this book end up in my hands? One of the lovely book publicists at Salt mentioned this book on Twitter and I jumped at the chance of requesting a copy to review. The fact that the author lives in Brighton was part of the appeal. Was it a page-turner? Yes, from the very beginning. I wouldn’t call it fast-paced, necessarily, but I would be very surprised if you didn’t want to keep turning those pages once you start reading. There will be things that won’t convince you, details that won’t add up and you wi

My favourite quotes #8

When we are reading a good novel, we leave our small, cozy apartments behind, go out into the night alone and start getting to know people we had never met before and perhaps had even been biased against. Elif Shafak What are your favourite quotes? Share them on Twitter or in the comments below!

We need to talk about books! #2

This week I have the pleasure of catching up with Bree from Perpetual Fangirl , where she writes about books and anything else that she fangirls about. Which is a lot. Are your bookshelves a ‘work in progress’ like mine or are they clearly and systematically organised? Tell us a little bit about your method if you have one. My books are an organized mess. I know exactly where everything is, but there’s no clear organization. The only clear organized section is my JLA shelf. Apart from books, what is to be found on your bookshelves? My bookshelves are basically my display case. I have all my Harry Potter pop figures, and every other pop figure I have collected over the years (Ariel, Mrs. Potts and Chip, the Cookie Monster). I also became pretty fascinated with those fold and display books, so I have a few of them. What do you do with books once you’ve read them? I tend to keep them, but every year or so I clear off some of the books and either give them to my cousins or i

Podcast review: Book Off! Viv Groskop and John Niven

Having recently been part of the audience at a literary event she took part in, I knew when I saw Viv Groskop ’s name that this episode was going to be hilarious. Needless to say that I was right! Even if you couldn’t care less about books, you’d still enjoy this episode of Book Off! purely based on the entertainment value of the banter between the two writers. The bubbly writer and comedian spoke about her new book - The Anna Karenina Fix - that she describes as a combination of memoir, literary criticism and self-help manual. The other guest of this episode was John Niven , whose latest book is No Good Deed . After listening to the anecdote that was the origin of the idea behindthe book , I just had to pause the audio and go straight to Amazon to add it to my wish list. How school dynamics keep replaying themselves into adulthood is a topic I find super interesting. I haven’t been to a school reunion in at least 15 years and I don’t plan on making that mistake again. Living ab

In conversation with... Hannah Vincent

Hi Hannah ! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of The Weaning . Can you please briefly tell us what it is about? A: Thank you, Silvia. Sometimes I answer this question by saying that the book is about a psychotic childminder but it is also about a childminder and her immense capacity for love. It’s also a book about my love affair with writing. Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing or did it develop before your eyes as the characters grew on the page and did something that you were not expecting? A: I don’t plan my writing but I always know where it is heading. I know the destination scene but there are adventures and detours along the way and sometimes the destination looks different to the way it looked at the start of a project – does this answer your question? Your debut novel, Alarm Girl , was published by Myriad Editions. The Weaning is published by Salt. How did your new book deal come about and how did you

Books through my lens #29

I stumbled across this exhibition in London a few years ago and there was so much talent on display! Here are a few of my favourite illustrations...

Happy Publication Day to Caroline Bond + competition

Publication day is here and you can now find The Second Child both in bookshops and online.  Please join me to express a big congratulations to a great debut author, Caroline Bond , and to all those who have supported her on her publishing journey - from her agent at Greene & Heaton to the team at Corvus and her family. To celebrate in style, Corvus are giving one of you the chance to win a copy of The Second Child . How exciting is that?! All you have to do is follow me on Twitter and retweet the competition post by 15/04. Comments left here below will count as extra entries (one per person). Good luck! In the meantime, you can find my review of the book here and my interview with Caroline here . Enjoy and - as always - I'd love to know your thoughts!

My favourite quotes #7

Briefing is terse, factual and to the point. Reading is untidy, discursive and perpetually inviting. Briefing closes down a subject, reading opens it up. From “The Uncommon Reader” by Alan Bennett What are your favourite quotes? Share them on Twitter or in the comments below!

We need to talk about books! #1

This week I have the pleasure of catching up with Yuli Atta from Damaged Pages , where she writes about books and everything book related. So, without further ado, here it goes... First of all, how did you choose the name of your blog? I love it! I had a hard time choosing a name for my blog because I wanted something original and personal to me but I also wanted something easy to remember. I was trying to choose between Smudged Ink and Damaged Pages because they are things that constantly happen to my books. While I like Smudged Ink better, I can barely pronounce it so I chose Damaged Pages instead! I always end up damaging my pages one way or another. Be it by bending corners or getting one of these ink smudges, something always happens. Are your bookshelves a ‘work in progress’ like mine or are they clearly and systematically organised? Tell us a little bit about your method if you have one. I like to think that my bookshelves (both the ones in my home country and in th

Podcast review: Virago Books - Sarah Waters

The first episode of the Virago Books Podcast this year was a juicy conversation with Sarah Waters in the year that marks the 20 th anniversary of the publication of Tipping the Velvet . In slightly less than 40 minutes we learn the circumstances that brought this wonderful historical romance to life, the changes that the LGBT community has witnessed over the last 20 years and so much more. Fascination with male impersonators, storytelling, reader / writer experiences, adaptations for TV and theatre… I savoured every single topic that was discussed. I can’t remember which was the first lesbian novel I read but I have a very strong feeling that it might have been Tipping the Velvet . And if it wasn’t, it was definitely the first lesbian novel that showed me that a happy ending wasn’t impossible for girls like me. I wish I could have told her exactly this when I met Sarah Waters at a book signing back in 2007. Instead, shyly handing her my copy of The Night Watch , I mumbled s

Blog tour announcement: The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

I am very excited to announce that I will be taking part in the upcoming blog tour for the publication of The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Cherry Radford . The tour will start on April 23rd and will stop here on Book After Book on April 27th. I look forward to sharing my thoughts on this book with you!

Books through my lens #28

This is my favourite sequence from the sweet film My Afternoons with Margueritte because it's true... books can take you to places you've never been before!

Book review: The Immortalists + competition

By Chloe Benjamin Published by Tinder Press As a blogger, sometimes I feel so in awe of a book that words won’t come out. This is one of those books… but I will try and write a couple of coherent sentences. Chloe Benjamin’s second book, The Immortalists , was published in the US on January 9th and – since then – it has been praised and celebrated wherever it’s landed. If you knew the day you were going to die, how would you choose to live? This question perfectly encapsulates this great novel, which succeeds in being witty, moving and tragic all at the same time. Everything begins in the summer of 1969, when the four Gold children – Varya, Daniel, Klara and Simon – decide to seek out a fortune-teller known for her ability to predict the date of your death. This one childhood act of bravado will change the way they will live and – ultimately – die. The novel is divided into four parts, one for each of the siblings, and follows them as they hurtle through life and face