SHAKESPEARE by Bill Bryson (Harper Press, 2007)
Do we really need another book about William Shakespeare? The answer is, of course, a resounding ‘NO’.
In fairness, Bill Bryson is fully cognizant of this fact. He is honest enough to admit that this book contains not so much his own opinions “but is instead about what I learned of William Shakespeare from people who have spent a lifetime studying and thinking about him”.
Bryson makes the accurate observation that the Bard of Stratford-Upon-Avon is “not so much a historical figure as an academic obsession”.
He is in his element when debunking some of the unsubstantiated claims the so-called ‘experts’ have made in an attempt to uncover the man behind the myth. View full article »
THE RHYTHM & THE TIDE by Mike Badger & Tim Peacock (Liverpool University Press, 2015)
As founder member of The La’s, Mike Badger is no stranger to interview requests. However, more often than not it’s not his version of events journalists actually want to hear. All too frequently, his insights are edited out from the story of a band who could have been to Liverpool what Oasis are to Manchester but instead ended up being regarded as little more than one-hit wonders.
Subtitled ‘Liverpool, The La’s and Ever After’, The Rhythm & The Tide finally gives Badger the opportunity to explain how he overcame early disillusionment to forge a modest yet varied and fulfilled career as a musician. artist and record label founder. Above all, this is the tale of a man with no axes to grind but a compelling story to tell. View full article »
THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers (First published, 1940)
This has to be one of the best titles of all time and is widely regarded as one the great American novels.
It is certainly a remarkable achievement especially considering it is the debut work of a writer who was just 23 years old when it was first published.
Full of worldly wisdom and compassion for life’s underdogs, it suggests that Carson McCullers was writing from her own bitter experiences. View full article »