feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Heist Society: Ally Carter, Orchard Books 2011

Before my increasing disillusionment with Ally Carter's 'Gallagher Girls' series got really bad, I'd bought a copy of 'Heist Society', the first in another series. Having finished the Gallagher Girls books, it was time to turn to this. I hoped, at least, that she'd written it having learned about what it takes to write a series of books. I can now report that, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Back of girl whose gloved hand is holding on to her hat. (Girl in a hat)
Daisy: Susan Warner, Miles & Miles

This is a case where a book didn’t turn out to be quite what I expected. My copy has gold blocks on its front cover and spine and the very type shouts out that from the late nineteenth century. I’d never heard of it or the author, Susan Warnerm before, but presumed it was in the Rosa N. Carey, E. Everett-Green vein. It isn’t quite.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Photograph of L M Montgomery at the seaside (L M Montgomery)
I feel I must preface this post as it’s about an American book that references women’s suffrage by saying that I read ‘Daddy Long-Legs’ at the end of October, but hadn’t been able to finish this review until now.

Daddy Long Legs: Jean Webster, Hodder & Stoughton

When I went to see the musical adaptation of this book (four years ago, EEK!), I realised that I couldn’t find my copy of ‘Daddy Long-Legs’ (a paperback edition, with an image of Judy in her gingham dress on the cover, possibly on a swing, I think). I still haven’t found it. So, when I came across a hardback copy, I decided to buy it. I have the original cast recording of the musical, so it’s been kept fresh in my mind, but I ought to be able to revisit the original easily.

It was good to return to the book and find that Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Tennis ball caught up at mid net's length with text reading 15 - love (Anyone for tennis?)
I’ve been on holiday for a few days, staying in a hotel that had Eurosport, but in German, which I don’t understand beyond ‘ja, nein, gutt, aber und schnell’, as I never attended the Chalet School. But a lot of English tennis jargon found its way in and you can work out who a player beat if the commentators keep mentioning their names. What's important is that it meant that I saw more of the US Open than I ever have, although, conversely, I had only a partial grasp of the slam Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
A book-related post!

It’s perhaps unfair to compare these two children’s books about two civil wars, but I read them quite close to each other, so the comparison came readily. Irene Hunt wrote ‘Across Five Aprils’ about the American civil war, as experienced by one Jethro Creighton, while Dorothea Moore (whom I've never posted about here before although I have copies of her books) wrote ‘Perdita, Prisoner of War’ - yes, I admit the title made me grab for it – about Perdita Eynescliffe’s experiences in the English civil war.

I say it’s unfair to compare them chiefly because Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Close-up of white flower aganst dark background (Black and white flower)
Out of Sight, Out of Time: Ally Carter. The Gallagher Girls, Book Five Orchard House 2011 – it looks as if this was published in the UK before the US.

'Everyone was watching, staring, waiting for...something. I wasn't sure what.' (p.24)

Not that I mentioned it in my review of Book Four of this series, but at its end Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Back of girl whose gloved hand is holding on to her hat. (Girl in a hat)
The Opposite of Falling: Jennie Rooney Windsor Paragon 2010 (Large Print Edition)

I had to push myself to continue reading this, whereas I have devoured several books that have been much more poorly written. This is a book I admired more than liked. I admired the Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Close-up of white flower aganst dark background (Black and white flower)
Earlier this week, I finished Sheridan Morley's biography of Katharine Hepburn. I must have started it in December. I'd nearly finished it but didn't take it with me on Christmas holidays (and then I couldn't find where I'd left my copy.)

There are probably more in-depth biographies, because if I had to summarise it in one word, it would be 'breezy'. Still, it was interesting to learn how her career developed, to see how she prevailed through critical disapproval and popular lack of interest,
feather_ghyll: Close-up of white flower aganst dark background (Black and white flower)
I did mean to post soon after the Davis Cup weekend, as I'd seen bits of the doubles match and then Murray beating Querrey but never got around to it.

Since then, I've read Don't Judge a Girl by her Cover by Ally Carter, the third book in the Gallagher Girls series. Read more... )

The next book I read will be a girls own one, it's just a matter of choosing one from the pile!
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Secrets at St Jude’s – Jealous Girl: Carmen Reid. Corgi, 2009

I used the word 'breezy' to describe the first book in the Secrets at St Jude's series, New Girl reviewed here and the same word came to mind for its sequel. Read more... )

Polished at 29/7/14.
feather_ghyll: Photograph of L M Montgomery at the seaside (L M Montgomery)
Some of these books were read within sniffing distance of a beach, at any rate.

Sally at School: Ethel Talbot / Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy: Ally Carter / Going Gangster: M.E. Atkinson )

Yesterday, I finished the wonderful Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, which merits a fuller review, although I don't feel I can write anything that's remotely adequate.
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Guitar Girl: Sarra Manning. Speak 2003

Any book that makes me hum Kenickie's 'I Will Fix You' for days afterwards, as this did by referring to the band among other female-driven bands and artists in the dedication, is a good'un. After reading this, I’ll certainly keep an eye out for more of Manning’s books - I'd seen her rated on book blogs.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Back of girl whose gloved hand is holding on to her hat. (Girl in a hat)
Daddy Long Legs St James’s Theatre, London

I spotted that there was a forthcoming musical adaptation of Jean Webster’s Daddy Long Legs in a newspaper, and, although it’s many years since I read the book – I suspect I’ve read Webster’s Just Patty more recently – I had to go. I keep meaning to see more theatrical productions (plays, musicals or dance) than I end up doing every year. So, that is what I was going to do a week yesterday. I had to pick up the ticket at the box office, so I couldn’t check it compulsively, only the diary in which I’d jotted down the time of the matinee. This time, I got there well in time.

Unfortunately, I got there hungry as a wolf. It was entirely my fault. I had just enough time – thought I – to wander around the vicinity, nose in map, and visit some charity shops and lunch. The reality was that I didn’t make any exciting finds, gawped at how much charity shops in Pimlico charge for clothes and failed to pop into a cafe or sandwich shop, even though I’d been hungry on leaving the coach. I only managed to get a croissant at the theatre, so I had a headache and a deep desire to kick myself as I took my seat. It’s to the production’s credit that my self-induced state didn’t mar my enjoyment one bit.

St James’s Theatre is, I understand, a new theatre built where an older theatre used to stand. I didn’t get much of a chance to take in the whole building, but the main auditorium is great. Three hundred and something seats – so they’re all good – descending down to the stage, allowing you to see and hear everything.

I’ll repeat that it’s many years since I read this book, and although I can visualise my copy, I have no idea where it is. I was curious about how they’d adapt what is an epistolary novel (and IIRC mainly written by one character). The answer is very cleverly.

This will contain spoilers for the musical and book, because I’m going to presume that you’ve read the book, and if you haven’t, you should have (if you’ve read Anne of Green Gables, What Katy Did and Little Women etc). And then you should go see this musical if you can.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Lavendar flowers against white background (Beautiful flower (lavender))
I recommend both, although they’re very different – the main character of one is a five year old girl, and the other film strongly features a quartette of young women.

The Beasts of the Southern Wild (12A) is going to get award attention. If you can, try to see it. It’s a fable about climate change and how it affects one family, their bayou and the way of life that’s grown up about it. It is both arty (comparisons have been made to Terrence Malick’s work, although it’s not quite up there for me) and folk art, if that’s the right phrase. The lynch-pin is the mesmerising Hushpuppy, the little girl at the heart of it all. In some ways, this reminded me of Ponyo (similarly aged heroine, the threat of rising waters, the power and wonder of nature) although this is a much fiercer film than the Japanese one. There are some astounding scenes towards the end.

The Sapphires (PG) is F. U. N. Three Aboriginal sisters and a cousin in the sixties join with a hapless but passionate about soul Irishman (Chris O’Dowd, very funny) to create the titular girl group and perform for mainly African American soldiers in Vietnam. There’s a down-to-earth humour about it, you can’t help root for the girls to get over their rivalries and issues, for a few of them to find love and for all of them to stay safe. Although the tone is mainly light-hearted, it doesn’t shy away from racism and its heartbreaking effects. The audience that I saw it with laughed, cried and sung along with the numbers. Sometimes, it was let down by budgetary constraints, but you were always rooting for the sparky Sappires.

Hopefully, my next post will be a tale of folly, great drama and a faulty memory...
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
A Popular Schoolgirl: Angela Brazil

I had an ‘oh, Angela’ moment when Read more... )

Sara Gay Model Girl in New York: Janey Scott

That's New York, 1961 - fit for girls. Read more... )

Dance with me by Victoria Clayton

Recommended. Read more... )

I look forward to reading more by Clayton (I think another book of hers may have been recommended by [personal profile] callmemadam.)

Finally I reread Three go to Switzerland: Mabel Esther Allan

It can’t have made much impact on me before, because I didn’t remember anything as I read it. Read more... )

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