The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson

Ah, Doctor Jekyll I presume! This is one of my favourite concepts for a book and, like Dracula and Frankenstein, such a hugely evocative character and concept. It is intuitively resonant that lurking within all of us, behind the mask and veneer of social mores and decency, is a rampaging, amoral, bestial, primitive, reptilian beast….

Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch

Jazz is cool. It’s undeniable; it’s super cool. As a genre of music, it lurks in the back of the iPod in a smoke filled subterranean playlist. Jazz does not wear sunglasses; jazz is born with dark tinted irises. In a politically correct world, jazz sensuously drinks and smokes itself to a hospital bed where…

Carnegie Medal Winner, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A MASSIVE congratulations to Patrick Ness for the historic achievement of winning the Carnegie two years running AND winning both the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Prizes simultaneously. A Monster Calls is a truly exceptional book and a mighty winner! It is one of those books that EVERYONE should read! The story is moving, evocative, primal,…

Hamlet and Women, discussion

Hamlet, perhaps the most famous and most argued over play by Shakespeare, was written between the years 1599 and 1601 as Elizabeth I was reaching the end of her reign. The play features two of the most famous women in Shakespeare: Ophelia and Gertrude and Hamlet’s relationships with these women account for a large number…

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

I was lent this by a student at school – ironically as one of the main features in the book is that Charlie is lent books by his English teacher! It took a while to get around to actually opening it, until I ran out of time and had to read it before the kid…

Tsotsi, Athol Fugard Analysis

So these are the ideas which I have been discussing with my class. Tsotsi is set in 1956, give or take, in Sophiatown, a township on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa. It was written by Fugard in the early months of 1960 after Sophiatown had been destroyed by the white community in Johannesburg and,…

Sovereign, C. J. Sansom

There are days, those dark days, when you sit down and realise that you’ve had the same meal for three days … I’ve just sat down and realised that the last three books I’ve read are all historical fiction. Bring Up The Bodies by Mantel, Pure by Andrew Miller and now Sovereign by C. J….