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

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

Hoylake Community Cinema ‘pops-up’ one Friday evening every month in the local community centre.  The films cater for all styles, tastes and genres, taking in everything from black on white classics (It’s a Wonderful Life), docu-films (He Named Me Malala), contemporary sci-fi (Ex-Machina), and foreign language films (Mustang). So when the Diving Bell and the … More The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

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

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