The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas by Gertrude Stein

When I was growing up, phrases such as ‘no-one likes a show-off’ and ‘pride comes before a fall’ were common family currency, ‘getting above yourself’ was a crime, and punishment by being ‘taken down a peg or two’ was swift and inevitable. In short, as a child I was taught not to place too high … More The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas by Gertrude Stein

A Life of Picasso Volume 1: 1881 – 1906 by John Richardson

Mona Lisa Sunflowers The Scream Even if you know nothing much about art (like me) and you hear the name Leonardo de Vinci, Van Gogh, and Munch, then I bet you’ll immediately think of the paintings just listed. If you think a bit longer and harder, of course, you might come up with some others, … More A Life of Picasso Volume 1: 1881 – 1906 by John Richardson

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk (translated by Jennifer Croft)

Six years ago I visited the Bodies Revealed exhibition when it came to Liverpool.  In case you haven’t heard of it, this is an exhibition of real human bodies that have been preserved using silicone rubber, a process known as plastination.  The bodies are dissected and put in dynamic poses so you get the chance … More Flights by Olga Tokarczuk (translated by Jennifer Croft)

The Vegetarian by Han Kang (translated by Deborah Smith)

When my brother became a vegetarian in his teens it caused a bit of a flap. This was the mid-1970s, we lived on a council estate in Liverpool, and the nearest we’d got to vegetarianism was eating fish on Fridays. So to find we were living with someone who’d stopped eating meat was like being … More The Vegetarian by Han Kang (translated by Deborah Smith)