Under the Eye of the Clock by Christopher Nolan

I caught this morning morning’s minion, king- dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing In his ecstacy! Then off, off forth on swing, As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a … More Under the Eye of the Clock by Christopher Nolan

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

“When my mother was angry with me, which was often, she said, ‘The Devil led us to the wrong crib.’” This is how the memoir begins.  Entirely fitting, giving over the opening line to “Mrs Winterson” (as she’s more frequently referred to, not mother) because the over-riding influence on JW’s life would seem to be … More Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

Matisse the Master – A Life of Henri Matisse: Volume 2, 1909-1954 by Hilary Spurling

You might remember Matisse (and others) hitting the headlines in November with the discovery of a hoard of Nazi-confiscated artworks.  At the time I was already reading this biography, which won the Whitbread Book of the Year award in 2005. It was a difficult book to settle into and not because eight years and several … More Matisse the Master – A Life of Henri Matisse: Volume 2, 1909-1954 by Hilary Spurling

At Home by Bill Bryson

This is an ambitious distillation of social history using the rooms of a Victorian vicarage, Bryson’s home, as the ‘hook’, crammed to the rafters with interesting facts.  Who knew that the youngest chimney sweep apprentice was aged only three and a half? Or that the boating accident on the Thames with the highest number of … More At Home by Bill Bryson

The Etymologicon – A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language by Mark Forsyth (The Inky Fool)

Did you know that: International company Shell took that name because it originally sold shells before it diversified into oil; Wikipedia, etymologically speaking, means fast child; In golf, Bogey means a score for the hole of one over par whereas it originally meant par; Cappuccino evolved from Capuchin monks and pants from St Pantaleon; Torpedo … More The Etymologicon – A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language by Mark Forsyth (The Inky Fool)